Today is World Photography Day. In this era of digital, the nature of photography has completely changed. The photo is in front of you when clicked. Whether onscreen or print. Now there is no problem of getting the photo negative and then taking a print of the photo going through a long process.
However, even before independence, there were some such cameras, which used to create instant photos. One such camera was brought from Lahore (Pakistan) in 1898 by photographer Seva Singh.
Showing his half plate field ballo camera, Sewa Singh says, ‘This instant camera used to create a photo in a few moments. I opened Seva Studio in Amritsar, which is still run by my fourth generation. All are related to the field of photography. It is a different matter that digital cameras are now being used in the digital age, but the Half Field Ballo Camera is still enhancing the glory of the service studio.
The camera also captured pictures of freedom fighters including British officers. I have been taking this camera to different parts of the country. After me, my son Jawahar Singh and then Jawahar Singh’s son Jasbir Singh also took pictures with this camera. Now this camera has become history, but my family has kept it in the studio even today.
Born in Lahore in 1937, 83-year-old Prakash Chand Sharma brought a similar camera to Amritsar after Partition. He opened a studio in Amritsar in 1948. Half plate field ballo camera is still available with them. They say, ‘I bought this camera at that time for thirty thousand. Then there were very few photo studios in Amritsar.
I took many historical photographs with this camera. Even today, this camera is capable of taking photos in the same way, but now in the era of technology, negative and plates etc. of this camera are not available. This camera is still the pride of my studio.