ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Accidental Photographer: An Amateur Photographer with a Cheap Camera Gets Good Photos Every Now and Then

Updated on November 19, 2014

Yosemite Falls Never Takes a Bad Picture

Yosemite Falls in the late spring
Yosemite Falls in the late spring | Source

Even An Amateur Gets It Right Some Times

I have always loved photography. I may have even been born with a camera in my hand, though there are no photographs to prove it.

I can't remember a time when I didn't own a camera. I was the only third grader who took a camera on field trips. Thank goodness we now have digital camera because I could blow a couple rolls on a camping trip or at a kid's birthday party.

I've never had an expensive camera. It's all been point and shoot. But every now and then I get lucky and get a good shot. Sometimes you can't miss, especially when Mother Nature does all the work.

I'm going to share my love affair with cameras and some of the beautiful shots I've taken by accident along the way.

My Infatuation With Cameras

Pretend Cameras Fired My Imagination

The Fisher Price toy camera.  Remember how the flash cube moved around?
The Fisher Price toy camera. Remember how the flash cube moved around? | Source

My Very First Camera

My "first" camera was Fisher Price Picture Story Camera. It had eight scenes inside. When you pressed the button, the picture changed.

I was intrigued at how a new picture came up. I think the flash cube spun around too.

I imagine that the lack of new images left me yearning for more. This was only the beginning of my fascination with cameras.

Kodak Cameras in Their Special Gift Box

The Kodak Instamatic always came in a little kit like this.
The Kodak Instamatic always came in a little kit like this. | Source

First Cameras

Did you own a Kodak Instamatic?

See results

The Camera in the Little Yellow Box

Don't forget the flash cube!

How could I ever forget my very first camera? I put a camera on my Christmas list in 1972 (3rd Grade). There seemed to be cameras everywhere in our house, but I wanted one of my own. My hope was for a Kodak Instamatic.

I remember opening up that box on Christmas morning. The camera came in a yellow box. Inside was the camera, a roll of film, a flash cube, and a strap. It was such a neat little package!

I felt so grown up having my own camera. I can remember taking that camera everywhere! It used 110 film which was easy to load. Even a kid couldn't mess that up.

Since my first Instamatic, I've owned several cameras: The Handle, Kodak Disk, a Pentax, a couple more Kodak's. None of my cameras were expensive, but they all were good quality. They got the job done.

My current camera is a Fuji FinePix Z. It's still point and shoot, but it also has some different shooting modes which really good for taking photos of nature.

Digital Cameras are all the rage!

Need a digital camera? They come in many shapes, sizes, and price ranges. Assess your needs and pick one that will work for you.

Printer Ink is All You Need Today

Dark room supplies aren't needed with a digital camera.
Dark room supplies aren't needed with a digital camera. | Source

Dabbling in the Dark Room

A Summer School Class

The Summer after 6th grade I was enrolled in Summer School--back when Summer School was fun! One of the classes I took was photography. This was my first experience in a dark room.

For the Summer, we worked with black and white photography. We had to make a pinhole camera out of box and we used whatever camera we had at home. One project involved using some special camera that took a negative image--the dark parts were light and light parts were dark. I still have that photo packed away here somewhere.

We got to work in the dark room and develop our own photographs with the teacher's assistance. I was mesmerized by the process. Here was this white sheet of paper that when swished in special chemicals created an image. It was like magic to me.

Curious how a pinhole camera is made? Check out these instructions on How to Make a Pin Hole Camera

Image used under the Creative Commons license from Douglas Whitaker

Beautiful Landscape Practically in My Backyard

Rolling hills in the East Bay, California
Rolling hills in the East Bay, California | Source

My Love of Nature and Photography Collide

A Need to Capture Nature's Beauty

The year we went camping and it was decreed that everyone had to clean their own fish I decided I was done with fishing. I spent my time taking hikes with the family. Then I'd sit near the water and enjoy the landscape.

It wasn't until my 20s that I began taking an interest in nature photography. My sister, her husband, and I spent a couple weeks a year camping throughout California. We often took hikes through the many regional parks in the San Francisco Bay Area. Being in nature was a big part of my life.

At the same time, I was interested in pen palling. I had several pen pals throughout the world. I think it was only natural that I would want to share with them my adventures. California is one beautiful state!

I think my hobby verged on obsession when I went to Yosemite National Park for the first time. I could describe Yosemite to you, but words could not compare to seeing it with your own eyes. In that long holiday weekend, I took 7 rolls of film! The photo processing department at Longs must have loved me when I brought in all my film to develop.

I've got stacks of photo albums filled with these photographs. When I look through them, I can hardly believe all the places I've been to and the many awe inspiring sights that I've experienced. I'm glad that I took all these photographs even if I'm the only one who enjoys them.

