Just this year, I joined the local camera/photography club.  Geeky?  Yeah, and so what!  I have enjoyed photography for a long time.


Let me take you back to the 60s.  Black and white film, Kodak box cameras, and so on.  I was in 4H.  Yes, I know, more geek element.  Too bad for you if that matters.


Anyway, I did photography as a project for 4H.  I don’t remember exactly what year, but I had a small Kodak camera and could only afford black and white film.  It was truly a box – tan on top, light brown on the bottom.  The shutter was a slide on one side, and I would look through a hole to frame the picture.  There was a particular booklet I needed to fill with pictures to submit to the county fair – the St. Louis County Fair over in Hibbing, by the way – and earned a blue ribbon there.  That meant I got to send it on the Minnesota State Fair that year – a white ribbon was my reward, I believe… but hey, I did it.


After that, it was a Kodak instamatic camera, complete with (say it with me now) FLASH CUBES!!!  How fun those were!  I used it quite a bit, but by now I was too old for 4H so I had no projects.  I took pictures at Twins games, fun stuff outside, my friends playing baseball in my yard, and so on.


And then it was a newer model Kodak camera, complete with the flashcubes, but this time it could be set for a few different tricks, none of which I can recall right now.  This is the one that went to my first years of college, so I have lots of flash pictures in the dorm and many a fun shot from concert band tour (once more, Geek Alert!)


But then, I was privileged to be part of the jazz band at college (Gustavus Adolphus college) by the way) as we toured England, Denmark and Europe.  I definitely desired to step up to a classier camera – and so I took the leap and bought myself a Vivitar single lens reflex camera to take with me on the 21 day trip.  I had my own flash that fit on the hotshoe, I had a nice strap that I still have today, and I took many a shot overseas.  I enjoyed the camera, I could afford the film a little better – so at this point I considered myself a big boy with the camera.


I returned from the trip just a short time before my sister’s wedding.  My brother-in-law to be asked to borrow my camera for their honeymoon – and his pay?  A nice 600 millimeter lens.  Let me tell you, I jumped at the deal.  I used that camera and lens for quite a bit the first several years.


After a handful of years, I lost interest.  I took pictures to some degree, but when our kids came along, it was more a video camera kind of world, so the photography went off to the side.  Oh, I did enjoy the whole video experience… making copies of the tapes for relatives and so on… but that’s not the theme of this blog today.


So bring us to the year 2010.  Wilma and I had just retired, and we were in the last stages of planning our long-promised trip to each other – touring New England in our first fall as retired teachers.  Niagara Falls, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and our daughter’s place in upstate New York.  My old Vivitar just wasn’t going to cut it.


So there I was in our friendly neighborhood Walmart, in the camera department.  Imagine my eyes lighting up to see a Sony Alpha 200 on sale, one hundred bucks off the retail price!  A real digital single lens reflex camera, complete with software (GEEK) for the computer.  Well, I grabbed my cell phone, called Wilma, and we decided to make the purchase.


That camera has done us well since then.  It has been on that New England trip, it has been to Florida twice, New Orleans, Mexico, San Diego, back to upstate New York several times, and on other shorter trips to many to mention.  It has also gone on local camera safaris where I took pictures of landscapes, snowscapes, lakes, birds, flowers, campfires, and so much more.


Photography may be a bit of a geeky thing, but that’s just too bad for you.  I enjoy it.1 19 bp conservatory  With the Sony

Greenfield Village; Wright Bros. house  With the Vivitar

and as for the Kodaks, nope, don’t have any.