Sometimes you find things that transport you straight back into the past. The other day I found this Ryman tiny memo pad in my very first camera bag, purchased in 1995. It’s a pretty impressive bag and still in good nick – it holds all the photography bits and pieces that I don’t use often.
Flipping it open I saw the date at the top of the first page was 15th Feb 1997!
A month after my sister died.
Two years before my son was born.
4 years before we came to South Africa.
I’m sure many of you will remember the days before digital cameras and EXIF information?
In those days, I wrote my own EXIF manually by writing my settings on this pad when I was trying out something new so that I knew what worked and what didn’t. Then when I got the photos or slides back, I numbered them and logged the settings for each one.
I started using this process when I studied photography through the UK City and Guilds courses which I did at night school. At weekends I would drag my then-husband out on photo walks and dictate the settings to him whilst I took the shots.
The story that this pad tells
Film: Kodak Ektar ISO25
Lens: Sigma 28-70mm with close up filter
Shots 5 and 7 were wasted
And when I got to shot 24, I had to change the film!
I love digital for a loads of reasons – because you can delete a shot without knowing you paid handsomely for it and because the EXIF information is so comprehensive. But, I know that I learnt loads from writing down settings this way – even if it was time-consuming.