Flowers are Always a Nice Capture

Small flowers growing in bricks
Small flowers growing in bricks | Source

The Pleasure is All Mine

Taking Photographs for Myself

In my early years, I took photos so I share an experience with others. Now I take pictures for my own pleasure. Family members think I'm a little crazy when I grab my camera to capture the sunset, a flower bloom, or a little bird. I get asked "What are you going to do with them?" They don't really get it. That's okay. They have some hobbies that I can't figure out either.

I get pleasure from the chase. I like seeing something in the yard and then running back in to find my camera. It's a challenge to try to capture the image. And, I love coming back inside, hooking my camera up to my computer, and finding that out of the twenty or so shots (thank goodness I no longer use film!) there is one really cool shot. I'm no Ansel Adams, that's for sure! But, I enjoy it none-the-less.

Mountain Light: In Search of the Dynamic Landscape
Mountain Light: In Search of the Dynamic Landscape

This is one of the most beautiful photography books. Galen Rowell had a special gift with cameras. Some of his best are on display in this volume.

 

Nature Photography At It's Best

Galen Rowell was from the San Francisco Bay Area. His nature photography was loved worldwide. He has a passion for the wilderness and a natural talent with photography. He was killed in a plane crash in 2002 at the age of 61.

This is a beautiful collection of Galen Rowell's work. It includes 80 of the photographer's favorite photographs with descriptions of how the photograph was created.

This is one of the prized books in my collection. The photographs are awe inspiring, making you want to see each sight for yourself.

Lights, Camera, Action

Dreaded garden weed, dandelions, are great subjects for photos
Dreaded garden weed, dandelions, are great subjects for photos | Source

Do you enjoy photography?

See results

Photography is a popular hobby. Just look at all the photos that can be found on social media. But [gasp!] some folks don't even own a camera or a phone with a camera!

Are you like me and can never be far from your camera for fear of missing something? Or, what you rather there were no cameras around period?

****My Photograph Collection****

Some Of My Early Shots - At least I was trying

Click thumbnail to view full-size
The Golden Gate Bridge, School Field Trip, 6h Grade.  Taken on a 110 Camera.The school yard across the street.  Taken in Summer School, 1975.  I developed this myself.A camping trip to Blue Lake, California, ca 1977. Taken on a 110 camera.My dog, Shaunee, on a camping trip in 1978.  Taken on the Kodak Handle camera.Butte Lake, California, just before a storm, ca 1983.  Taken on a Kodak Disk camera.
The Golden Gate Bridge, School Field Trip, 6h Grade.  Taken on a 110 Camera.
The Golden Gate Bridge, School Field Trip, 6h Grade. Taken on a 110 Camera. | Source
The school yard across the street.  Taken in Summer School, 1975.  I developed this myself.
The school yard across the street. Taken in Summer School, 1975. I developed this myself. | Source
A camping trip to Blue Lake, California, ca 1977. Taken on a 110 camera.
A camping trip to Blue Lake, California, ca 1977. Taken on a 110 camera. | Source
My dog, Shaunee, on a camping trip in 1978.  Taken on the Kodak Handle camera.
My dog, Shaunee, on a camping trip in 1978. Taken on the Kodak Handle camera. | Source
Butte Lake, California, just before a storm, ca 1983.  Taken on a Kodak Disk camera.
Butte Lake, California, just before a storm, ca 1983. Taken on a Kodak Disk camera. | Source

Creature Shots - From Pets to Pests

Click thumbnail to view full-size
My sweet Sierra in her favorite sun spot.A butterfly landing on the potted plants in the gardenA damselfly in the hydrangeasA jay caught ready to take offMy little burrower, Misha, hiding under her favorite blanket
My sweet Sierra in her favorite sun spot.
My sweet Sierra in her favorite sun spot. | Source
A butterfly landing on the potted plants in the garden
A butterfly landing on the potted plants in the garden | Source
A damselfly in the hydrangeas
A damselfly in the hydrangeas | Source
A jay caught ready to take off
A jay caught ready to take off | Source
My little burrower, Misha, hiding under her favorite blanket
My little burrower, Misha, hiding under her favorite blanket | Source

California Sights - My beautiful state

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Looking in on Mt. ShastaBeach near Muir WoodsEarly morning, my backyardA lake in the Sierra NevadasRainbow at the base of Bridal Veil Falls, Yosemite National Park
Looking in on Mt. Shasta
Looking in on Mt. Shasta | Source
Beach near Muir Woods
Beach near Muir Woods | Source
Early morning, my backyard
Early morning, my backyard | Source
A lake in the Sierra Nevadas
A lake in the Sierra Nevadas | Source
Rainbow at the base of Bridal Veil Falls, Yosemite National Park
Rainbow at the base of Bridal Veil Falls, Yosemite National Park | Source

