Sunday, May 24, 2009


I was reading ALLIES IN STITCHES where she is lamenting dropping her favorite digital camera. I told her the story of dropping my first digital a SONY MAVICA which held a 3.5 floppy disc, and an awesome zoom. Talking to her made me think about all of my dead digitals and how long it has been since I have used some sort of non-film camera. I have been toddling around with a camera ever since I was 5, when I got this totally un-posed photo of my great grandmother sitting on her porch, talking and eating pie. In the back is my grandfather, and my father with his feet up and I believe that is my mother's shoulder.
They didn't know that the camera had film, or my great-grandmother never would have been caught un-posed. And only a grandmother would have looked this patient with a camera in her face.
I remember my mother telling me about this family visit and how it was one of the last photos taken of my great grandmother. She said that she always was stiff and posed in every photo, and this was the only one they had that showed her laughing and talking with her family. I have forgotten so many details about my childhood, but I strongly remember this house nestled FAR up in the mountains and the dirt road that runs in front of it. The house is still there. I visited again a couple of years ago This is the side of the house that the porch was on. It is all grown up with trees where none existed before. The road used to be soft red dust, I remember it squishing through my bare toes when I made the walk from this house to the house where my mother grew up. That house is long gone.

Anyway.. off topic. I went from the sony Mavica with the floppy, to a Sony Mavica with a mini cd. That was an expensive camera at the time. I think I might still even have that somewhere. It turned out to be a pain to use. the disc would have to be closed and/or formatted before you could use it, and sometimes the little discs were a problem to use in the computer.

After that one, I went to a Nikon that I think was a whopping 2 mp. It was small, could fit in my pocket, it actually had a memory card, which was something I wasn't sure about when I bought it. The cards were expensive, and I didn't know if I wanted something that needed expensive tools. I clearly didn't understand how wonderful they actually were.
My next camera was similar, to this one. It took great photos, but eventually the sliding lens cover, which also turned the camera off and on, gave out. So I bought this camera which I still use nearly every day

It is an Olympus Stylus 810.
Looking at this today, I see it is only an 8 mp. I know for a fact that I seldom choose the highest resolution setting, which means that although my newest slr camera has only a 6 mp, this reviewer really was right. After reading several comparative reviews about the 3 cameras I was looking at, it was this reviewers comments that helped me decide.
Ken Rockwell's review made all of the difference in my choice for my new camera. Especially the part where he said; It's always better to spend your time and money on learning art and photography, not by spending it on more cameras. AND: Buying a great camera doesn't mean you can create compelling photographs. Good pianists can play on anything and a good photographer can make great images with a disposable camera." I should have known this already, because this is exactly the same opinion that I have about sewing and/or quilting machines. I could make things on my old straight and zigzag stitch Kenmore, that many that can afford to buy that $12,000.00 Bernina could ever hope to make.
You can read his entire opinion about camera choice and photography here YOUR CAMERA DOESN'T MATTER
So, it's been at least 10 or 15 years that I have exclusively used some sort of non-film camera. What this should tell you is I have a LOT of photos on my computer. I have had a second hard drive for several years, and just put in a hard drive with a terrabyte (?) of space. I also back up all of my photos on an external hard drive (once a month) and I have a flash drive in my purse that I back up all of my family photos. I could get over losing all of the quilt photos I have taken over the years, but I would have a very hard time losing my only family photos. Some day, I am either going to scan in, or scan the negatives of all of my pre-digital photos. That will take forever, and I have tossed the less than perfect photos. But that's for another day.
All of this thinking about cameras gone by (and I haven't mentioned all of the film cameras I've had through the years) makes me realize that I have gone from big to small to big cameras. Kind of like cell phones. Don't get me started. Remember the phone that came in the bag? We had one..

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