My first real camera was an instamatic. It took those little “110” cartridges of film, and could be used with a disposable flash. I remember taking a lot of photos that had a finger or thumb in it, since the viewfinder was to the side of the lens, and I started out pretty young.
When I was 16, my parents gave me a good SLR camera for my birthday. I eventually acquired a flash, zoom/macro lens, a remote shutter switch (a short cable that attached to the side of the camera and operated by pressing the end as if pressing a syringe), and a tripod. I used that camera continually through college, then after I was dumped by my college boyfriend after graduating I stopped having the heart to use it. Photography had been a mutual hobby, and we took many photos on hikes and ski trips.
Eventually I started taking pictures again, but not as often. I acquired a 35-mm point-and-shoot for taking school pictures, and didn’t use the SLR so much. Then, when I was about 30, my then-boyfriend (now my husband) gave me a digital camera. It’s hard to believe that it was nearly 10 years ago. It was basically a point-and-shoot, with a few extra features like some zoom and the ability to take short videos. I started taking photos of all sorts again, since there was no costly film development to pay for. When we got married, that camera served very well on our honeymoon to Machu Picchu and the Galapagos islands. I keep thinking that someday I should put all those photos on flickr…
Eventually, however, I started getting annoyed with the “long” time between taking a photo and being able to take the next photo, and it seemed like forever between squeezing the shutter button and having the image be captured. I took over usage of the camera my husband had bought for his trip to Africa in 2006. It has a good zoom, image stabilizer, 5 megapixels, and operates on AA batteries. That feature alone is very useful, since while I am using rechargeable batteries, if I run out of “juice” it is easy to quickly get more batteries, either from a friend or from a store.
At some point I wound up donating my old SLR to the art department at my school, for use in photography class. I think they still do work with film, even today, though digital photography and digital manipulation are now definitely a part of the curriculum. I also gave away the case, the remote shutter switch, and the zoom lens.
For a little over a year now, I’ve had a Flip video camera, another gift from my husband. I love it. It is incredibly light and handy, has survived being dropped in soup, and is easy to attach to myself for video-ing rides at amusement parks. And for Christmas less than a month ago, my camera-happy husband bought me a Casio Exilim pocket-size camera capable of high-speed video at 1000 frames per second, and bursts of still photos at up to 30 photos in one second! I have yet to exploit all the features of this camera, but I have played with it a little.
But the point of this blog post is actually about the tripod. The tripod that used to be my dad’s, that he gave me to use with the SLR camera he chose for me when I turned 16. It’s old. I don’t know how old. It’s nice and lightweight, but one leg has a tendency to collapse (or extend when it is supposed to be locked up). That trick leg is missing its rubber non-skid foot. I did actually try to fix it, but I couldn’t figure out how to take the leg apart enough to get at the problem area.
I bought a new tripod this month. It is strong and sturdy, and its rubber feet can be twisted to expose pointy spikes for use on surfaces where pointy spikes would work better than rubber feet. It has TWO mounting plates that you can leave attached to two different cameras, and each of them has a spirit level. They quickly attach or detach at the top of the tripod. So what do I do with the old tripod?
Dad, do you want it back?
Winner camera photo at top by marlinsgirl93, found on flickr.