Nostalgia Ain’t What it Used to Be

nos·tal·gia,  noun. a sentimental longing or wistful affection for the past, typically for a period or place with happy personal associations.

In one of the early chapters in my forthcoming book about the business of photography, “On Professional Photography, I reminisce about a time that I thought was my most creative that in hindsight seems to have been overly -romanticized.(And yes, the below photograph is me at a car show back in the 1970’s.)

“During this same time, I was married and working full-time as an engineer at a Great Metropolitan Telephone Company. I was also taking photography classes two nights a week at the Maryland Institute College of Art. On top of that I was shooting weddings on Saturdays and working on assignments for my photography class on Sundays. It was a time that I now look back upon and consider to the most creative—as far as output—in my life but…” Ya’ know it’s the but that will really kill you. You will have to read the book to see how it all turns but I can tell you that this section of the book does not have a happy ending.

These days I wonder that more than anything else if I was really more nostalgic about the art of shooting film. These days I see this with young photographers all the time: Initially they are  attracted to the immediacy of shooting digital images but then become  drawn not only to the handcrafted aspects of film photography but the cameras and tools as well. 7SII-front-501

Today’s point and shoot digital cameras are plastic bodied technology receptacles while even inexpensive film cameras of the day, such as the Minolta HiMatic or Olympus Trip 35, have finely crafted metal bodies with glass lenses and are affordable usable image making tools even today.

There are a still number of small photo labs and camera stores, like Denver’s own Englewood Camera, that  sill process film and will even scan the images for you. Use your favorite search engine to find one near you and either dust off that old film camera or hang out on eBay to find the film camera of your dreams and find out what the fuss is all about. I plan on doing just that during 2017.


These are just a few of the many tidbits from my  book, A Life In Photography, that (I promise) will be published this year. Look on information soon.

Author: Joe Farace

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