04 May 2009


I get a lot of praise for my photographs, especially the flowers. That, of course, makes me want to take even more photos. I received my first digital camera the Christmas before last and new horizons opened! With the digital, I could take even more chances. I can shoot one thing 15 or 20 times if I want too then delete all but the best. I know instantly whether or not I got what I was aiming for.
Photoshop Elements has added yet another boon, the ability to "fix" photos that are not quite perfect. Some photo opportunities won't wait for you to keep shooting (our little porch lizards for instance, will

only hold still for so long). My little Fuji does an amazing job with available light, but the automatic settings just wont' work well with very low light sunrises or sunsets. Photoshop Elements (PSE) allows me to take photos at two different settings then blend them for that just right in between. (This is called "Bracketing"). I could go on, and on, and on with this subject, sometimes I do.
My obsession started several years before I got my first camera. I must admit, there was a little bit of jealousy involved. My family was getting ready to go to my big brother Jimmy's house for Christmas.
Jimmy lived in Texas and it was the first time any of us kids had been. I think I was in 4th or 5th grade. The point here, is that Paula who is two and a half years older than me, got a camera for the trip. I don't remember what the details were about it, but it was a proper 35 mil, camera and it took great photos. I am surprised my eyes did not turn permanently green with envy. I wanted a camera sooo bad. I tried everything I could think of to convince my Dad that I was too "old enough" and "Careful enough" to be trusted with such a treasure. No dice, it didn't work. Paula was wise enough not to
let me use hers. (In retrospect, my Dad was right, I really wasn't very careful with things back then).
This was one of those little things that makes a big difference. If I had got my own way back then, the camera probably would have become just one more thing that I tired of and that would have been that. When we returned to Utah after the trip, my obsession did not go away. Since I didn't have a camera, I found a book in the library that told how to make one from a box, or how to use the sun to take photos of leaves, (wish I knew the name of that book now, I would love to see it again). I did not
have the film or photographic paper that were needed, but I didn't let that stop me. My imagination supplied all I needed. I did come up with some rather nice leaf prints by placing them on construction paper in a sunny spot on the front porch for a couple of weeks.
Fast forward to the summer I turned 13. My Dad and big brother Pete were replacing the roof on the garage and Dad "needed a helper". He offered to buy me a camera of my own if I would clean up the shingles and old nails as they tossed them down.
You bet I would! I earned a Kodak 110 Instamatic
camera. It came in a display box with a role of film and flash cubes. (Do you remember flash cubes?)
Watch out Ansel Adams, a photographer is born.
Dad was not in the habit of bribing us to work, if he told us to do it, we were expected to do it with a smile on our faces. We were a family and we all worked together to accomplish things. Most of the time I was growing up, we did not even get an allowance. When we did, it was not associated with chores, we did them regardless. It had not occurred to me until just now to wonder why he "paid" me to help with the garage. Not only that, but I think the
cost of the camera was probably out of proportion to the amount of work I did. The only thing I can come up with is that Dad knew I would appreciate it more if I earned it. He was right.
My Father was also obsessed with photography in all of it's forms. Most of the cameras pictured on these pages were his. I have, literally, hundreds of slides that he took when we were growing up. He died December 30th the same year I received that first camera. The last pictures we have of him were taken with it.
The following year, Mom and I went to California to
visit Aunt Bonnie. My little Instamatic and Mom's camera took 13 rolls of film between us. Then during our tour of Universal Studios, my lens jammed. The man at the camera repair shop sadly informed us that those cameras were not repairable. His exact words were something like, "The only way possible would be to use a sledge hammer and some really good glue". I was crestfallen.
Within a couple of months, my babysitting money went to buy a Polaroid at a yard sell and I was back in business. I could not take as many photos, there were only 8 photos in a cartridge and the cartridges
were not cheap. You did not have to pay for developing, but I think it still worked out more expensive that way. It didn't matter, I could take pictures again.
That Polaroid (not the lovely model in the photo) lasted until I signed up for a photography course at Weber State College. When I told Mom that I was going to the pawn shop to see if I could get a good used 35 mil camera, she gave me one of Dad's Petri cameras. I still have it, it's case, two lens, and the flash. This is the camera in the first photo. I was an art major with a photography emphasis for one
year. I loved it. I carried that camera all over the world. I took photos in Morocco and of Stone Henge with it. Mostly black and white. I Still love Black and White photos. I chronicled my families growth with it. As time went on, life got busier, and the Petri did way quite a bit. Slowly, it started to stay home more and more. My Sweet Hubby had a great camera and a wonderful eye for photos. (He is the only one who can consistently get good photos of me) my obsession lay dormant.
Then the Fuji arrived! The fun is just beginning. The collection from Photo #1. The Petri. #2. is an old German camera from World War II. #3 is I believe, a "Baby Brownie" that was my Husbands first camera. #4. The Argoflex belonged to his Mother. One of the sweetest ladies that ever lived. I can just see her holding this. #5. Keystone Capri 8mm movie camera. It was operated with a hand crank. I have several films my Dad made with this, but no way to watch them. Knowing him, they could be anything so I would like to see what is on them before I have them copied to disk. #5. Nikon One Touch Zoom 90s, sitting on the dashboard of the camper van. #6. Cake I decorated with a camera, told you I was obsessed. #7. Dad's old box camera with a photo of my Mom when she graduated from High School. #8. Part of the box, the instruction manual and a Kodak Magazine that came with the box camera when it was new. I did have the entire box with all this stuff in it, but it was attacked by mildew in Great Britain, the box fell apart. I am so glad that all it got was the box. #9. Pride of the collection. This is a Polaroid Land Camera, complete with it's case, flash, diffuser, and a lens filter. I researched it on line and found out it was produced in the 1950's. I think this is one of the most beautiful pieces of engineering ever. It is also from my Dad's collection.
What are you obsessed with?


  1. Photography is LIFE. Those old cameras are so beautiful, and look even nicer with the family stories in mind!

  2. All that time I worked under you and never knew you were soooooo interested in photography...we could have had even more fun together! I love photoshop too. That's what I use to make our Christmas cards. I usually take the pictures in my basement, ha ha.

  3. Oh Kat these are wonderful!! I had a Brownie as a child and my Father was a photographer - for fun - but taught me alot! I just bought myslef a good digital camera too - a Canon - loooove it! Have you checked out picnik.com - lots of fun there!!
    Thank you for popping by my blog!

  4. "Photography is LIFE. Those old cameras are so beautiful, and look even nicer with the family stories in mind!" Agreed!!


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