Sunday, September 25, 2011

Modern Photography

I am an impatient man and am constantly looking for ways to do things faster. Take photography, for instance. Why should it take hours to create a photograph? Why not a few minutes?

Accordingly, last month I offered some Wizard Water© to a photographer I know in order that he might conduct an experiment. The fellow added a few drops of my elixir to the chemicals he used to develop his contact paper, to see if it sped up the development process. It didn't have the desired effect. Instead of the portrait developing in less time, the process took even longer than usual. To make matters worse, the visage he photographed did not appear at all. All that showed up was an image of a pair of hands seemingly reaching toward the camera lens -- hands that did not even belong to the photographer. He processed three such sets of images before the truth dawned on him: the paper was reproducing the light that had fallen on it when it was first manufactured.

I was sorry to hear this, as otherwise I might have greatly expanded the market for Wizard Water©.

An old soldier who was at the studio for his portrait put things into perspective.

"When I was young, we only had the daguerrotype, and it took over 30 minutes to imprint an image on the plate," he said. "The portraitist made us sit on tacks so we wouldn't blink. It was very uncomfortable."

"Folks today have it easy," he continued. "You only have to hold a pose for five minutes. Five minutes! Why, if you tried, you might even hold a smile for that long! How marvelous is modern science!"

And I suppose it is.

copyright ©2011 Laurie J. Anderson, all rights reserved.

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