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"My first shot turned out pitch black in the photo paper, my photography journey started here..."


I've had fascination with Photography since childhood, being able to capture moments of memories into pictures simply intrigues me. When I was 7 years old, I bought my first camera that cost me S$10,  money which I had saved up from all my new year red packets ( traditional Chinese New Year blessing money given to kids by adults in ornamental red paper wrap ).
It's a black and white camera, bought from a photo shop below my housing flat in Singapore at Block 37 Circuit Road ( the Flat is still around as of today's writing, but not the same shop ). The shop owner probably in his late 30s, I call him Mustache uncle, because he don a black Boney M fro hair style, a thick black mustache, sporting a pair of over-sized colored sunglasses, typically the hallmark of that retro eighties fashion. He taught me how to load the film and where to press the shuttle, I can't remember did I pay for the film or was it thrown in with the camera purchase.


My First Shot

With the camera, I went back home hurriedly, just can't wait to get my hands on the first shot. Once in my home living room, I aim the camera at the couch and pressed that shuttle.., OK I had taken a photo, great!!
Next, as what I was told, I now need to wind the negative for the next exposure to take the next shot, I tried winding, but could only wind the knob half way, the knob became tighter and tighter until I could not move it anymore, I didn't get it, so brought it down to the shop for the uncle to check.
Well, Mustache uncle took a hard look at the camera, fiddle here and there for a while and finally told me with disappointment, the camera is BROKEN...nothing Can be done about it.
I can't remember how I felt back then, I don't think I was sad or angry, surprise or disappointed perhaps on hearing that, guess I was too young to really understand things yet.
I told uncle I'd taken a shot, and would like to make it into a photo, he took out the film, return me my camera, and ask me to return the next day to collect the photograph.

Next day, at the shop expecting to see my first photograph, Mustache uncle handled me an envelope with my film negative and a photograph inside, that photo when I took out... was just a pitch black piece of photo paper, and that's that. I asked uncle why....? He said that there isn't enough light, I need to use a flash when its too dark. I didn't quite understand back then, or probe further since the camera was broken.


Enduring Passion

I did not touch any camera since, not until 3 years later.., with enough savings of my red packet money, which by then, entry level cameras and film in the market were in COLORS......( and TV too )

When I read blogs of other avid photographers, I could relate profoundly with their innate passions, who told of their stories in discovery, fantasy and love for photography, in many ways reminiscence of my own experiences.



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