If it's like my computer screen, pretty darn flat. The same applies to the EIZO monitors that Camera Electronic sells - wonderfully professional display devices that are far more accurate that the eyes that peer into them. Even if you are off, the EIZO's are on. But what about the results from your newly printed analogue image? The wonderfully retro art that the new film shooter has been able to produce in only a week? What does it look like? Well, if the neg or slide went into a professional lab and came out as a RA-4 or inkjet print - pretty darn flat as well. Ditto if the photographer did it at home through the scan-compute-inkjet route. Prints from the output tray of my Epson R3000 printer on Epson or Ilford papers come out nearly as flat as the paper that went in the feed slot. The addition of ink makes for a little buckling, but this gasses off and dries out and the final prints are dead flat again. Note that I always store my printing paper in its original package, flat,...

Have you ever gone into a shop or showroom and purchased an instrument? It felt like an important moment, didn't it? It could have been a musical instrument - your first guitar. A wind instrument. A Bechstein grand piano for the porch on the beach house at Dunsborough...

Is Camera Electronic a store or a shop? Yes. Both. Two shops that store all sorts of photographic gear and shop staff that store all sorts of photographic knowledge. Even the writer of the shop weblog column knows how many beans make five. It's six, but you can go onto your computer and claim a bean-back...

And a big picture at that. Newbie, you are not so new as before. You went through the entire process of buying film, loading it, taking pictures with it, and developing it. You have a black and white negative in a plastic sleeve or paper envelope - not in a hot and sweaty hand, thank you. That negative is a precious thing, and, unlike a digital file, can be irreparably marred if you put fingerprints on it. Those plastic sleeves that CE sells are there for a purpose. How do you go from the neg to a positive picture? Three ways: a. Take the negative sleeve to the professional laboratory and ask for prints of the pictures. You can have them in many sizes, but remember that the traditional photographic sizes are still running in Imperial measures. This you may get a 4" x 6", a 5" x 7", an 8" x 10"  an so on. Photographers are dinosaurs, really, but take some comfort from the numbers. If they start asking you whether you want half-plate or cabinet size you'll know they are...

Ah, Grasshopper, you have had your first films developed. You have the scans and have seen the images on your computer. You are proud. Now you must humble yourself again. It is time for you to develop. And if you ever wanted to make a mess, here is your chance. If you share accommodation this will be a trying time. Your housemates will consider murdering you, for you will steal their bathroom. First off - do not try colour processing initially. It involves precise temperature controls and handling of dangerous liquids and is best left to the professional lab. Concentrate on black and white negative development. There will be dry work and wet work - the bathroom - and some new equipment to borrow or buy. If you are able to use a communal darkroom at a school or a club, by all means do so for a year - you'll learn so much that you can bring back to your own premises, without losing the good will of your housemates. If you are on your own, you'll need: a. An entirely dark room...

Unless it is a film on the front of your lens. The newly-hatched photographic chick who has just discovered grand-Dad's old SLR or TLR in the closet ( and had it serviced at the Camera Electronic Repair Department ) can turn to their left from the Service Counter - turn right around - and see the film fridge. Now's the time to start thinking about what goes through the camera. There has always been a variety of film available for analogue cameras. Monochrome negative emulsions, colour negative emulsions, colour transparency emulsion. For a time there were monochrome transparency emulsions sold. All sorts of mnames from all sorts of factories; Kodak, Ilford, Orwo, Agfa, Fujifilm, Sakura, Perutz, Adox,etc, etc. Many are just history now, and some names have been brand-traded to different factories, but that film fridge is still full. The choices may not be as wide today, but you can still shoot all year on good stocks in most divisions. And you can shoot on a 35mm camera or a medium-format camera just like the old days. You can't shoot on a 126...

The Wanderlust shop next door to the Murray Street Camera Electronic shop is a lot of fun to wander through if you are an older person who doesn't understand modern technology. Of course I can get the same way in a deli, so that doesn't say much. However, you occasionally see things that vaguely make sense - and the three big boxes sitting over on the side wall were in this category. They appear to be a solution to a problem that we have made for ourselves - the problem of devices. Now a device is anything that we have that does something - as opposed to some of the in-laws who don't. Electrical devices do things with magic and electronic devices do it with clean and precise magic. If you are out where the busses don't run, however, there is no electricity to power the magic and you're left to your own...