I updated my Facebook profile photo this week. Inspired, I took a self-portrait with Dad’s old camera, an Asahi Optical Co. Pentax Spotmatic II with attached Asahi SMC Takumar 50mm f/1.4 lens, as a prop. The camera-generated a few questions on Facebook, so I’m following up with a post about the camera.
A man’s dreams are an index to his greatness. Zadok Rabinowitz
When I was a boy, Dad bought the Asahi Pentax Spotmatic II. I don’t remember too much about the camera, but I do know that this camera or a Polaroid camera was the family camera. Dad took many photos on family vacations, or when he would drive us on an adventure around the island, in whichever one we were living. We moved around the British West Indies quite a bit.
I’m not sure how I obtained the camera — perhaps my mom sent it to me, or maybe it was my dad — but I do know why I keep it; nostalgia.
I know what it’s like being a new parent and wanting to capture every moment of your child’s early life. I know I did. I imagine Dad running around behind myself or my younger brothers (or maybe Mom) taking photos of us playing on the beach in Bequia or riding our bikes for the first time. I’m sure my mom has those photos hidden away somewhere.
I think it’s interesting that Dad’s used a Pentax. I took a film photography course in college circa 1988, and I bought my first film camera; a Pentax P3. I remember being in love with black and white photography1 and the process of developing the film. I spent hours in the darkroom inhaling smelly chemicals. I think Bhavna has some negatives from those days stored in the basement. Time to do some spelunking.
- Was it Kodak Tri-X? ↩