Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Recyclable Camera Photography

Continuing our exploration of the world of toy and economy photography (see previous polaroid page), I was delighted to have the opportunity to do what all the adverts told me and get a recyclable camera for New Years Eve 1999. Recyclable cameras - otherwise known as 'disposable' or 'single-use' or 'one-time-use' cameras - are those ones you buy with a film built-in, and when you've taken the photos you hand the whole unit to your photo processor, who develops your pics and returns the camera to its maker for recycling (hopefully).

I remember when they first came out, in 1989 probably, and they reviewed one in Smash Hits. The photos were really foggy and rubbish, and the artistic potential didn't really strike me at the time.

For my Millennium Eve try-out, at Cream 2000 (big dance event in Liverpool), I really wanted to get the cheapest one possible, which was five pounds (eight US dollars) in Woolworths, but for some reason I didn't (I think I believed that it simply couldn't work at all if it was that cheap), so unfortunately I ended up getting a relatively-swanky Kodak one -- as pictured above -- for ten pounds at a petrol station, six hours before that much-hyped midnight. So here are four of the pictures, worst one first.

This is Orbital at five seconds to midnight. You can see some big number fives if you look, er, closely. But obviously it is a crap photo and this is exactly what you expect a photo from a ten pound camera to look like. (As with all these, in fact, I've digitally tweaked it and the original was worse than this).

This is another of the rubbish kind of photo you expect to get out of a throwaway camera. It's a self-portrait probably. And it's earlier. You don't get trees at Cream obviously.

But look at this glorious image of Liverpool's finest chip chefs. I thought this was quite good really. A £200 camera would take the same photo under these circumstances.

And look at this fine portrait photography. Well-known club promoter Charles Cheung looks pleased with his event.

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