Jay Valleser .
NIKON came out recently with the news that it has produced its last photo camera that uses a photographic film. It was an end of an era.
There is one aspect in life that have gone in a dash in terms of upgrades. It was only some years ago when boys and girls in some kind of relationships would make the city’s public plazas their weekend rendezvous. Most popular of city’s plazas was the city cathedral plaza with the one and only water fountain.
All first time visitors in the city must have their photo taken at the plaza then. Lovers inked their relationships with a photo at the plaza. Old timers had their photos taken every time they came out of the cathedral after attending a Mass, marking their special days with a pose for the old-school photographer.
The photographer played a vital role in the dynamics of the city and its people then. One can have a photo taken but had to wait for at least a week to get copies. Every subject of a photo must pay a “patinga” as a down payment for copies desired.
Have as many poses as you like provided you pay the “patinga.” The photographer was a witness of so many loves born in the plaza through the lenses. Special occasions like christenings, weddings, confirmations were recorded by the ever present photographer.
Being a photographer was not only a hobby. It was the lifeblood of many. I know one photographer who sent his children to school by being a plaza photographer. I had a student in college who sidelined as a photographer on weekends. I know of a couple who brought up their whole family by being photographers.
The smarter photographer thought of having their portable dark rooms to be able to develop their films almost immediately. He was the most famous “go to guy” in the plaza.
The cellphone has not only made communication easy and fast. It has also brought to extinction one of the inventions that was considered a wonder of the new age — the camera. The camera was a prized possession by almost every household.
It is now becoming just a part of history. I tried asking some millennials if they know what a photographer is and all I got is a funny smile or a confused look. I asked if they know the term “patinga” and they all shook their heads.
I asked one of my kids if they could relate the term “dark room” to photography. Instead, he got me accused of having a life of hanky panky inside one.
The old-school photographer has gone somewhere never to return.