Monthly Archives: February 2012

A look back at wedding photography

In the “good ole days” (forty years before digital photography) producing a wedding album required different products and skills.  Good cameras were scarce and very expensive.  I used a 2 ¼ inch Rolleiflex that was recognized as one of the world’s best wedding cameras.  I owned five of them and always had two with me in case of a failure.  They had to be “manually” set for every exposure.  There was nothing “automatic” about anything in those days!  Even cars had just gotten automatic transmissions!

Flash units were very large, cumbersome and expensive.  They required a big battery that was attached to my belt or carried on a separate strap.  The flash output had to be great because the film speed was slow.  Film speed was ASA64 when I started taking pictures…which is about the same as blue print paper!  We were excited when film speed went to ASA100.  These slow film speeds required a lot of powerful flash.

Our film was Kodak 120 which made 12 exposures per roll.  Professional 120 color film wasn’t always available locally and it was very expensive.  Film processing was slow…..some labs only processed film once a week.  Proofs were printed 5” x 5” because the negatives were square.  These proofs were then put into books that had to be numbered by hand.  This took time and was labor intensive.

So the “good ole days” were really the “slow ole days” that required us photographers to have a really different set of skills.  We were much more mechanically oriented.  Now, with digital cameras everything is automatic….except remembering to be on time for the event!  If anyone ever has a question about anything, please ask me.

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