Ironically enough I have yet to own any kind of camera, whether it be a digital camera or not. My friends always made fun of me because whenever we hung out I used disposable cameras to take pictures. I used my cell phone as well but for important occasions a disposable camera was my preferred choice.
Imagine my shock when the first assignment I receive in my photojournalism class involves a disposable camera. I was okay with it, until I was told we could not use a flash. And then when I found out exactly how important lighting is when it comes to taking pictures. Lastly I had to take a picture of a stranger, preferably with some kind of story or context behind it.
By this point, excitement was replaced with fear. My photo knowledge and experience is pretty limited so far. I had obviously misused the flash function too much in my past. I went to Rite Aid and purchased two disposable cameras, one with a 800 ISO and one with a 400 ISO. In my several years of disposable camera usage I had never noticed or cared for those numbers. Now those numbers controlled how well my pictures would turn out in regards to film speed and lighting.
During the holiday weekend I decided to visit downtown Bellingham. I knew I would have many photo opportunities. I could take a picture or anything but I wanted to make sure it atleast somewhat interesting. I got my chance at O’Donnell’s Bellingham Flea Market, next to the Public Market. I was surrounded by great picture opportunities. A man was playing his guitar for customers. All kinds of old and unusual items were being looked at my locals. Many customers came in with their dogs. I thought my best shot was of Orion Misciagria, 28, sketching while he sat at his portrait stand. $10 Portraits $5 for kids, Takes 10-15, Minutes “Not a signature” caught my attention. It reminded me of going to the fair but it seemed more quaint and fitting with a flea market. I thought I had good light. I was clearly wrong. My first picture assignment came out grainy, dark and overall crappy. I wish I had taken a picture of the musicians. Not only were they by the entrance but also by the windows which equals better lighting.
I’ve learned from my mistake. If anything I know how a disposable camera works now, even better than I did before. I’m glad I got the guts to talk to the man and get his contact information. I’m sure I scared him atleast a tiny bit but he contributed to making my learning experience even better. I even went back a second time to get more information.