The Yashica635 and why we should give their soul back.
By ver mont
23 Aug 2008
In Africa, there's a Tribe who believes that taking a picture steals the soul, I agree with them when it comes to the ethics of taking a portrait or snapping out there on the streets. The story of the portrait below starts when I was in college. I was a Fine Arts student at that time. We where given an assignment for our photography class to make a review on a camera of our choice. Almost all of my classmates reviewed the SLR! Only a handful of students reviewed a rangefinder, and me, reviewed the Twin lens reflex cameras. It's maybe the fact the most of my classmates had an SLR, and it's not difficult to find. Fast forward 3 years after, a cargo container containing tons of used and somewhat dead cameras anchored on the Manila Harbor, which is very close to
R. Hidalgo Street, considered as the photographer's haven in this country. Some of the cameras from the cargo were sold as displays, and some was lucky enough to be given a second chance, and that's my Yashica 635. From the moment I saw this two eyed gem, I know that this one is for me. With a job as a t-shirt printer at that time, I was lucky enough to have some money to give this camera a try. I've loaded it quickly with some fresh roll, took a walk and I love the fact that I don't have to put the camera on my face to focus on something. Filipinos are very fond on being photograph; they know that you're taking a photo of them when you press the camera in your face, and they will start to make funny faces and other things that are not natural to their personalities. While I was strolling my area, I saw this man in a market, resting, and lighting a cigar. You won't believe me but his glasses are about half inch thick, and he is like from a Star Wars film! I put my head down, focus, cocked the lever and fire. The camera is quiet. I've fired 2 frames and then he noticed me and asked "para saan yan?" (What's that for?). At first he didn't know that it was a camera. So instead of walking away or trying to pretend nothing happen, I told him that it was a camera and I've already took a portrait of him. I was nervous that he would get angry or whatever because I didn't ask him permission first, but he just said "OK". I told him that I would give him back a print of his portrait for Thank You. A few weeks later I gave him the print and he was very happy that he said it's just so beautiful and he is on his quiet moment at that time.
Photographs are really taking someone's soul and you show it to others, but me? I would rather give their soul back instead.