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Bit by the Shutter-Bug

Updated on October 21, 2017
PAINTDRIPS profile image

Denise has been mastering photography and photoshop for many years and sells some of her work. She hires out her skills to help people.

Lynne's Tea Party

My sister, taken with my Brownie when I was 11.
My sister, taken with my Brownie when I was 11. | Source
Our dog, Jean Paul.
Our dog, Jean Paul. | Source
My mom when we were camping.
My mom when we were camping. | Source

What are some of the best cameras to use? Easy to use and idiot proof?

The camera bug bit me at a very young age. I kept trying to get my Dad to let me try his new 8mm movie camera, and being a clumsy child, he really didn't want me messing with it. His solution? At the age of 10 years, I had a Brownie box camera that he got me. To save money, he gave me black and white film exclusively, at first. Later I graduated to color film but I found the black and white film offered some interesting artistic opportunities. The contrast was greater, the light was brighter, and the pictures look better even after 50 years. I took photos of the family; I took photos of the camping trips; I took photos of the cat. I loved that old Brownie. I really can't tell you what happened to it. I do wish I still had it sometimes.

Up-side:

It was easy to use. Just point and shoot.

Down-side:

Loading the film had to be done in a dark room or the first two or three pictures turned out completely white.

Hard to see what you were taking a picture of because the image appears upside-down in the viewfinder.


Photos with a Brownie Box Camera.

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My sister posing for my Brownie.  Notice those Oxford shoes.  We wore those till they fell off.The neighbor lady and her dog "Lady".My baby sister and her doll also posed for my Brownie.The neighborhood boys were never serious.My beautiful Mom on a camping trip.
My sister posing for my Brownie.  Notice those Oxford shoes.  We wore those till they fell off.
My sister posing for my Brownie. Notice those Oxford shoes. We wore those till they fell off. | Source
The neighbor lady and her dog "Lady".
The neighbor lady and her dog "Lady". | Source
My baby sister and her doll also posed for my Brownie.
My baby sister and her doll also posed for my Brownie. | Source
The neighborhood boys were never serious.
The neighborhood boys were never serious. | Source
My beautiful Mom on a camping trip.
My beautiful Mom on a camping trip. | Source
Source

Kodak 110

Taken of myself and my girls, by my sister with my Kodak 110.
Taken of myself and my girls, by my sister with my Kodak 110. | Source
Source

Kodak pocket 110

By the time I was in high school, my parents realized that photography wasn't really going away from my routine so, they bought me a Kodak 110 pocket camera. This introduced the ease of loading film with a slim easy-to-carry, light-weight convenience. I used that camera though my marriage and children's early years. I even taught the kids how to take pictures with this camera. We even started a family magazine with photos taken with this pocket camera.

Up-side:

Light-weight and slim, easy to carry with you everywhere.

The film was easy to load. No danger of overexposure.

The film was easy to take out and pop into the envelope to be developed.

Down-side:

The pictures were small; 3 inches by 4 inches at most.


Photos with the Kodak Instamatic Pocket Camera

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Packing the horses for one of Dad's camping trips.The cat snoozing in the window.Photo of myself and my husband at Carmel, California.My nieces climbing a tree.My sister took the photo of me and my girls with my camera.
Packing the horses for one of Dad's camping trips.
Packing the horses for one of Dad's camping trips.
The cat snoozing in the window.
The cat snoozing in the window.
Photo of myself and my husband at Carmel, California.
Photo of myself and my husband at Carmel, California.
My nieces climbing a tree.
My nieces climbing a tree.
My sister took the photo of me and my girls with my camera.
My sister took the photo of me and my girls with my camera.

Disneyland

Click thumbnail to view full-size
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Polaroid Instant One-Step Camera

When my girls were 3 or 4 years old, I received a Polaroid Instant One-Step Camera. We were financially tight in those years (after my divorce) and the Polaroid film was very expensive, when you consider how often I like to take pictures, so I used it infrequently. Not long after I got the camera, a friend asked to borrow it and I never saw it again. What a shame.

Up-side

Pictures developed right before your eyes. Like magic.

Down-side

Camera was big and inconvenient for trips.

Film was a bit pricy for struggling families.

It was easy to accidentally snap a picture and waist film.

Photo: My girls and step children at Disneyland, 1985.

