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Photography

Contents: boring tale of my photography experience, the cameras I've known and loved, a random gallery of my photographs, links to camera makers and vendors. Maybe the best of all, links to other photography pages.


Experience

I'm a rank amateur, OK? But I have been at it for a long time. My uncle Gordon taught me how to make b/w prints in his darkroom when I was in the 3rd or 4th grade. After he passed away, my grandfather and I continued on for a while. I took photography at Willits High School, where I was also a photographer (1 of 2) for their newspaper, the Wolverine. I won a few prizes at high school journalism contests, mostly because I was at the right place at the right time. Oh, well... I suppose seeing the picture and snagging it has to count for something.

I had inherited all my uncle's photography and darkroom equipment, and was able to borrow a friend's darkroom out behind his house in which to put my enlarger, etc. But that was a couple of decades ago; now I've got all that darkroom equipment, but no room that's dark to put it in.

Over the years I've made a modest amount of money in photography, starting in high school shooting houses for real estate ads. It mostly bought photography equipment. Trying to make any significant amount of money at it would probably result in frustration and ruin photography for me as a hobby and occasional income source.

Cameras

Everybody remembers their first camera. Mine was a plastic one that shot 620 film and even had a detachable flash that took bulbs. Then I got one of the original Kodak Instamatics from a relative that had moved up to a Polaroid. Of course I still have both of them.

In high school, I wanted a Pentax Spotmatic (it's been a while...) so bad I could taste it. I would drive 25 miles to Ukiah and the nearest camera store (Triple S) to look at them and drool over them. The kind guy who ran the store let me hold one and look through it, thereby earning my undying loyalty (and patronage for supplies). When I finally saved up enough money to begin planning to buy a camera, though, the advice of friends led me to buy a Minolta SRT-101. At the time, Pentax had not come out with the Spotmatic F with its open-aperture metering. I ordered the Minolta from Montgomery Ward, and used it through photgraphy class, high school, and part of junior college, where some slimeball stole it. Since I had been using the camera at college for their newspaper and other purposes, they gave me some money to replace it (!) and I bought an XK. That camera has served me well, surviving a bicycle trip through Europe and numerous motorcycle trips.

I bought an Olympus C-4040Z for my web development and hosting business, but have found it very useful for general photography. I use it at work to communicate by email what things look like to our Asian subsidiaries (a thousand words, you know), since waiting to have film developed and printed, then sending them by courier would be prohibitively slow and expensive. We bought an Olympus C-400, hoping it would get some use, and we were very impressed with how useful it turned out to be. I liked it, which is why I went with Olympus for my own digital camera. I can't wait to get some attachments to do some QTVR or at least some stitched panoramas.

I've used a Canon A-1 at work, and therefore am impressed with Canon's cameras. Since Minolta hasn't really been trying very hard to snag professionals since the XK, I'll probably go with an EOS 1N when I can afford it. That will probably be when I get a Real Job. I just hope that happens before cameras become obsolete!

I finally did get my hands on a Spotmatic! It's a Spotmatic F, purchased on eBay for about $40. :-)

Gallery

I'm a rank amateur, OK? But photography amuses me. In case my work might amuse anybody else, here are a few randomly selected photos I like enough to keep where I can see them.

(So I'm waiting to get around to scanning them!)

Vendors:

What would photography be without all those wonderful, precision, expensive, toys? Here are a few places to go if you want to see what camera makers are up to these days. It is interesting to see what other things they produce. Email me at lyle@mac.com if you have any problems or suggested additions. By the way, there is a "www.hasselblad.com" but it belongs to some twit who has no connection with the camera company; he's just hawking his own photographs.

Canon
When I get a Real Job someday, I'll get my hands on an EOS 1N (or whatever supersedes it).

Pentax
In high school I always dreamt of having a Spotmatic.
Minolta
I'm currently using an XK-- quite a nice camera, really.
Nikon
Leica

A few camera stores have appeared on the 'Net. While I have no way of knowing which are good and which are money-grubbing scumbag ripoff artists, here are some URLs:

Camera Connection

Unique Photo is where I bought my Olympus C-4040Z and our Canon ZR30MC. I have to say they've been perfect so far.

Other Photography Pages

Flying Pig Awards
Awards for newspaper photographers, especially from small-town newspapers. They have most of the prize winning photos and their favorite runners-up here for your enjoyment.

Stacey Campbell
I like this guy's photographs, plus you can play "Animal" here. See if you can find my entry.


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lyle@mac.com
Sat, 01 Jan, 2005