Photography Part 1



I had a very similar Kodak!

I’ve wanted to write a piece on photography for quite some time now. I’ve been playing with the art of photography for just over 30 years. I specifically use the word “playing” because that is what it should be – play! If it is not fun playtime then the medium is not for you.

I first started out with a Kodak box camera and a bulb flash that belonged to my mother when she was at school… 60 years ago! It was the most wonderful of toys! It took 12 exposures or something similar. Each photograph was planned and a wait for developing day with impatience!

Sadly, through a burglary, I no longer have that camera but I still have its large format negatives. To be honest, other than cranking the film to the next section on the negative (not an exact science you understand), I don’t think I’d remember how to take exposures with it.
Poof! One use bulbs!

So why am I telling you all this? Well, you may be raising just a child. It might be costly but it will be creative and while it might not keep your child off the streets… it will give them a healthier addiction than crack! A Digital Camera doesn’t need developing so your costs are in acquiring the equipment.

In some respects, I’ve been very fortunate indeed! My parents were not able to give me everything so I can honestly say I started with a Box Camera and progressed from there! In my tertiary education, one of my subjects was photography. I even had an assignment where I had to make my own Box Camera AND take a photograph with it!

Canon AE-1 Program
I still miss it terribly!

After that Box Camera grew legs, my late father decided that I was sufficiently interested in photography to merit my own Film SLR camera. It was a good thing that he did too! He contemplated giving me one of his basic cameras but wisely decided to skip over that and go straight to my next most treasured toy for over a decade… my aluminium Canon AE 1 Program! Boy! I loved it! It was a special edition as pictured!

Well, he may have regretted the decision later on with ever rising costs of film, developing, and printing! I was unstoppable! With a shutter click here – and shutter click there – My father was facing certain financial ruin!

It too was stolen while I was staying with friends and I was away. It was typical “Maid” organised theft. After that huge loss of many years of collecting equipment, including my now late father’s equipment too, I packed it all in and didn’t take single photo for years.

Then one fateful day, browsing about glass topped display counters in a sort of pawn shop, I found my first little Digital Camera!

An Agfa! A modest, unassuming, and best of all, inexpensive purchase! So began my fascination with Digital Photography. A rekindling of an old passion.

That particular little camera was really so poor in specs and quality that it was really just a way to get me to start up once again. Eventually it just stopped working…

Nikon Coolpix 2000

Now, up to this point, I had been a committed Canon man! I loved my previous Canons and even my late Dad’s A1 too! I think I gave the shutter more use than dear old Dad did! From time to time he felt the need to remind me that I only really owned one camera and not two!

So there I was, just minding my credit card, casually glancing over glass topped display counters (yet again), not planning on giving my budget a thorough working over, when out from under the glass… a Nikon price tag jumped out, smacked me across the brow and insisted I inquire about its authenticity!

This was the pivotal moment where Canon became a printer manufacturer and Nikon was just the best (I could afford at the time)! Here was the Holy Grail before me! At an affordable price! CHEAPER than its no-name branded knock offs! Whoo Hoo! A whole 2 megapixels!

Nikon Coolpix P5000
The most ergonomic of ’em all!

I suspect that this also marked the change in policy over at Nikon. Give the poor photographers a decent camera. These days they have a greater range of low-end cameras than almost any other manufacturer. It certainly worked as I have been a Nikon consumer for more than a decade. Could I get a Nikon D4 free sample? No? Ah well, worth a try…

Since then I have owned several Nikons and each with their own special features. That first one I sold a few months ago second hand. The second one, my most favourite Nikon Coolpix P5000, replaced the previously outdated 2000. I accidentally damaged the retracting lens and that was the end of pointing or shooting!

Nikon S9100

The next model, third in line and also a “Point & Shoot”, had the ergonomics of a packet of cigarettes but was a beaut of specifications. Every so often one buys the last one of the batch and it is a lemon which was previously returned. I will not insist you endure any further stories about how I landed up trading it up to my new Nikon D5100 SLR.

Nikon D5100 SLR
My current Addiction

It’s not top of any range unlike my “Point & Shoot” Cameras but I do strongly recommend it. You must, however, couple it with the Nikon AF-S DX VR II 18-200 Lens! They are just made to go together. Sure, you may have to auction off your only source of transport but it is well worth it!

Links to Cameras in order of post

I shall write part two soon!

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