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Saturday, August 7, 2010

Smile And Say "Fromage"

I’ve been taking photo just about as long as I can remember.

My very first camera was this Kodak Brownie Hawkeye. I think my great-grandmother gave it to me. I can’t really remember as I was about 5 at the time. It was using this little beastie that I learned to have a steady hand… as it was SO easy to ‘chop off someone’s head’ if you pushed down on the shutter release too hard.

Next I was given my Kodak Instamatic 414 by my grandmother when I was about 9 or 10 (judging by the photos that were taken with it). Oh I was in the Big Time now! It had a drop in film cartridge (126 mm), two focal settings and a wind-up motor film rewind. And it used ‘magicube’ flash bulbs – four flashes before you had to change bulbs!

I used that little 414 for about 14 years until 1986 when I bought my first 35mm SLR camera. It was a Pentex K1000. Probably the most basic SLR you could get. Automatic NOTHING except the flash. Every shot had to be thought through and planned out. Unforgiving wench. But when you did it right… oh yeah…

Best darn photography teacher I ever had.

It took me 20 years to move up – and over – to my next camera. Before we traveled to Kenya for a month, I bought a Canon Rebel. I think my absolute favorite thing about digital cameras is the ability to “delete”. Oh the freedom of being about to shoot photo after photo and not waste film (and pay for the film and developing). And to have a card that holds literally thousands of photos instead of 24 or 36. Wow
And I have had a series of Canon “Sure Shot” cameras that I keep in my purse so I never miss a good photo opportunity.

I went into the digital world screaming and kicking. You see, I believe there is an art to film photography. A Zen like quality of patience and practice. Combined with pure chance of getting THE shot.

You lose a lot of that with digital photography. Even on ‘manual’ the camera wants to think for you. To ‘correct’ the vision in front of its lens to a perfect cookie cutter world.

And then there is “Photo Shop” and the many other such computer programs. I loathe them. It is my opinion these have murdered the art in photography. Photos are not real anymore. They are layered and doctored and played with until they are a more a painting than a photo. A representation of the imagined rather than the real.

While I have such a program, I use it only to do the same sort of editing I was able to do in a darkroom…contrast, brightness and cropping. When you look at a Clan Hanna photo… you see truth.

But I have used it to make wild fun photos that obviously weren’t really that way… you know they’re fake!

And I use it to “fix” old family heirloom photos that I have scanned it.

I have several different lenses I use (and there are a few I still need to get).

I have some filters but don’t really use them except for the polarizer. Great for cutting glare.

I have several tripods and a beanbag stand. Don’t use them much with the Canon. Use them a lot with my Pentex for long exposure night photos. That old Brownie gave me a steady hand.

I haul all my equipment around with a Tenba photo bag backpack. This spendy little investment was worth every single penny I paid for it!!

I have several shelves in my hobby cabinet that are just for my photography “stuff”. So now I have to get all this organized and stored away correctly.


  1. Love your insights on the transition from old camera mechanics to digital photography. I wondered how a true photographer felt about digital cameras, and I concur with your sentiments about pure, unadulterated photography vs. photoshop stuff. Your photos are beautiful!

  2. You definitely know your way around the camera Teri. Love the title of your post! Tres chic! ~Lili


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