Sunday, September 9, 2007
When my parents moved, my mom gave me a bunch of cameras that were my grandfather's (or great grandfather's). They'd always been kept in a cabinet that hung on the wall in the entry way of our house in California. Our house was full of knickknacks and collectibles, each snug in their display case or frame: spoons with Dickins characters, Civil War bullets, old photos, letters, strange things like ostrich eggs, bronze baby shoes, and the tea cups my great grandmother let my sister and i pick out from her collection when we were young.
After taking my first photography class in high school, I began to stop and look at these strangely shaped, anvil like cameras. There was a small thick, Kodak Eastman Rainbow Hawkeye "vest pocket" whose accordion and lens front pulled out to reveal fashionable pink and purple. I imagine this was akin to my friends showing off their thin digital cameras, the newest, sleekest, best.
But these old ones have tiny delicate shutter buttons, papery accordions that collect dust in their creases. There's something titillating about touching them and carefully unfolding them and listening to the shutter's crisp "click."
Now they're mine, the brownies, the Hawkeye, the old Polaroid. They adore my bookshelf, bureau and mantle all open, poised and watching me dart across my room, perhaps secretly straining to fulfil their callings to capture me as I move through my day.
This picture, by the way, is a lithograph