I think I need to explain a bit about the photos you see in this blog. You will notice that many of the old black and white photos had people posing (cham - my daughter is going to call me a ‘poser’). Please don’t think that people of our generation are so vain. It’s just that camera films those days were quite expensive; and thus it would be considered a waste if we took pictures only of scenery or buildings. It was thus customary to pose with the scenery as background.
Let me tell you a bit about the cameras we used those days. The earlier pictures were taken with our first camera - a Kodak Brownie. It was an ‘auto-focus’ camera, meaning you don’t need to focus - because there was no ‘focus’ function! It had small circular window behind for you to read the number of the photo you are taking. After taking 1 picture, you have to wind the film slowly till the next number appears in the window. Now if you forgot to do this, then the next picture you take will go on top of the previous one, and you have wasted 1 valuable photo plus whatever you took earlier is lost.
Our second camera was a Minolta Hi-matic. We bought it around 1969 (not 1967 as I said earlier). It of course had more features like focus, aperture etc. This time, to advance the film, you need to push a lever. But if you forgot to do it, there is an ‘idiot-proof’ mechanism that prevents you from taking the next picture. Interesting eh?
The photo below is my first colour photo. It was taken around end-1970 just after my HSC (A-levels) exams. I went on a tour to Malaysia with my parents and my elder sister. We brought along 1 roll of colour film. During the ferry ride across to Penang, we came across this beautiful scene of the setting sun and we decided that it was time to use our precious roll of colour film.
An interesting thing happened in Penang. At the hotel we stayed in, there was a stir in the evening around dinner time. It turned out that an up-and-coming teenage a-go-go star was also staying (or performing) at the hotel. Some of the girls in our tour group got very excited and wanted her autograph. Can you guess the name of the singer? Answer - Nancy Seet.
Today we are in the digital age. I am proud to say that this ‘uncle’ is quite familiar with digital photography. I was probably one of the earliest 'ah laus' to invest in a digital camera. My first digital camera was an Epson which cost about $700+. It didn’t come with an LCD screen, so I paid extra for an attachment; which was a mistake because I never got to use it. The reason was, the 4 pieces of AA batteries get used up so quickly, it was not practical to use the LCD screen; plus it was a bit clumsy to have a separate attachment. I have also learnt how to take and edit my own digital videos. I did all these not because I am a camera buff, but because my job as a consultant and trainer requires it. Actually I quite enjoy learning all these cool gadgets – only problem is people our age learn such things very slowly.