Source

Graduations

My step-daughters graduation. My husband took the photo so I could be in it with her.
My step-daughters graduation. My husband took the photo so I could be in it with her. | Source

Pentax 35mm K100D

I used that Kodak 110 pocket camera for almost 2 decades before my current husband bought me a Pentax 35 mm K100D. He bought it with a 26-80x zoom lens and then a couple years later another 80-220x zoom lens. I was like a cat in a creamery. I took pictures high and low. We had to go on short trips so I could shoot more pictures. Nothing was safe from my camera. My poor husband was even afraid to sleep because he thought I'd take photos of him while he was sleeping.

Up-side:

Beautiful pictures; sharp and clean.

The pictures it took made my little 110 look like a toy.

It had auto focus settings so that I didn't have to think if I didn't want to.

I took classes to learn how to use the settings so that I didn't have to leave it on automatic focus all the time.

Down-side:

The camera was heavy and changing the lens to zoom in was cumbersome.

There was a bit of a learning curve for the aperture and speed settings.

I still had to wait till the film was developed to see if my settings were right for the light.


Source

Pentax SLR 35mm film camera

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Monterey, California, beautiful by the sea.Every year the Hmong New Year's celebration brings lovely authentic costumes.Flamingos at the local zoo.Geese on the little lake at the park.The blue tractor made an interesting painting.
Monterey, California, beautiful by the sea.
Monterey, California, beautiful by the sea.
Every year the Hmong New Year's celebration brings lovely authentic costumes.
Every year the Hmong New Year's celebration brings lovely authentic costumes.
Flamingos at the local zoo.
Flamingos at the local zoo.
Geese on the little lake at the park.
Geese on the little lake at the park.
The blue tractor made an interesting painting.
The blue tractor made an interesting painting.

Zoom

Ducks in a pond. Taken on a trip to Dallas 2008.
Ducks in a pond. Taken on a trip to Dallas 2008. | Source

Panasonic Lumix 28mm DMC- TZ3 10x zoom digital camera

Panasonic Lumix 28mm 10x Digital Camera

Later when we got some extra money, my husband decided I should have a digital camera (they were all the rage and I was still using film). I looked at the prices and thought it was beyond us. But he bought me one anyway. It was a small Panasonic Lumix 28mm 10x zoom digital camera. It was smaller than my Pentax and easy to drop into my purse for impromptu use. I came to love it. It took lovely photos that I could upload into my computer and send to friends and family immediately. I came to use it exclusively and my poor Pentax waited on a closet shelf for me. Unfortunately after just 4 years the color sensor went out on it. It would cost me just about $200 to have it fixed. Actually I thought that reasonable seeing that I had spent more than $500 for the camera to begin with, but I just didn't have the money at the time. So I dug out my dear Pentax from the closet shelf.

Up-side:

Convenient and fairly light-weight.

Pictures were instantly available for viewing.

Uploading to computer was easy.

10x zoom wasn't as nice as my 220x zoom but wasn't too bad.

Down-side:

Expensive for initial purchase.

Expensive for repair.


Panasonic Lumix Digital Camera

Click thumbnail to view full-size
My husband does some awesome video work.Ducks pose for me on a trip to Dallas in 2008.My beautiful granddaughter poses in the shell of a turtle at the zoo.A friend giving an art lesson.A friend poses for me to paint from.
My husband does some awesome video work.
My husband does some awesome video work.
Ducks pose for me on a trip to Dallas in 2008.
Ducks pose for me on a trip to Dallas in 2008.
My beautiful granddaughter poses in the shell of a turtle at the zoo.
My beautiful granddaughter poses in the shell of a turtle at the zoo.
A friend giving an art lesson.
A friend giving an art lesson.
A friend poses for me to paint from.
A friend poses for me to paint from.

Clear images

My first outing with my new camera was to capture a Trumpet weed.
My first outing with my new camera was to capture a Trumpet weed. | Source

Pentax K10D digital camera body

When things got very tight for us financially these past 4 years, I looked into selling many things, including my beloved Pentax. What a surprise to find that it wasn’t worth anywhere near what we paid for it years before. On eBay, you could get my exact model (without the lenses) for $14. I was amazed. Film cameras were practically being given away. That’s when I got the idea of checking to see how much the older Pentax digital cameras were going for. I found a 2008 Pentax digital K10D on eBay for just $125. That’s less than the price of fixing my old Panasonic Lumix. The camera came with the necessary cables to upload photos to the computer, batteries, but no lenses, of course. However I had two lenses for my Pentax and they fit perfectly. It turned out to be an excellent buy. I now have a digital camera again (if a little older model) and the zoom capabilities I had before. I am very happy with my new (older) Pentax.

