Friday, March 15, 2013

The week-end blog - Slides and carousels

I finally dragged out my stack of 12 "carousels" or slide holders and am gently saying goodbye. I often wonder how digital photos swept over all of us and I admit, I do like the point 'n shoot versions.  I put my Nikon into storage years ago and know that some day I will have to say goodbye to it as well.

I must have at least a thousand or more slides (those tiny photos with the white holder for those who don't know) and will have to pick and choose amongst those. Not looking forward to it. Memories, you know... 

There is an argument for film, mostly in saving movies for archives. Librarians have long said that video was no good for storage and they are still out on digital. The thing is that digital has not been tested for endurance and we know that film, when properly stored, can last at least 100 years and more. We won't know about digital until it passes the hundred year test and by then film will have survived 200 years.

But I won't be around anyways.

The last days of slides for me were shot on Fuji Velvia stock with an ASA of 50 meaning that you really needed a tripod in order to shoot photos that were brilliantly colorful. Before that I used the classic Kodachrome (Like Paul Simon sings) film which had an ASA of 25 and you couldn't believe how rich the colors were. 

I have slides going back 40 years, that when taken out now, are just as brilliant as the day they were shot. Try that on video. I used it also in my 8mm Bolex camera for movies, and they are just as bright.

Digital cameras now ensure that most people take photos easily but the difference between them and the pros is composition and knowing which lens and filter to use. That won't ever change for pros, even if the cameras now can do the technical work.

But they still can't give you a nicely composed photo, that's where the "pro" comes in.

So say goodbye to the carousels and their little slots where you'd insert slides into and then show them on the wall to your friends and family. I will miss them, along with the hum of a slide projector and the heat that came from the powerful bulb.

Life goes on.      

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