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Camera Talk

October 12, 2013

I was sitting on a bench in a hallway at my local church, waiting for my wife to return from some errand, when I became aware of the conversation between a woman not much older than I am and a younger man. She was doing most of the talking. She asked him about photography, and he admitted to taking some pictures now and then. She asked him if he’d ever used Fuji film, and he said—of course—that he actually worked with digital images.

She did not seem to know what those were… and wasn’t all that interested. She launched into a detailed explanation of how a darkroom works—red light to avoid overexposing developing film—and the use of an enlarger. Canon, Minolta… her talk was peppered with specific brands and models of cameras and accessories that might not have been made for years.

She spoke like a time traveler, her knowledge comprehensive—I noticed no errors in what she said, at least from what little I know of film photography—but obsolete. But… I got the feeling somehow that she’d come by her passion secondhand, that she was mostly parroting facts and opinions that someone—her husband?—had given her before he’d died.

I have no evidence for this belief—it’s just a feeling I had…

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