Plants and Flowers - Nature Close Up

Click thumbnail to view full-size
A yellow rose leans towards the sunIvy leaf slips through our fenceA pink rose hiding in the bushMagenta buds on our pine treeAn Azalea bloom
A yellow rose leans towards the sun
A yellow rose leans towards the sun | Source
Ivy leaf slips through our fence
Ivy leaf slips through our fence | Source
A pink rose hiding in the bush
A pink rose hiding in the bush | Source
Magenta buds on our pine tree
Magenta buds on our pine tree | Source
An Azalea bloom
An Azalea bloom | Source

It was my pleasure to show you my photographs. I hope you enjoyed them.

Thank You For Stopping By

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • poetryman6969 profile image

      poetryman6969 2 years ago

      We no longer own a camera in our house. We just use our phones.

    • MelRootsNWrites profile image
      Author

      Melody Lassalle 2 years ago from California

      paperfacets, Thanks for your comments! Digital photographs really is cheaper and it's easier to weed out the good from the bad. I remember taking a trip to Yosemite in the 1980s and taking 7 rolls of film! Now, it's just a matter of making sure you have enough memory on your memory card.

    • paperfacets profile image

      Sherry Venegas 2 years ago from La Verne, CA

      I have the P500 and I use it almost every day. I load whatever I take into the computer every day too. There I am very picky and toss anything that is not likable or isn't going to be used to illustrate something on the Internet.

    • Charito1962 profile image

      Charito Maranan-Montecillo 3 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      You have a good eye for natural wonders!

    • MelRootsNWrites profile image
      Author

      Melody Lassalle 4 years ago from California

      @John Dyhouse: I don't mind at all. Glad that the photo interests you.

    • John Dyhouse profile image

      John Dyhouse 4 years ago from UK

      Great photos, thanks for sharing. I would love to use the shot of Bute lake to paint a sunset hope you don't mind. If I do I will let you know.

    • profile image

      Lindrus 5 years ago

      I share your passion for photography. Thanks for sharing your photos!

    • auntjennie profile image

      Jen 6 years ago from Canada

      Cute rose picture and great picture of Sierra. Thanks for sharing your photographs.

    • profile image

      GiftsBonanza 6 years ago

      Such a lovely collection of photos!

    • GonnaFly profile image

      Jeanette 6 years ago from Australia

      Loved your photos! Thanks for sharing.

    • spritequeen lm profile image

      spritequeen lm 6 years ago

      Beautiful collection! You've got a great eye! Thanks for sharing!!

    • Brookelorren LM profile image

      Brookelorren LM 6 years ago

      @MelRootsNWrites: I did a photography lens for Rocketmoms this week too. I've been inspired to go spend a couple of hours scanning some more of my pictures. Not only can they be preserved when you scan them, they're so much easier to share with others that way too.

    • oztoo lm profile image

      oztoo lm 6 years ago

      I enjoyed looking at your photos. It's always nice to look back at some of those snap shots even if they're not the best but you have some really nice ones. I wish I had a camera. I'm sure with modern digital cameras I'd be snapping away at all sorts of things.

    • Brookelorren LM profile image

      Brookelorren LM 6 years ago

      Beautiful pictures. I don't think it's accidental though. I think that you've developed skill over the years :-).

    • profile image

      WateredGardenCreations 6 years ago

      I've been an amateur photographer for years too. This was a nice lens, your pictures are very pretty.

    • MelRootsNWrites profile image
      Author

      Melody Lassalle 6 years ago from California

      Thanks for the nice comments! I'm glad to see others enjoy tinkering around with their cameras as well.

      One of the sad things I found as I was searching for photos for this lens is most of my 110 photos are turning a reddish brown color and many of my Poloraid Handle shots are getting so dark that you can't make some of them out. Thank goodness we can now digitize our photos and preserve them easily!

    • encouragingwords profile image

      encouragingwords 6 years ago

      Oh, such talent, and thank you for sharing your story and photos.

    • Ellen Mitchell profile image

      Ellen Mitchell 6 years ago

      Thank you for sharing your lovely pictures. I've taken pictures all my life too. Early on is was just family vacations and parties to capture the memories but recently I enjoy nature scenes and still life. Nice lens.

    • Titia profile image

      Titia Geertman 6 years ago from Waterlandkerkje - The Netherlands

      Love your lens about your photography, you could've been describing me. I too love to capture nature's moments and I often use my photography to write my poetry to and then I call them rhyming images. I published five little books full of them. I'm going to lensroll your lens to my photography lenses.