The problem with getting older and being a half-ass photographer is that to keep up you have to upgrade your equipment every few years. I upgraded a few months ago to a Sony a7ii with a 28-70mm lens. It was a package deal from Mike’s camera last November, it’s replacing a Sony Nex5 I’ve been using for the past 5 or so years. I bought both cameras from Mike’s, there are a lot of advantages to still buying from a camera store – one is the classes and ongoing support for the camera.
I bought a nice camera for my son once from Best Buy as a graduation present, the guy practically spit into the lens to clean it as we watched in horror.
Last night I went to a Sony seminar at Mike’s to learn a little more about the camera. I’m very familiar with cameras, not above going to find out what new features I might be missing and a few tips. One of them being that I’ve been cleaning the sensors wrong, I’ve been laying the camera down flat and blowing into it so the dust can just go right back in. It’s little tips like that I go for. I’ve taken many photography classes, it’s amazing how much I forget and how obsolete my college classes are.
My first camera was a Pentax K-1000 my parents gave me for my 16th birthday in 1978 (photos above are from Manhattan Beach, 1978). Sadly, between my boys that camera has been lost 🙁 I used that camera up until my youngest was crawling around in 1998, then I switched to my first digital camera that was about $1,000 with 500k of memory. You had to anticipate the shot, once you held down the shutter it was almost a minute before the camera actually took the picture. By that time my boys were on swim team, I switched the slide shows to all digital for swim team and Junior League those years. I still have pictures of every kid in Walnut Creek, now 25 year olds. I remember someone saying they thought digital would never catch on, there’s always a naysayer. I was all over it!
This only shows pics, the songs were copyrighted:
Then I got an ill-fated job with the Contra Costa Times as a contracted out photographer and bought a Minolta something or other. Honestly, I didn’t do much research on it, I took the advice from a guy at our office who is really into cameras. I had to cancel a job at 5am due to spending the night in the emergency room with my husband, who severed something in his knee the night before playing volleyball. It was a 3 day shoot, luckily I was not the main photographer, but I had a babysitter lined up all weekend for it. Not surprisingly, I never got a call back for work again. I also quit Junior League, he was down for months with surgery and couldn’t drive.
Quitting Junior League was interesting, not sure if they knew why I had to quit but not one person called to see if I needed help or if we were OK? I petitioned to become a sustainer, that was a no. When I bought my Sony Nex5 I was in that class at Mike’s camera coincidentally with a woman who was a big sustainer, she recognized my name. She thanked me that night on upgrading JL to all digital, gave me all the credit for making them cutting edge in technology at that time. That was nice, especially because the end seemed so, “Don’t let the door hit your ass on the way out.”
Then came the iPhone cameras which gave photography a whole new twist, making virtually everyone a photographer. Somewhere in that time we got a Cannon Rebel digital, replacing a film Cannon my husband had. When the cameras on the iPhones got decent, you have a camera with you at all times. I have no problem whipping out my iPhone for pictures, it’s so convenient. People who know nothing about photography starting getting awesome shots, those selfies look better than posed shots a lot of times. With FB and Instagram photography blew up (good & bad, kind of killed writing & photography for a living in general).
Below is Golden Gate with my iPhone, Hawaii sunset w/ Sony Nex5 & looking out from Manhattan Beach Pier Marine lab with the new Sony:
I still like to have a nice camera though, and a drone for fun. I was using the drones for work before we hired two 25 year olds to replace me. Now I use it for fun, it’s a whole new world in photography and technology that’s fun for me.
This one is with the drone, about 800 pictures I did years ago when drones still crashed & flew away. The drone technology has advanced to just pressing the button, instead of crossing your fingers as your pre-flight routine.
Not sure if I’m losing my “eye” as I age or if people are just so damn good at it now! On my Instagram (@hellereng) I’ve had several known photographers follow me and I’m super flattered.
Glad there are still some actual camera stores around, many are gone. Camera and book stores used to be my favorite places to go and browse around, I miss that. Amazon is bringing the books stores back, after they made a clean sweep to make sure there are no Barnes & Noble competition (Which is fine by me, B&N wiped out small books stores first). Time marches on, still trying to stay cutting edge if at all possible.
The Featured image is of Lou Silva & Rob Ryan from a volleyball tournament in Manhattan Beach when we were teens in 1978. They have both passed on, can’t believe I got this shot.