Peter Pickering's Alchemy of Art and Insight

Once upon a recent yesterday, in the halcyon days of photography, life behind the lens was a dance of simplicity and anticipation. A roll of film, a trusty camera, and a keen eye were all we needed to capture a moment in time. The days of deciding on the ASA – a throwback term in today's ISO world – set a delightful challenge for us. Was it a bright and bold 40ASA film for those sunny beach scenes, or a gritty 400ASA for the moody jazz clubs?

Shutters and Nostalgia: A Tale of Aperture and Time

With the film chosen and the ASA set, the world was ours for the framing. Shutter speed and aperture weren't merely settings; they were our paintbrushes, our quill pens. Dialling them in, we'd juggle light and time to freeze a smile or let a waterfall flow into a silky whisper. We'd compose, focus, and then, with a soft click, capture a piece of eternity. Easy? Perhaps. But each shot was considered, every frame a tiny gamble against the light meter's solemn vow.

Admittedly, we had to linger in suspense, with our imaginations painting the pictures before we could hold them in our hands. The lab was our ally, our film's safe haven where alchemical magic turned negatives into glossy or matt artefacts. Oh, the anticipation! It was Christmas morning with every developed roll, surprises and stories unfurling with each print. No biggie? Maybe. But there was charm in the wait, lessons in the patience.

Now, let's wind the clock forward to today's megapixel mania. Our cameras – or should I say, our multi-functional, pocket-sized computers – make calculations in the blink of an eye that we once pondered over for minutes. Instant gratification, they call it. You snap, you swipe, you share. The world sees your breakfast before your taste buds do. This digital age has turbocharged the process, but has it enriched the product?