Up-side:

Inexpensive to buy.

My older lenses fit the camera body perfectly.

Digital again. Yea.

Beautiful professional-looking pictures.

Down-side:

A little heavy.

Does not fit in my purse, but that’s the price I am willing to pay.

Little bit of a learning curve to use but not bad.


Pentax K10D SLR Digital Camera

Click thumbnail to view full-size
My friend giving an art demonstration.My husband's hands working on his computer.My first outing with my new digital Pentax was to capture some weeds.An artist friend working on a still life set-up.
My friend giving an art demonstration.
My friend giving an art demonstration.
My husband's hands working on his computer.
My husband's hands working on his computer.
My first outing with my new digital Pentax was to capture some weeds.
My first outing with my new digital Pentax was to capture some weeds.
An artist friend working on a still life set-up.
An artist friend working on a still life set-up.
My grandparents before they were married, 1927.
My grandparents before they were married, 1927. | Source

Cameras for all occasions.

I am in no way a professional photographer. I’m an amateur who loves to snap away at anything and everything. I’m an artist and always think this or that would make a great painting; better snap the picture to paint from later. I love that I have loads of family photos to treasure and reminisce. Many members of the family have passed now and I have photos of them all. Photography is archival, genealogical, nostalgia in reverse. People will look back on your work and remember days gone by. Just keep snapping those pictures, whatever camera you choose. Someone will be glad you did.


Fine Art Photography

Source
Source

Collages

Collage titled 'Breeze' by Denise McGill.
Collage titled 'Breeze' by Denise McGill. | Source
Collage titled "Kim" by Denise McGill.
Collage titled "Kim" by Denise McGill. | Source

What I use my camera for.

Besides the obvious documentation of my family growth and capturing moments in time, I mainly use my camera for artistic purposes. I love taking photos of things I may want to paint or incorporate into a painting: like cool barns or awesome cloudy skies. I also need to photograph and capture accurately the paintings and creations once they are done in order to add them to my portfolio web site or post them on social media. My camera has become even more important to me now that my family is grown and I have more time to create and add to my online presence and portfolio. How important is your camera to you?

Source

Camera Comments. What's your favorite camera?

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    • PAINTDRIPS profile image
      Author

      Denise McGill 3 years ago from Fresno CA

      BarbaraCasey,

      I agree with you about the handy in-the-purse models and the bulky and HEAVY good cameras. I find for professional purposes I pull out the big heavy camera but with my family and friends, baby showers, etc., I use the little Panasonic that fits in my purse and doesn't break my shoulder to carry around.

      Blessings,

      Denise

    • profile image

      BarbaraCasey 3 years ago

      I do quite well with my Panasonic Lumix... but am saving up for a camera with more zoom. I wish there wasn't always that tradeoff between handy in-the-purse models and the bulkier "good cameras." Though I see from the comments that many photographers own both. I sure do remember those Instamatics.

    • PAINTDRIPS profile image
      Author

      Denise McGill 3 years ago from Fresno CA

      I love photography but I know I could use a few classes on making my technique better. It's not all about point and shoot anymore.

    • PAINTDRIPS profile image
      Author

      Denise McGill 4 years ago from Fresno CA

      @mbgphoto: See. It sounds like you just named your cameras off like I did mine. Thanks for visiting.

    • PAINTDRIPS profile image
      Author

      Denise McGill 4 years ago from Fresno CA

      @Diana Wenzel: That makes perfect sense to me. I loved having a little camera in my purse at all times. I may go back there someday too.

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 4 years ago from Colorado

      My favorite camera is the one I have with me at any given photo moment. The one that is always in my pocket is actually the cheapest of all the photographic equipment that I own. I bought it so I wouldn't have to worry about ruining my expensive gear when I go hiking or camping out in the elements. It's a Panasonic Lumix. My best camera is a Nikon D200.

    • mbgphoto profile image

      Mary Beth Granger 4 years ago from O'Fallon, Missouri, USA

      I loved reading your history of cameras. I'm not sure I could remember my cameras through the years. Like you I did have a Kodak 110 when I was a teenager and we had a Polaroid for a while but like you said the film was too expensive. My first 35mmm was a Minolta. Today I use a Sony SLR digital and a Canon point and shoot. What a great lens! Thanks for sharing.

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