Tuesday, 27 January 2015

I thought I would show this picture I took of the Rose Garden in the Hall PLace Gardens last Summer to cheer everyone up in this cold Winter weather.

smile please

There have been a couple of articles on the BBC website about the Kodak Box Brownie camera. This BBC Magazine article took me back to my early days as the official family photographer when I discovered that I had some talent at taking pictures; or rather, I discovered no-one else in the family had any talent for taking pictures.

Typically, any picture taken on our Box Brownie would have limbs missing or extra ones added (thumbs over the lens were always a favourite).
Me and my Mummy (minus her feet)
in Danson Park, 1950.
Taken on our Box Brownie. 

I have no idea how we came into possession of a Box Brownie camera, it was one of the original type and the picture you can see is the closest I can get to the version we had. I definitely remember the shape of the winding handle and the leather carrying strap on top.

It was the simplest thing to operate as it only had two controls, the shutter and the film winder. You just pointed it at your subject which you could see through a small viewfinder window on the side of the box then click the shutter lever, down for one exposure then up again for the next. It was really important to wind the film on between exposures or you finish up with more than one image in your picture; something which was a common mistake by users.

The camera would take 8 pictures on a roll of 120 film so you could shoot in either landscape or portrait so there were windows on two sides of the camera. Advancing the film between exposures involved turning a small handle until the next exposure number came up in another window which could see the exposure number on the paper backing. 

The paper backing was there so it would prevent light from reaching the light sensitive part of the film and to this day, all 120 film still has this paper backing although no camera actually uses this system anymore. All my professional camera equipment when I was still shooting on film would automatically advance the film by the correct amount.

Brownie 127 with it's carrying case
Now when I was 11 years old, there was much excitement in the young Grumpy household. We were going on holiday in the summer. Now you may not think that is cause for particular excitement but for me, this was going to be the first proper 'going away' holiday I had ever had.

We were to spend a week at the Warner's Holiday Camp at Minster on the Isle of Sheppey. At around the same time of this announcement, our local chemist shop started to display the new Kodak Brownie 127 camera in the window. It came in a presentation box with a carrying case and two rolls of the new 127 size film to go in it.
Me having a wonderful
time at Warner's Holiday
Camp. 1961
I decided I had to have this and began to save up my pocket money, hoping to have enough to buy it before we went on our holiday.

What an amazing treat when, on my 12th birthday, I opened my presents and there was my Brownie 127. It stayed by my side for years until some family member decided to give it away while I was in the RAF. I really miss that camera.

facebook morons

I know I keep coming back to this subject but it provides me with an endless source of material to have a good grump about. 

I often wonder if Facebook users have to switch their brains off before using the site or does regular exposure to it make you lose your sense of discrimination? I use Facebook and it doesn't seem to have affected me as yet, but then, how would I know?

This weeks corker is the recurring tale of the "Privacy Notice". If you haven't come across it yet then count yourself lucky, but basically it revolves around a story that Facebook have updated their terms and conditions which means that they can use anything you post on your page including videos and photographs. It then goes on to say that you override this new condition by posting a legal looking statement to the effect that you reserve the copyright to your work etc., etc.

The fact that there is an equally popular post showing that this is all a lot of nonsense doesn't seem to have put off the tinfoil hatters who see a conspiracy in everything.

This link to the BBC story that reminded me of it explains the whole story quite well although honestly, I think this video says it much better.

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