Of course, a Daguerreotype of a dog is completely impractical. Avi here couldn’t sit still for 10 seconds, let alone 10 minutes or 20 minutes.
I’m having so much fun with these digital recreations, trying to get them to look the part of an original photo…but while they are amusing, they’re not … real.
They’re not pure.
Chris brought up the idea of doing these photos for real, which means getting hold of an antique camera, a boatload of chemicals, plates (glass or metal), and a whole lot of skill.
As exciting as it sounds, I’m absolutely petrified of taking real photos. I shot with film cameras when I was a kid, but I certainly never had to *gasp* develop the film myself, and to be honest, I can’t even remember how load film into a camera! And winding it after each picture? And not being able to check the shot you just took? EEK!
I have an absolutely gorgeous mid-20th-century Zeiss Icon that Chris gave me for a gift a couple years ago. I bought a roll of 35 mm to go in it, an just loaded it with that film last week. It’s sitting here looking at me, saying “go take some photos today, Lauren,” but I don’t know how! You have to…to…estimate the distance, and set the aperture accordingly, and the shutter speed all manually, and there’s no focusing through the viewfinder, and how on earth am I going to take a decent photo with this thing?
|My Zeiss, my beautiful Zeiss.|
It gets crazier, far crazier, with pre-film cameras.
But you see, these are lost technologies that will evaporate into the fabric of history very soon, if they haven’t already. Daguerreotypes cannot be made today because the chemicals involved are unavailable. There is something about the idea of working with a real 8×10 or 4×5 bellows-ed camera, with a leather and wood case, that might serve to connect us to the past in the same way that creating historical gowns and wearing them has served as my portal into history. When I think of it this way, it simply must be done….