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    Posted October 13, 2010 by
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    Status quo disrupted by camera


    It was the summer of 1965 when I saw into the future and also learned I had the power to alter time. At eight years old I witnessed atoms being smashed, saw visions of undersea resorts, colonies on the moon and astonishing cities on earth. These were believable predictions in harmony with events of the day - the space program preparing to land men on the moon; the great advancements taking place in science, medicine, transportation, communications, and computing. The future was coming into focus and there seemed to be no limit to what science and technology could do.

    My glimpse into the future happened when I was taken to see the 1964–1965 New York World’s Fair and that is also where I was given my first camera.

    The Fair was great, a mix of past, present and future depicted in convincing detail swirling around in front of my amazed eyes. Flowing everywhere at the fair was excitement and anticipation, even a certainty, of the better future awaiting us.

    The camera was a Kodak World’s Fair Flash camera. It was a simple fixed focus plastic camera that used 127 roll film. I was elated. I could take pictures and there was no boundary to what I might photograph! I could take slices of time from everyday life to preserve and examine. I loved the anticipation and uncertainty of wondering what would actually be on the film when it was developed. Like predictions of the future at the Fair, what was actually on my film was never assured.

    By the early 1970s I had a 35mm SLR and didn’t use my first camera any more. At some point shortly after that it was gone – I am not exactly sure how or when it left my life.

    I recently bought another Kodak World’s Fair Flash camera on line. Picking it up I was immediately flooded with memories of my camera - the feel and sound of the shutter as it released, the deep sweet smell of the AG-1 bulbs after they flashed, the sound and clicking sensation of the film advance ratchet, of carefully watching the little red window on the back for the next frame number to appear. I remembered every detail and exactly how to operate it.

    The camera has rekindled my creativity developing my excitement and anticipation for the unknown and untried, it shouts of my nostalgia and sentimentality. It cautions of opportunities lost and hints of the thrill of opportunities undiscovered. It reminds me to be young, to experiment, let go and not be bound by the “rules” I have succumbed to in the intervening 45 years. There is urgency in the message….

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