Saturday, May 19, 2007

My Fourth Grade Class

For my birthday, I received a Kodak Brownie Holiday Flash camera outfit. No, not a recent birthday, I was in the fourth grade at the time. I brought my new camera to school and took a picture of my class. Of course, I used the flash because, well, I wanted to show it off. Examining that photo today, I’m reminded of how powerful those flashbulbs were. I was standing just inside the doorway to the classroom. My classmates in the back row (but closest to the camera) are overexposed but even the teacher, Mrs. Bonner, is lit by that flashbulb.

That Brownie was a fully automatic camera in that no focusing was required and the exposure – both shutter speed and aperture – required no attention from the photographer. It came out in 1954 and cost $5; it used 127 film. I recall that it was quite expensive to use, especially when funded by my allowance, and that black and white prints were more economical. I took very few photos in those days; if I ever get the chance to do it all over again, I’ll take many more.

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