Wednesday, April 3, 2013

It all started with a Brownie


...no not a fudge brownie, my Kodak Brownie Holiday.

Anyone that knows me is well aware that I will stop the car for a Kodak moment. Thinking back to the cameras that I have personally owned, I can remember some of them more vividly than others.
My first was a Brownie Holiday.
It was a great little camera, and it used 127 film. The negatives were actually very big.  I think I only have a handful of photos taken with that camera. Our family moved many times in my childhood. I'm sure most of what I took was tossed out on one or two of those moves. I didn't spend a lot of time taking photos back then.

It wasn't until I was in the U.S. Air Force in Thailand in 1969 that I actually picked up the hobby and started taking photos of people, places and things that caught my eye. I didn't have a lot of money to spend, so I opted for an economy camera. But it ended up being a great little gem. It was a Petri 7S “rangefinder” model.  That means the lens was permanent and fixed at 45 mm.  It had an aperture of 1.8, meaning it worked like a charm in low light situations. For wide shots and landscapes it was perfect. The air base had a hobby photo lab. So, I learned how to develop and print my own photos and slides. While in Thailand, I took every opportunity to travel off base, mostly in the central, northern and the western part of the country. I visited places called Bang Pa In, Ayutthaya, Bangkok, Lop Buri, Nakhon Sawan, Takhli and Chaing Mai. I took thousands of black and white photos and hundreds of color slide transparencies with that camera. It finally died from overuse several years after returning to the states. It went in a garage sale, but that was one of my regrettable moments.

We had several other Instamatic varieties when the children were young as we needed cameras that everyone could operate, like the X15 shown here.

In the 1980s, I bought a Pentax K-1000, my first single lens reflex model (changeable lenses). It too served me well and still sits here on the shelf, a film camera that fell victim to the changing times.

My first digital camera was a Toshiba point 'n shoot and it was able to take images at a whopping 3 mega pixels. I did take some great shots with that camera. It went to the Adirondacks, the Cascades, Florida, Provincetown, Ottawa,  the Carolinas, New York City and Washington D.C.  It also gave up the ghost after about four years from overuse. The Toshiba went into the electronic recycle bin a few years ago. It was replaced by the Canon PowerShot A630 which is still a great little camera and shoots at 8 mega pixels.  That baby went to Boston, Malta, Sicily and to the top of Mt Etna, Puerto Rico, the Carolinas and several trips around the Northeast .

I added the Pentax K200D, my first DSLR, to the collection back in early 2009. It is now considered an antique after only three years. I love this camera even though it's only 10 mega pixels. It runs on AA batteries, is waterproof and can use all the lenses from the K1000 days.

I do pretty well with the photo equipment I own. I have to admit I have taken some really great shots over the years. I often post photos from my excursions on my Facebook page, most of them are available for public viewing - http://www.facebook.com/jerrysvoice.

Now, in addition to the Canon and Pentax K200D, my Samsung Galaxy SIII smart phone is always on my hip. It takes higher quality photos than the Toshiba did. It's amazing what they are packing into these little computer powerhouses these days.


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