Flash Fail

I don’t like using a flash when I take pictures. I just don’t like the way it looks. I use it sometimes, all of the indoor Christmas decorations pics from yesterday (except the owl) had the flash on, but generally speaking I avoid it as much as possible. When I was a kid and we had our cheap little point and shoot camera I thought the flash was a requirement. When Dad bought his SLR he had a separate flash that mounted on top of the camera but I don’t really remember him using it at all. The only times I remember him using the camera were outside during the day. Specifically, our one trip to Niagara falls where he let me use the camera for a while and I realized I kinda loved it.

When my sister found the camera in Dad’s dresser the flash was there and I took it with the rest of the stuff. I never tried to use it though, until today. I knew from my million or so viewings of how-to-use-your-manual-slr videos on the youtubes that there is a shutter speed setting for using an external flash. What about the aperture though? How do I know how to set that? Back to the youtubes I go. I watched a couple of videos this morning and it made perfect sense. The flash has an ISO setting and when you set it to your current film speed it tells you what aperture to use and the approximate distance the flash will be effective.

I set up my film camera, which currently does not have any film in it, to see if I could at least get the flash to flash. The unit wouldn’t turn on so the batteries must have been dead. I found the battery door, opened it up and… The last time the batteries were changed was probably some time in the mid 80’s. They have been sitting there all of those decades and one of them leaked like crazy. I was pretty surprised that only one of them leaked, but it was enough. The terminals are all corroded and changing the batteries didn’t work. I watched still more youtubes on cleaning battery connections and I know what I need to do before I try again, I am just not entirely sure I want to bother trying. Like I said at the start, I don’t like using a flash. I might try to use it on Christmas morning, or something, but other than that? I don’t really see myself going through the trouble of setting it up. Maybe this weekend I’ll try to clean the terminals, just to see how that goes. Until then, I am not going to worry about it.

On an unrelated note, our plans for New York this weekend have been canceled. Not because of Covid-19 paranoia, but because of some back pain issues. We’re still planning to go to Bellana’s concert in Vermont on Sunday. We’ll have to see how it goes. I doubt I’ll bring a film camera there. It’ll be too dark in the room and I don’t want to use a flash.