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Malfunction function

2018 summer water park  (5 of 12).jpg

At the beginning of the summer I had a terrible moment at the waterpark: the distance adjustment knob on my beloved Nikonos BROKE OFF in my hands. We had barely been there 15 minutes, and I had loaded it with a fresh roll of film - but never mind that, I was devastated by this unexpected turn of events, since that camera is not only wonderful but also a photographic summer lifeline. I tried in vain to get the piece of metal that remained to turn to a more reasonable distance, but was stuck with it being set for maximum closeup.

2018 summer water park  (12 of 12).jpg
This one and the photo at the very top of this post are 2 I managed to get before the knob broke (although other trouble was clearly afoot)

This one and the photo at the very top of this post are 2 I managed to get before the knob broke (although other trouble was clearly afoot)

Not wanting to waste the film inside, or dwell upon this minor disaster, I quickly joined my daughter in the wave pool and did something I wouldn’t normally do: I got right up next to people and photographed. Half the time I “shoot from the hip” with the Nikonos anyway (especially in high-splash situations where I’m also hampered by dark sunglasses), so it wasn’t too much of a stretch to just snap away the rest of the roll at close proximity to my fellow water revelers.

Things clearly deteriorated the more I used the camera. . . . . .

I’m partial to the results in a strange way. I feel like somehow the technical issues allowed me to photograph what the wave pool feels like when the waves are on. It’s pandemonium. Kids are yelling and laughing and crashing into each other, tubes go flying, usually music is blaring, and of course there’s the sun above it all making the coolness of the pool a welcome respite in spite of the chaos.

The part of my brain that loves metaphors recognizes how much this represents life in general. There’s what it looks like, and then there’s what it feels like. Oh how we all know that clever photographs and social media posts can make our lives look however we like; we can construct our own imaginary reality and pump it out to the world. But how does it feel? What’s it really like in your shoes? To me that’s more interesting than all the smoke & mirrors on earth. I wouldn’t like for all my cameras to break for me to be able to get that across, however. . . . . and I’m thankful I found a replacement lens online for a very reasonable price.

All photographs Nikonos and Kodak Ektar