Friday, November 21, 2008

The Best Camera I Ever Owned

When I was three my parents gave me a Vintage Fisher Price Toy Picture Story Camera No. 784 for Christmas. It had a big plastic rotating cube on the top and a fogged up clear plastic view screen. That was the best camera I ever owned.

Some time between my third and fifth grades my mother purchased a new Kodak camera, passing down to me her old Kodak Instamatic camera with “magic” cube flash. For two years I shot as many of the stray cats that would follow me home, as my allowance would permit. That was the best camera I ever owned.

My sophomore year, I was lent a camera by my father on the pretense that I take a class so I could teach him how to use it. Topcon, manual settings only with 3 lenses, 35mm S.L.R. with an ugly green shoulder strap. I took a class, learned that my photography was just a further tool that I could use to create my art in my vision. You couldn’t wedge that camera from my hands the entire year. That was the best camera I have ever borrowed.

In a not so subtle ploy to have his camera returned my father bought me a new 35mm Pentax K-1000 camera outfit with 2 lenses. Most of my early work was photographed with this camera. I don’t remember the year it was stolen but I do remember shooting my very first official paid model session. That was the best camera I ever owned.

Today I shoot in the new digital age, my medium format camera in it’s grand silver case next to my 35mm equipment snuggled tight in their cases, gathering dust on the studio floor, waiting. Today I shoot with an Olympus D.S.L.R. E-510, it is the second Olympus digital camera I have owned. It’s predecessor, the Olympus E-10, travels with me as a back-up and is used when my wife wishes to shoot alongside me on one of my outings. Attached to me like a third limb or extra eye, the Olympus E-510 goes everywhere I go. It is the best camera I have ever owned.

2 comments:

Jeff Speigner said...

Nice post. As someone who's been making photos since the day my mother bought me my first Diana camera at a grocery store in 1966 I can totally relate.

beth pulsipher said...

Can can relate too, Robert - but I was lucky enough to start out 45 yrs ago with my father's professional Nikon, with all the doodads and lenses one would ever want. It's all been downhill from there . . . :)