An open letter to my father
Oct201801

Hey Dad,

Bear with me, as I started writing this for your Facebook page, but none of my other posts from previous years show up, so I decided to post it here.  So again bear with me, there are already tears in my eyes.

We just past the 10-year anniversary of your passing, and not a day goes by that I don’t reminisce about the good old days when you were alive and well.

It took me 10 years, but I finally had the courage to open your Nikon case.  I took the camera out of the foam padding and held it in my hand. I was instantly brought back to my childhood, with images of old barns in fields, the experimental farm, and Drumheller, AB.  I can remember you teach us how to develop film, and how to use the enlarger to bring the photos to life on an 8 x 10 sheet of photo paper. Creating contact sheets, using all sorts of different cameras until we became responsible enough to use the Nikon…

In 10 years I had not held a real camera in my hands, not till that moment.  I finally realized what I had been missing, what had left a deep recess in my heart…  For 10 years I stopped being creative, I stopped going out on adventures to find that perfect photo.  For 10 years I had given up on one of the many passions we shared.  After opening the Nikon case I realized what I needed to do.  Sadly your camera is a little outdated, most of the photography is digital and most of the parts we enjoyed have been relegated to the past.  Although you can still get film these days, and rent a dark room at the University here in Montreal, it’s just not the same without you.

So I decided to pick up and old passion but modernize it.  I bought a new Nikon DSLR, it’s not a full frame camera though, but its a start.  After 10 years I am a little rusty, so I didn’t wanna jump in with a top of the line camera… but then again I didn’t want the bottom of the line either.  I have also enlisted a few new lenses, even though I can still use all the ones you had in your kit, as Nikon hasn’t changed the threading for their SLR/DSLR models.

I have taken a lot of photos with it, all on one 64GB chip… no more 24 or 36 shot rolls. And I can edit them directly in Lightroom and Photoshop, no having to develop the film, or use an enlarger anymore… Just print it out on glossy if you want a hardcopy…  Yeah, things have changed.  But it also seems like it has opened up photography to everyone, cameras with autofocus, auto white balance, auto adjustments, auto colour correct… it’s pretty much all done for you in camera… no more skill.  But there is one thing they have not taken away… for a good photo you still need to be creative, know how to compose a shot… but it just seems that 75% of the fun has been removed and replaced with Automation.

I need to go out and adventure more, I need to get out on weekends and explore Montreal, there is so much here to take cool photos of.  I just miss the adventures we used to take. You’d love it here. I know you would.

Anyway, I can barely see my keyboard through the tears, I just wanted to let you know everything you taught me has not gone to waste… it was just in storage for a decade… but I have finally taken it off the shelf, dusted it off, and am now putting that knowledge back to use.  I just wish you were here to share my new adventures.

With love, your son,
Matthew

 

1 comment

  1. Christopher Koster says:

    I just caught this. Printed for Mom Bro.

    I have yet to Pull out dads Hasselblad a camera I used in Grade 13. It is true we had great memories with dad and his passion for Photograph. Remember the Calendar he made when He worked at BNR. That Photo lab was the Bomb.

    I think that at this point it may never get used as Film is as you say… Gone to the wind. I should take it out and add it to my Bookshelf of Old Literature. as I refine my collection. So that every time I look at the books I will remember Dad.

    Hearts with you Bro
    Chris

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