Sunday, January 17, 2016

All About the Camera

Let's talk cameras, today. I am always in awe of my blogger friends' photography, imagining that you  have state-of-the art photo equipment and always wondering "how'd they do that?" when you show us astounding photos on your blog. Sometimes we mention the camera we are using, even embarrassingly mentioning, "oh by the way, I forgot my real camera, so I resorted to my iPhone or Android."

 I thought it might be fun to trace my photo journey, for we have all come a long way.

Photo compliments of eBay

I began taking photos very young. My mother would let me use her camera dating to the 1940s. I have vague memories of the pictures that I took with this camera, but it was the family camera for a long time. Of course, we didn't take as many photos as we do today and they were in back and white. We'd shoot a roll of film and mom would take it to the local pharmacy to have to film developed, which usually took a week to get it back. 

Some of the photos would be blurry. Some would be under exposed or over exposed. But we were thrilled and didn't know any better, nor did we have the equipment to edit, fix, or repair a bad shot. 

eBay photo
My next camera was Kodak Instamatic, a Christmas gift.

eBay photo

It was an upgrade for sure because it had flash and I could take photos inside.

I had pen-pals and we wrote a lot of letters back and forth and exchanged a lot of photos over the years, I sent photos mostly of my horses and cat.

I bought my Pentax Spotmatic used for $125.00 when I had my first teaching job in 1971. I used it for decades. It went every where with me, capturing my life, preserving so many memories. 

I knew all about film speed, ISO, aperture, depth of field, shutter speed. I didn't know about the auto vs. manual switch, though it has that feature. I always shot in manual, using the internal light meter to get the correct exposure. For the most part, the camera never failed me.

I learned a lot about photography from my pal who was doing rodeo photography. I tagged along with her often, though I was never brave enough to get into the arena to photograph the bull riders. She was slim and quick on her feet and clever enough to talk the ring supervisor into letting a woman into the arena. She was good.

My Pentax traveled to England twice, Ireland, and Scotland with me. I purchased a second camera to travel with, a small point and shoot Nikon that was lighter to carry and easier to use, For the third trip to Scotland and a return trip to England I went digital.  I loved the little digital point and shot that had 8 mega pixels, but I also traveled with the Pentax.

Well, now, you all have probably taken that same journey moving from camera to camera as the technology changes so quickly. I put away the Pentax to begin the digital journey. Eventually I made the big step to the Cannon Rebel, a DSLR (digital single lens reflex). While we don't have to hassle with film anymore, we do need the technology to create our photos which means a computer, apps, and an ability to keep up with the always changing technology.  My DSLR is 12 mega pixels and I have fallen behind in that race, one that I don't really feel the need to keep up with, nor can I afford to. My Pentax lasted me for 30 years. Now as technology advances, we could be buying a new DSLR every few years. Nikon advertises a wireless one, making uploading from anywhere to anywhere easy. Do I need that technology? And the new cameras have 18 mega pixels, but can the naked eye process that finite imaging?

But let me tell you about my new fav. Look at this gorgeous thing. I am no longer apologizing for using my iPhone as my camera because it does so much so well. With an 8 mega pixel camera, it produces crisp, clear photographs. We upgraded our iPhones just before Christmas and aside for other features of a smart phone, the camera is my favorite feature.

It was easy to take photos at the auto repair shop to text to the HG. They tell the story of this love affair:

A new heart for an old truck. The heart break at the end of the year when the Head Gardener's beloved needed a transplant. 

As for the photo with the triangle signifying a movie, the iPhone 6 has a new feature. Using the Live feature, the camera captures a bit of movement in the still or the dog fetching the frisbee, but for a sick pick-up with it's parts removed, not so much. So I have to remember to make sure that the feature is turned off. 

Cruising through Old Town in Ft. Collins taking photos of the city wearing her Christmas finery, looking like a starry night.

Another favorite feature of the little phone camera: shooting in panoramic view, allowing me to get the entire village in one shot.

The camera takes a crisp, clear close-up of my favorite kids in the village.


An impromptu photo of a gorgeous sunset.

And a perfect picture of daffodils (except for the off center doily):

No, I'll no longer apologize for using my smart phone photos on the blog. I might not even mention it anymore. 

