Friday, June 30, 2017

Cameras - A Look Back Through the Lens

Puddle hopping. It's what my thoughts do when I'm juggling so many things at the same time. For instance ... cameras. I've owned a lot of cameras in my life so far, and these days I'm usually just pushing a button on  my phone when I want a photo. But yesterday I actually realized I needed to use one of my stand-alone cameras for a specific project, so after an overnight charge for the internal batteries, I'm good to go. It's coming along to work with me today.

My original Kodak "Brownie" camera was perfect for a kid. It
was durable and not too heavy to carry around my neck. I
took hundreds of B/W shots with this camera. 

My very first camera was a Kodak Brownie point-and-shoot. It had a neck strap, the photo was framed in a viewfinder at the top of the camera that was protected by a flip-top, and it used film - black and white film to be precise. It was rugged - perfect for a kid - and it had accessories like a side-mounted flash which I didn't own. I took a lot of photos with my Brownie black and white.

The Kodak Instamatic was a revolution in point-and-shoot photography.
Suddenly photos could be taken indoors easily because of that cubed
flash mounted on the right. Each cube had four flash bulbs, then you
would throw the used cube away and mount your next one. They were
really HOT when you were changing flash bulbs right after using it. 

Then I moved on to an "Instamatic" camera. The coolest thing about this camera (aside from the fact that the film was really easy to load) was the cubed flash that could be pushed in at the top. Finally I could afford to take photos indoors or in questionable light and it was a revelation. I loved my Instamatic and used it to death. I know I ended up with several versions of this over the years.

My Minolta SLR camera was really easy to focus and changing the lenses
was also easy - much easier than my husband's older Pentax SLR. I really
loved this camera - took it to some harsh places, climbed mountains with
it, and it survived desert sandstorms. It was sturdy and reliable. 

When I got married, my husband had a major 35mm camera system - I believe he had a Pentax. Early on, as a holiday gift, he bought me a similar system - a 35mm Minolta camera. Suddenly I could change lenses and work with the mysteries of apertures an focal lengths, lens modifications and lots of other things that kept me busy for a long time. There was something wonderful about a good camera that was more than just a point-and-shoot.

It says it all, doesn't it? If you're my age or younger, you've grown up
with cameras around you much of the time. And with today's phones,
a camera is never out of reach. So smile - you're on candid camera. 

In the interests of time, I'll split this into two separate posts and leave you here for today. So - question for you. Aside from your phone camera, do you own others? Do you take snapshot variety photos, or are you more in-depth and specific, using today's digital technology to explore possibilities in digital art on cyber film? Back to historic cameras in my life tomorrow, but for today, enjoy your Friday!

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