Sunday, March 24, 2013

Shootin' it old school


...Where's the screen?  How do I look at the photo I just took?  Where's the memory card go?  HELP.

Somehow I ended up in possession of this . . . I guess it's called a camera?  But it doesn't do any of the usual camera-y things! And the chips used to store pictures are these ENORMOUS cylinders the size of a D battery, which usefully enough we have an entire mini-fridge full of here on station.  (Confession:  I had to have someone show me how to load it.  I have never in my life loaded film into a film camera.)

Usefully, this uses all of the same lenses that my REAL camera does, and most of the controls are very similar, save for it being noisy as heck and having hardly any storage space.  Someone said one of those giant memory things only holds like 36 pictures?!

I've taken this out on a few boating trips and hikes around station, which left holding these strange little cylinders in black cases.

I have to . . . label stuff?  Why's there no meta-data?

But even though someone said that these have the pictures on them, I still couldn't get them onto the computer.  They won't fit anywhere!

Maybe if I push REALLY HARD

So I talked to one of the more "experienced at life" people on station, and they were kind enough to take me into this crazy blacked out room full of smelly chemicals.  This room, they said, would be able to magically take the photos out of these funny little cylinders!

They set up a bunch of plastic thingies and trays full of stuff and poured some liquids around, then they told me to put the "Occupied" sign on the outside of the door before they turned out the lights.  She said that this was a very very old type of magic she had to do, which could only be accomplished in the dark.  Weird!

And then she proceeded to open up the little canisters and take out this long spool of stuff, which looked like this;

And then she spooled them onto some reel type things, which looked like this:

Then she poured some chemicals over them and sloshed them about for a bit, like this:

Finally, after waiting an ETERNITY of about five minutes, she pour the chemicals out and poured in some different chemicals, sloshed them about some more, and then she said I could turn on the lights!

So . . . where are the images?
 I was hoping that she'd unravel these things and then there would finally be a USB plug or a memory card or something and the end, so I can get the images, but no!  Now we've got these really long strips of plastic that we had to hang up and let dry.

I looked really carefully at these strips of plastic, and it's CRAZY!  They've got tiny little pictures on them, only they're all reversed!  I'm not sure what good they are . . . I mean, I can't edit them, I can't send them to my friends, I can't put them on the internet, they're useless.  What am I supposed to do with tiny little plastic pictures?

Anyway, my instructor gave me some plastic sheets and told me to cut the rolls up and put the little tiny plastic pictures in them, for safekeeping.

I guess eventually, I can do something called "enlarging" and "developing" or something like that.  Maybe THEN I'll finally get some actual images!

Is this how ALL people had to take pictures in the olden days?  No wonder there's no images of dinosaurs, no one could be bothered to go through all this work every time they wanted pictures.