Oh, and here's something that Peter and I witnessed last evening. We were on the outdoor deck at Slice N' Dice Sushi in Pewaukee Lake, the newest venture of my restaurateur friends Quyen, Siam, and Koson. Well after sunset, the table next to us arranged themselves for a group portrait. Everybody posed, the designated photographer held up a cellphone and hemmed and hawed in the usual way: "Wait—okay, hold it! Everybody hold it! Okay, smii-ile!"—and then the cellphone flickered out a weak wash of light and the deed was done.
And this all happened in the dark. I mean, it was dark when the group got in position and everyone put their arms around each other. And nobody seemed to bat an eye. Nobody even commented on it; the whole lot of them took it completely for granted.
This just struck me as a real change from ancient times—well before my time—when Aunt Gertie would herd the family outdoors and put the blazing sun behind her before anyone considered the light to be sufficient for a photograph. How many old snapshots have I seen of half-willing family members standing in a yard or by a front door squinting against sunshine?
Anyway, no big deal. Just struck me as another sign o' the times.
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Featured Comments from:
rnewman: "Ah, yes, I remember it well—the 20-second nighttime exposures (make that 28 seconds with reciprocity) on 100ASA film (pre-ISO here in the U.S.). Now it can be 1/100 at 12,500 ISO without the golf ball sized grain. May those good old days never be forced on me again!"
Andrea: "Probably it was too much dark for a decent picture, but some insta-filters and insta-moments later, and the art was uploaded on Somebook or Picasomething. Another sign of the times...."
Doug C: "With modern technology I guess it works, but this reminds me of a rather unpleasant job I did a number of years ago.
"The job was to photograph a group of about 200 Dodge Vipers at dawn. I had marked out the area the day before so we would know where to park the cars. But I arrived at 6:00 a.m. to find that my markings had been cleaned up—removed. I was shooting with a #10 Cirkut and trust me, with a view camera you can see nothing until the sun comes up, not even the headlights of the cars. I set out some cones to indicate where they should park, just from memory and guessing. And then set up the camera and waited for the sun.
"Amazingly, the composition worked. My cones were within a few feet of where the chalk lines had been the day before. But it gives me chills to think about it because with the Cirkut you cannot point the camera further down to get that front row into the frame, and I was on a scissors lift hemmed in by immovable objects so I could not change my vantage point. The cars would either be on the ground glass when the sun came up or not.
"These days I could use a digital back up to save me, but back then...."