Boy with a camera

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  • Year when photo was taken:
    1922
    Country name at time of photo:
    Romania
    Country name today:
    Romania

In 1943 I had my own camera, I got it as a birthday present from my uncle, my cousins' father, uncle Wili. My mother said that the photography misbecame for a girl. But I wished a camera. Agi and Evi knew this, and they told their father. It was made by the Agfa company, it was like an accordion and I think that was a 6x6 format camera. It was exactly like the one in the picture. This is not one of my photos. I have it from my husband, but I don't know who is in it.

This was a simple camera, it was probably made here, it was an Agfa if I remember correctly, but I don't really know. There were some gadgets on it with which you were able to set the lighting, depending on the brightness, sunlight or shadow. On the right hand side there's a ball on the end of a rod, you had to push it in the whole, the focus opened and you could expose. The bellows was made of canvas, made from a thicker material. The camera itself wasn't heavy. When we didn't use it, we pushed up the plate on the bottom, it closed and it became a square shaped box. If the film became full, we took it to the photographer. He took it out, asked us what size do we prefer, and then he told us when to come back for it. When he finished it, he gave us back the film and the photos. It was possible to enlarge these original pictures, but they weren't too sharp. This picture was taken by a photographer with a better camera.

I could make 12 small photos with my camera. It had to be operated with a long wiry thing [the cable-release], which I had to push and exposed this way. And how I rejoiced at my camera… I liked to take a photo about everything what lived and moved. I wanted to record everything and I took a plenty of photos. I think that I had some rolls of film which remained undeveloped. The camera had a brochure in his box, and I joined the instructions. The first few photos were unsuccessful, because I didn't open the diaphragm correctly. And sometime the camera or the subject moved. It was forbidden to move, because otherwise the photo became obscured. The camera wasn't so good like these from now, that you could move because it caught you in a split second, and I learnt this from my experience.

We got the films from Varad, from the studio where they developed it. That studio was in the main street. We took the film out, we stuck it and we rolled up in silver foil. We took the film to the photographer, he removed it [from the silver foil] and he developed and enlarged it. And he made so many prints, how many we needed. There was a young man in the studio where they developed the films and he gave me some advises when he saw the unsuccessful photos. I think that I enjoyed my camera more than everything.

Interview details

Interviewee: Anna Eva Gaspar
Interviewer:
Zsolt Orban and Ildiko Molnar
Month of interview:
March
Year of interview:
2005
Marosvasarhely, Romania

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