The Camera in Summertime - The Amateur Photographer's Weekly, 1912

The following article was originally published in August of 1912 in The Amateur Photographer's Weekly. I don't much care for the sexist portrayal of female photographers by the Editors, however I can imagine this would have been commonplace at the time. What's interesting to me about this short article isn't just the fact that it's over a hundred years old, but that many of the problems people face today in 2019 with photography seemed to be more or less the same at the time this was written in 1912.

The Amateur Photographer's Weekly, 1912

The Camera in Summer-time

By the Editors

IT is an undoubted fact that the camera is constantly gaining in popularity with the summer vacationist. The writer can remember when a few years ago the man who carried a camera around with him was a personage of note, being in possession of a novelty and greatly in demand, continually being begged to photograph this group or that. The other day, however, the writer went out for a walk with some party people of all ages and natures, and when the end of the tramp was reached, all of us were grouped on a big rock to "have our pictures taken," and the entire group had to hold their poses while one poor man made photographs on some seventeen different cameras belonging to various members of the gathering. There were cameras of all makes and sizes, ranging from a 2A Brownie to a 5x7 Reflex. One can draw quite a moral from this when one thinks of the many pleasant memories that will be engendered in the future by those seventeen films and plates.

  It is funny, too, when you see the things people will do at times when they grow careless or forgetful with their cameras or appurtenances. One young lady whose photographic experience had not been very great, unintentionally committed a rather expensive error some days ago. Our party were out in some five or six canoes on the Deleware river, where, by the way, some exceptionally beautiful views may be obtained. The young lady in question was minding the camera of her escort, while he was laboring with the paddle. Also she had in her lap a brand new film for which her companion had just expended about 75 cents. She was looking at the film, holding it this way and that all of a sudden we in the other boats heard a wail of distress, "Oh! I dropped it. Will it hurt?" By that time the film was reposing some twenty feet below on the bottom of the river. She will not hear the last of that for many a day.

  Another girl of our acquaintance had been amusing herself taking a number of pictures with a box camera. When the film was exhausted she asked one of the men to remove it and insert a new one. Being gifted with an accommodating disposition, he complied with her request, but on opening the camera he thought he heard something rattle in its interior economy, and investigated further, where several folded memorandum sheets, some coins, and a few other miscellaneous articles were found; the girl had evidently been using it as a chatelaine.

   Just the same when one stops to consider the number of people who make photographs in the summer time, many of whom have never even had a camera in their hands before, the average of good results obtained is most surprising, and a tribute to present-day photographic manufacturers.

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