Saturday, February 25, 2012


I love snapshots! Pictures that are taken quickly without a lot of thought is my own definition of a snapshot. But this may not be the best definition. Snapshots may be better defined by the subject matter, and the degree of just one element - "love" which the picture contains. In a great snapshot, there may be little if any technical skill, and normally the equipment would be a simple point and shoot camera, but my belief is that love is the single most important ingredient - snapshots are made simply because the photographer "loves" the people or pets that end up in the picture, or because (s)he "loves" the particular place.

I've included here a picture of one of the most loved snapshot cameras of the film era, along with a picture taken with that camera. The Olympus Trip 35 got everything just right - absolute bare bones simplicity, with automatic exposure that used the photocell arrangement that encircled the zone-focus lens. In spite of being automatic, it needed no battery. The lens focal length was a "just right" compromise of 43mm - a normal view that was slightly wide angle. It was also fast at f2.8 making night shooting possible. Also, the lens was exceptionally sharp and of great quality. Best of all, the Trip 35 fits easily into a shirt pocket.

I'm not sure if the picture fits my best definition of a snapshot - it's not about "love" for the man in the picture. I don't even know who he is. But I do "love" the time of year depicted by the long evening shadows and still bare trees - that being early spring. I also "love" the small town I live in. Also, I spent no time composing this picture, I simply turned around and snapped the shutter.

Now, with film a thing of the past, the Cellphone camera is the new Olympus Trip 35. With most Cellphones now equipped with cameras, and the fact that people always have their phones with them - (that's the whole idea isn't it?), the ability to make true snapshots, and snap-videos has never been more universally available.

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