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Camera Blues

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Camera design is a quite simple task to do. It needs a dark chamber (= camera) and a little hole in the middle of one of its walls. A shutting device should be there to get the hole closed before and after exposure. Inside the chamber the opposite wall has to have a holder for a lightsensitive sensor, photo-plate, film-foil or photo-paper.

It's the same thing with the blues. It needs three verses, the second a variant of the first, and the third the conclusion. And it needs a melody with the characteristic simple succession of harmonies. And it needs a singer.

Let's get back to the camera. The item described above is just a pinhole camera. It needs long exposure times and isn't very versatile. But if we enlarge the little whole a little bit and mount a meniscus lens in front of that hole the camera would make images in shorter exposure times and would allow usage of a flash.

It's almost the same with the blues. Verses, melody and singer together, who hears that? Imagine where the blues is played, amongst loud people in bars and restaurants, on the street, in front of bigbands. So we need a device like the lens to get the song transmitted to listeners more effectively. That's loudness. The blues singer needs a powerful voice.

There are some insufficiencies of a box camera with meniscus lens. It is not compact, it is not flexible, it is not color neutral. There are thousands of inventions made which make cameras more convenient. Achromatic lenses that consist of more than one optical glass element help to avoid the color faults, bellows constructions and lens mounts make cameras as flexible as possible, telescopic lenses or folding constructions allow to make cameras more compact. So we have the situation of today were nearly each camera maker with a product palette of more than one camera has at least one product which is a "first" one: the first with calculated lens, the first with automatic exposure, the first with a combination of ... , the first on the moon, the first used by the Royals, the first with whatever has been invented by the camera business since 1839. The hearts of the camera designers were always beating for the idea of making something new or something better.

It's the same with the blues: A simple song scheme, a singer with a powerful voice, that could be boring soon. But in every performance the singer is recreating those schematic songs in new variants. The songs sung with heart and soul will never be sung the same way twice. Since the early days of blues around 1900 there has been grown a standard repertoire of blues songs, but the blues scheme allows to compose unique new songs, and all these songs are recreated as new ones in each good performance.

Since the invention of product comparison pages with user-written product-reviews we know that cameras are not just consumed but evaluated critically. So everybody can learn that there are cameras beyond the own favourite brand, and these other cameras might have a history of camera engineering that is as astonishing as that of the own favourite brand. The other cameras have fans too.

It's the same with the blues: It is a music form and finds its demanding sophisticated auditory. The critical listener finds a lot of artists, live or on media. And each blues musician builds his music on a bunch of styles and traditions taken out of the rich history of this music. And finds his (or her) fans.

So if you have the camera blues today because your favourite camera needs a repair, or if you have the heaviest of all, the empty camera blues, no memory-card, no film, but the Queen herself smiled into your camera, so if you got that blues it's just a reflection of that long history of cameras, of photography ...

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