I love simplicity and the old photography is essentially simple. OK, if we go in the details, things become complicated as usual. But to start, for instance, making black and white photos we need a light safe box where the light sensitive substrate is placed and an optical system that projects the image on this substrate during some time. After the exposure to light, the substrate is developed and the image appears on it.

We all know that with a shoebox with a hole made with a pin and photographic paper and a few chemical items we can produce wonder full images. But this simple process puts a lot of practical problems. The paper sensitivity to light is low, motion scenes can not be captured; taking several photos is time consuming or we would need a dark bag where to change the photo paper in the shoebox from one certain container to another. But the history of conventional photography did resolve all the practical problems enhancing the sensitivity of the substrate and reducing the exposure times to parts of milliseconds, producing also optical systems that allow large amounts of light to pass the focus of the camera (not a shoebox anymore). From copper and paper substrate, the conventional photography stabilized for some 100 years in transparent substrate, first glass and then gelatin and acetate and plastic, generally known as film. There have been several film formats, today we still have film sheets, the 120 rolls and the 35mm rolls. Some that were given as obsolete are returning, like 127 and 110.

I know that old photography, in his earlier simple principles is conquering many young people, we all know about the lomographic movement, the return of many old cameras but new produced like Diana and Holga. At ebay there is a lot of people selling old cameras and other collecting them just for the pleasure of having this pieces in their hands and feel the old, good stuff, like people who also love old cars that in several aspects are better and not so demanding as the new ones.

I am writing without exact knowledge of things, it is just a kind of catharsis. What I said before is happening with me too, I am fast addicted to old photography in its variety and experimenting cameras, chemicals, alternative household chemicals and so on.

But what is this?, I think sometimes, where are you going with this? You know perfectly that the digital technique is there to stay, even the cheapest ones make good photos and have far more possibilities than the old boxes. And they don't need film, developer, fixer, the pictures you take are for free or almost.

OK, but what is the privilege of having a camera that can take millions of photos and you don't have to decide very well when clicking, you just say let me take some 20 of the same scene and then one of them will be good...

With an old shoebox you know you have, for instance, 12 pictures to take with a roll that costs 5 or more euro or dollar. You will think better before you shoot , you will consider the sun position, the shadows, you need to estimate aperture and speed or measure them, you have to care about focus. And each photo becomes so like a piece of art. And you may have simple cameras like Holgas or more and more sophisticated and expensive like Hasselblad, Leica and so on if you become more demanding about quality. And filters, lots of filters and macro-lenses or wide angles and teles.

I like to go for a walk and take an old shoebox with me and knowing that what I am doing costs money, I must not shoot anything, I have to think before I decide, yes, this may be a good photo.

Disclaimer: I am a non-english speaker. For any mistakes, please correct me and forgive too.