I have cameras. They are smaller than spinning wheels. And, they (cameras) are smaller than looms and great wheels. This does not mean that I don’t have a lot (of cameras). It just means they are more discrete. I have a series (of cameras) that I rotate in use. Each has its own characteristics, and therefore, its use in certain situations. It would be boring to wax poetic over each (camera’s) special or general use. Suffice to say that Colleen’s picture illustrates one “signature” spinning wheel, one loom, and two great wheels, all of which take up (all) the available space in our (her) living room. Three cameras take up a portion of one table that does not have fiber upon it. Which is to say, that the missing camera (I took this photo with it) is my new spiffy Nikon Z5. Yes, one must always keep up with tech. It is the replacement to my trusty Nikon D610, that I purchased when Colleen and I first met. I will not be replacing Colleen anytime soon. I say this upon pain of death. Ha ha. (KIDDING!).
This new camera does take great shots. I’ve been waiting to get the red wing blackbird with its red chevron – only to find, it is orange – and shot with my Sony RX100 VI. The swallow? A crow decimated their nest last spring. I hope they have returned to nest once more. Mix and match, each instrument for its purpose. When you you need a hammer, a screw driver might do if nothing else is at hand. Macro? The right lens is definitely a plus – helpful! But you can do it with or without. I love to learn new tricks. A new camera? A new lens? Is it an excuse? Or, is it inspiration to explore new possibilities? Whatever! I rotate and I use whatever is at hand that will achieve what I imagine. Sometimes it works. Do we need all those spinning wheels? Ha ha. I would not presume to answer that question. But I do know, it’s a whole lot of fun to have the tools you need at hand. … now to talk Colleen into needing a Tesla.
It’s not the camera
A while back I had a post of the cameras I’m currently using. Musing, I was looking retrospectively and reflecting on how my taste and interest has changed and evolved. Succinctly put, it’s not the camera – it’s the photographer. You can make anything work. As a weekend carpenter I know that when you don’t have a hammer, a screwdriver will do. Reflecting on the Sony RX100 VI vs the Canon M6 Mark II: both are excellent cameras. The Sony has a greater electronic zoom. So, I can get close from far away. Telephoto! The Canon lets me zoom quickly. It’s manual adjustment. How quaint! Knowing the advantages and drawbacks, that’s my job. And so I try to reach for the right camera for the right job. Had the world not gone corona, we would have been looking at Scotland pics right about now. So many (trip) plans got changed. Hopefully, health remained unchanged.
Take It Out, Use It
Guilty! There are folks who have expensive cameras, (not too many any longer), who have them stored in that camera bag or camera case until the moment comes for taking that ‘picture.’ Not so many bags any more, but I do see people walking around with lens caps on their camera lenses. In the time it takes to get the camera ready, the ‘moment’ is often gone. Digital has freed us. We don’t have to sparingly conserve film. And the smartphone, iPhone, has made it pretty convenient to shoot an image, and video too. I don’t shoot much video. With all the video I’ve shot, it’s now on DVD’s and no one much looks at them. So I’m comfortably sticking to images.
But my point, Grandpa Bill had some pretty nice camera stuff. And he kept it in pristine condition. The used camera market would list the stuff 9+, almost new condition. And Uncle Pete (Bill’s brother), was the same way. He kept a lot of treasures in pristine condition and well protected. Pete’s old Exakta was given to me in a large leather case along with its accessories. Nowadays film is dead and these old cameras are ‘art.’ It doesn’t make sense to have art and not be able to see it. So they are out now rather than wait for the kids or grand kids to discover the dusty cases. And my old Nikon SLR bodies are out on the shelf collecting dust. I look at them and realize that as I moved up through the Nikon line with better and better camera bodies, I never went back much and shot again with the old bodies. The kids did a few times. It’s kind of like feeling guilty about old girl friends I never stayed in touch with. I do have regrets but the future and history shows I was pushed forward. As for my cameras, DSLR, point and shoots, iTouch, and now iPhone, all are in readiness for action at the ‘drop of the hat.’ I carry one in my pants pocket. I hang a camera on my neck riding a bicycle. I went to Iguazu waterfalls in the pouring rain (umbrella blowing) and soaked myself and my Nikon DSLR. We both survived. I have not been bulletproof and I did fry a couple of Nikons (one film, one digital). Hey, it’s ‘living.’ You can live sheltered and never take a chance, or, you can ‘go for it.’ Everyone has a line where they think they won’t cross, a risk benefit continuum so to speak. Meanwhile all my cameras sit out getting dusty and ready to shoot.
