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A half-baked idea.

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The biscuit camera is an unreliable, untrustworthy, underperforming piece of trash-plastic … and I am suddenly gripped with an urge to get to know it better.

Cute, innit?

Cute, innit?

Photography is an interest of mine that I’ve never much talked about here. That’s because I have no formal training, and thus do not think of myself as a serious shooter whose pix are worthy of consideration.

I have a varied arsenal of mostly secondhand cameras, everything from digital point-and-shoots to film SLRs to plastic Fisher-Price kids’ models. I like getting out there and seeing what I can do with them, welcoming quirky stuff like grain, lens flare and oversaturated color.

(Yes, I know these things are not “quirky.” They are the crutches of countless amateur photographers who think they have a Vision but don’t have any skills. I don’t care; I like them.)

I don’t remember why I bought my biscuit camera four years ago. Thought it was cute, I guess. It was digital, of course, so there were no film developing costs. And it was small, so I figured I could take it anywhere and have fun with it.

Or maybe I was gripped with momentary delusions of being a Japanese schoolgirl. Happens to the best of us.

Fuuvi, the camera’s manufacturer, is Japanese, and I’m led to believe Japanese teens make up the camera’s principal target market. (It wonders me they don’t have access to better cameras.)

My first love affair with the biscuit ended after maybe a year or so. It was fun sometimes, but its quirks drove me nuts:

– You can set it to take 25 pix at “higher quality” — an extremely slippery term, in biscuit-land — or 99 pix at absurdly low quality.

The absurdly low-quality pix aren’t good enough to be weird or fun; they’re just absurdly low-quality.

The higher-quality pix can be fun. But if you only get 25 of them, that robs you of the shoot-everything-and-sort-it-out-later mindset that lends a lot of the pleasure to digital shooting.

– If the battery runs out in mid-shoot, the biscuit loses all your shots.

– The controls and settings are not all easily grasped, and the manual is in Japanese.

– Computers don’t recognize the biscuit as an external storage device, which means you need software to get the pictures off the camera.

A few years ago, I cleared the software off my PC to make room for something else. In my messy basement, I didn’t think I’d ever find it again.

But I did … and, now that I’m able to download the pictures again, I thought it was time to resuscitate the biscuit. It didn’t quite feel like I did everything I could do with it last time.

Expect a couple more blog-posts with muddy, pixelated photos, then, before I give up again and fling the sucker across the room.

I like this one; it looks almost painted to me.

I like this one; it looks almost painted to me.

Anyone want some hot sauce?

Anyone want some hot sauce?

Someone left the park out in the rain, and now it's melting.

Someone left the park out in the rain, and now it’s melting.

The shadowy, impressionistic figures in black are ballplayers warming up.

The shadowy, impressionistic figures in black are ballplayers warming up.



One response »

  1. I agree: I don’t understand why a Japanese teen, whom I picture as pretty technologically sophisticated, would use a dumb little camera like this as opposed to their cell phone, which can take orders of magnitude better pictures.


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