- Arts and Design
Accidental Photographer: An Amateur Photographer with a Cheap Camera Gets Good Photos Every Now and Then
Yosemite Falls Never Takes a Bad Picture
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
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
Did you own a Kodak Instamatic?
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
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
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
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.
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
Do you enjoy photography?
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 tryingClick thumbnail to view full-size
Creature Shots - From Pets to PestsClick thumbnail to view full-size
California Sights - My beautiful stateClick thumbnail to view full-size
Plants and Flowers - Nature Close UpClick thumbnail to view full-size
It was my pleasure to show you my photographs. I hope you enjoyed them.