No more film… well, yes, if you are persistent. As I have said in the past, my last roll of film was shot on David’s graduation from high school. He recently proctored the SAT at his old school; he was at least ten years older than the test takers. My digital cross over came with the Canon G3, point and shoot. It was fairly advanced and given as a birthday present by Lisa. She did treat me well in those days. Digital was not on my radar at the time. Prices were too expensive and I was too snobbish to use anything but an SLR. The Nikon D70 changed all that. Suddenly there was a DSLR and it was the right price point. The D70 was retired as I shot the US Tennis Open and discovered that the high end Canon DSLR’s were eating Nikon’s lunch. But that is another story covered elsewhere.
The first camera I handled in the ’60’s was an Argus C3, affectionately known as the brick. There are so many still around that the ebay price is as low as $5. No one shoots film, remember? My mother had it and she let me take it to Charleston, West Virginia, when I won the Golden Horseshoe award. Clueless, I shot that camera with a roll of BxW and came away with essentially nothing. Later a Kodak Instamatic 100 allowed me to shoot the tail end of the Worlds Fair in Flushing.
When I made college I was advised by Chi Ming Pang a fellow Merit Student’s Encyclopedia salesman to buy an Exakta even though I lusted for a Nikon F. The Exakta has since been lost when it was stolen from John. But Uncle Pete (Lisa’s) gave me his Exakta. It really is a great camera. Mine was almost exclusively BxW, Tri-X film. After I made my fortune in selling encyclopedias, my father traveled to Hong Kong and with specific orders returned with my Nikon FTn.
Alas this was also stolen at the same time as the Exakta. I was given Bill’s (Grandpa) Nikon F.
He kept it in pristine condition. And a little while (many years) later I was at a flea market and picked up a Nikon FTn. Yeah! I felt restored. The seller threw in the roll of film (undeveloped) in the camera and gave me a view camera for free instead of lowering the price of about $150. Okay!
I’ve been a help to Susan in developing her photo skill. I must say she’s pretty terrific (photographer) right now. I mean to say some of the photos she shares with me are simply great. In appreciation, just before I left for Saudi, she presented me with her Dad’s old Argus. It was very sweet of her.
J’s Nikon D60 sits on the shelf. She’s gone over to her iPhone and a Canon G12 since she returned from Africa. There’s a Polaroid in the mix somewhere. Mostly I kept to the Nikon line and went F2, F3, and later the F100. The Spartus was a toy camera (plastic) I got from Maggie Sherman. She was a well known photographer, friend of Lila (Grandma), whose houseboat mounted upon a floating barge, was where we (Lisa) were married. She was evicted from her pier mooring and called the Captain of the Intrepid (aircraft carrier) to see if there was room at his pier. Yes, she admits she was clueless about aircraft carriers.
Grandpa had two other treasures. He did work professionally for a short time. He was unsuccessful but did leave some great cameras to me. His pride was a Leica. They’re still valuable on ebay but to me it’s priceless. It’s hidden and not on the shelf.
Then there is the 5×7 view camera complete with wooden tripod. It had been in the basement storage closet when I discovered it in Grandma’s house. It, too, was pristine. I set it up and it sits in front of Yvonne Chang’s work…both works of art. There’s video new and old as well as some odd point and shoots. Except for the gifts, I used one and all pretty extensively.
I travel pretty lean these days. No film to claim space, but suddenly there are three digital cameras and an underwater housing. I thought things were simpler but it looks like I have not succeeded. Oh, and there’s the iTouch for the emergency image when nothing else is at hand.