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The story behind the shot – The way it used to be

This is a Voigtländer Vito B compact 35mm viewfinder camera built sometime between 1954 and 1957 and bought by my Dad in 1966 for £13 and 10 shillings (about £250.00 in todays money). It’s on a tripod from about the same time (no idea of the make, there are no hallmarks on it).

That’s the thing about film cameras, they force you to really consider every shot, be it the light, composition, focus, exposure or timing before you hit the shutter. Film costs money and there’s no screen on the back of the camera to instantly assess the shot. Who remembers waiting a week or more for companies like Truprint (still in business but all digital now) to send your prints back? When I was young it seemed like months…

That was film cameras for you; you had to get the shot right in camera. Yes, you can now scan film onto a computer and run it through a software programme but a poorly exposed, out of focus or badly composed shot can’t be rescued in post production. It’s a real shame that such film cameras are worth next to nothing nowadays given that they were (and still are in my book) beautiful pieces of engineering, but Dad would be very pleased to know that his camera is now being used by his grandson, George, who’s experimenting with different types of film just as I did just a few years ago (or so it seems!)

Digital photography has, without doubt, enabled more people to take more photographs than ever before but although the medium has changed the fundamental principles of how to make a good photograph haven’t.

If you have a question on how to take better pictures without leaving it up to the camera and would like some free advice message me, give me a ring or drop me an email; I’d be happy to help.



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