Monday, 7 April 2014

Photography plays major role for local man

Colchester’s Children 1850s to 1950s features photographs, early photographers and a variety of early cameras.


One photo that grabs your attention is the junior Sunday School of First Presbyterian Church, Truro, gathered on the back lawn of the church property before the First World War. A number of homes on Queen Street are in the background.


“I was pleased when I learned of this latest exhibit,” Brian Hagell, 62, of Beaverbrook, said. “I feel that anything that promotes the history of photography in our county is very worthwhile. I enjoyed providing some suggestions and advice to the museum with this exhibit. I provided some of the cameras on display and to help the museum out I also did some cataloging of camera and photographic equipment.”


While looking over the display, Hagell explained tintype photos.


“This would probably be the earliest type of print. It was solid, durable and the thin layers of lead were available.”


Hagell said he is often amazed when working with old photography.


“Many of the old photographs are so sharp and have so much detail in them. Seeing how people lived, how they worked and when a photographer came around the work place, it was an exciting time. Not everyone owned a camera like today. A camera was a rarity in early times.”


Looking over the museum’s collection of cameras once used by local people, Hagell noted that in early photographs, there were few action photos.


“The early cameras either had no shutter or a shutter that would not permit the ‘freezing’ of any movement by the subject,” he said. “Later, when more complex shutters were introduced, cameras were able to catch action photos.”


The retired school teacher, who taught math, sciences and social studies, Hagell describes himself as a camera fan and photographer from way back.


“I would have been a teenager when I took up photography as a hobby,” Hagell, who moved to Truro from Halifax with his family in 1962, said. “A Kodak Hawkeye Brownie camera, the Polaroid ‘Swinger’ camera and an old Agfa PD 616 camera, which had been my grandfather’s, were my first cameras used. It was 1970 when I bought my first camera from Carsand Mosher. It was a used rangefinder called a Minolta Autowide 35 mm camera.”


About this time Hagell built his own darkroom.


“The early cameras, although less complicated, were able to produce amazing photos,” Hagell said. “One of the major changes in photography took place in the 1990s with the advent of the digital camera. Combined with a computer and photographic software, an exciting world of digital art is opened.”


Hagell said photography continues to play a major role in his life.


“What photography does for me, it gives me an excuse to travel around the local area. I see things perhaps I would never see. I also find photography a great way to meet people. Photo taking is always part of any trip I take out of the province. Although I’ve made no money in my interest in photography over the years, what I lost in money I’ve gained in enjoyment. There are many other people who feel the same way.”


Hagell’s personal collection includes between 60 and 70 cameras.


“Beautiful film cameras which would have been very expensive, are now sold at flea markets for 20 bucks,” he said. “Recently I purchased a Canon camera, two canon lenses and a nice case for $10. I will pick up a camera not working and I’ll try to fix it. But, success is rare.”


Lyle Carter’s column appears every Tuesday in the Truro Daily News. If you have a column idea, contact him at 673-2857.


Article source: http://www.photographyblog.com/reviews/nikon_d610_review/


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