Now, I am interested in knowing how everyone edits their digital photography. This will be a fun discussion.

You left interesting comments on the last post about cleaning out the clutter. One more drawer down; this one in the craft space. Right now the junk is in a box waiting for sorting. 

I like this look better, don't you? These are my scrap booking projects neatly saved in their own containers, begging for me to get back to them.

January continues to eek its way across the calendar. We have been somewhat house bound with the snow on the ground and bitter cold temperatures. The gardening catalogs are starting to arrive. Our eyes are always larger than our garden spots, aren't they. It is exciting to see the new cultivars. Have you found any favorites yet? 

Wishing you a happy week. Thanks so much for your generous comments. 

Oh, I almost forgot. I've updated Ann's Dollhouse Dreams blog where I show the doll dresses that I sewed for Christmas. Take a peek. 


  1. I loved looking at your history of cameras. Most of my boxes of pics were taken with disposable cameras. Can we even get those anymore?

    I have a great Canon Rebel. It's wonderful to take pics around my home and in the garden. To be in a public place and fiddly ti the settings---that's hard. I use my cell phone camera a lot and as nice as the pictures are, they are'nt so clear. Hard decision.


  2. Your camera history is a little like mine. I loved my little instamatic which recorded all my teenage memories. My camera which I used on my blog for several years gave up the ghost just before Christmas so I now have a Panasonic Lumix Compact camera which I am still learning to use. For me digital photography is a godsend, photos are deleted that aren't up to standard and I use the Picasa editing programme. I don't have an iPhone yet but I guess I will succumb eventually. It's wonderful how technology has advanced but it is hard to keep up with it all and can prove quite expensive.

    It has turned colder here and we had a fall of snow but it disappeared overnight although we did go out and take lots of photos before that happened.

    Hope you have a good week. Keep warm.

  3. This post about your photography journey was so interesting! Isn't the Instamatic where Instagram got its name? I've heard lots about the Canon Rebel. And I too am amazed at what great photos we can get with our cell phones. I use an old Paint Shop Pro photo editing program I bought years ago. It has so much more capability than I've ever used, but I use it for everything except making collages. Then, and only then, is when I use Picasa.

    It's cold here today, about -17F, a good day to clean closets.

  4. Good morning, I really enjoyed this post. Your cameras evolved over the years. I do not have an iphone but it is one my list. I must admit all my photos are not edited and come straight out of the camera as is, except to resize them for my blog. I am no way a professional and always use the auto setting on my Canon SX40.

    Gorgeous photos, I love the sunset. Happy Monday, enjoy your new week!

  5. An interesting post! You forgot the brownie camera though, probably before the instamatic. Oh those flash cubes were a pain because I was always running out of them. How photography has changed. I almost always use my phone now. The photos are great and it's always with me. Makes good little movies too. And I edit on iPhoto on my mac and pic monkey online.

  6. I remember starting with a Brownie box camera!
    I dont think I have made a lot of progress since! But I do use a nice little Canon now, very simple.

  7. This was fun! I myself don't know much of cameras... I stole one from my husband :)) It is easy enough for me...

  8. The first camera is before my time but I remember those darn square flash cubes, went through many of them and film when our girls were young. I am a Canon camera user and although I still have a point and shoot I used to carry in my purse - yup, the iPhone does a better job and is much smaller to have along. Should mention I'm so grateful for the digital era, film was expensive.

  9. I remember using a Brownie camera, an Instamatic and a point and shoot. I do not have a cell phone and I use a point and shoot still. I also use to edit my photos...all low tech!

    Donna Donabella@GardensEyeView
    and LivingFromHappiness

  10. I enjoyed your photo journey Ann. Wow all that snow in your garden. We have had none so far in Rotterdam. It sort of strange for the time of year.

    Madelief x

  11. I have a very simple camera that has an anti-wiggle setting that I always use. My goal is not to take a picture of my finger. ;o)

  12. Our camera histories are similar, so this post was a nice little tour down Memory Lane. I loved my Instamatic and felt so clever and up-to-the-minute with it. Those square flash bulbs were something!