MY FIRST CAMERA, MY FIRST SHOT
"My first shot turned out pitch black in the photo paper, my photography journey started here..."
MY FIRST CAMERA
I've had fascination with Photography since childhood, simply being able to capture moments of memories into pictures, 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 call "Ang Pow" (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 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 as he don a black Boney M fro hair style, a thick black mustache, sporting a pair of over-sized colored sunglasses, typical hallmark of the retro eighties. 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 inside for the next exposure to take a new shot, so I wind, but could only wind the knob half way, the knob became tighter and tighter until I could not move it anymore, helplessly I brought it down to the shop for Mustache uncle to have a look.
He took a look, a hard one, fiddled for a while and finally told me with disappointment, I had twisted too hard on the knob, the camera is BROKEN... nothing can be done about it.
I told uncle I'd taken a shot, and want to turn it into a photograph, 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 wasn't enough light, I need to use a flash when its too dark. I didn't quite understand or find out further since the camera was broken.
Down the road
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 experiences.
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 ), Photography continues to intrigue me...
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