There is only one thing more painful than learning from experience, and that is not learning from experience.Archibald McLeish
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My first camera was a small box that I got for my birthday when I was nine years old. I don’t remember much about it, which makes sense because I only had it about a month before I sat it down on the back of a car at summer camp while I talked to some friends and didn’t notice when the car drove of with my camera.
Beginning in high school I started taking pictures for the family on vacations with my mother’s camera. I still have it, a Kodak Vigilant Six-20 with f/4.5 anastigmat lens, five speed shutter to 1/200, and parallax correction. It took eight 2.25 x 3.25 pictures on a roll of Kodak 620 film. It was simple, sturdy, light and reliable, and the lens was quite good. Probably still is, though I haven’t used it since the 1963 when I took the family pictures on our summer trip to Europe. A good camera, it cost about $50 new the year I was born (1947).
In preparation for studying abroad during college as part of my German major, my aunt and uncle (Hanni and Milton) helped me purchase a new camera, a Nikon F photomic Tn. It was their newest release and the first to feature their center weighted metering. It is reliable and sturdy, but weighs a ton (could easily double as a lethal weapon) and is noisy. It served me well for decades and sits in my closet, taunting me.
I was interested in trying digital rather than film and briefly played with a Canon G3 which I still have and occasionally use when hiking.
For my 60th birthday, my wife upgrade me (my camera) to a Nikon D200 with a 18-200 VR Zoom. I don’t imagine I will buy another camera any time soon, though I would dearly like to get a micro/macro lens in the next year, and eventually a monster telephoto suitable for bird photography.
My interests have been driven by opportunity more than conscious choice. I love the mountains and have begun carrying the D200 on almost all my hikes. I visit Dartmouth College regularly and have a foolishly large and duplicative collection of scenes of the campus and environs. Sunsets and sunrises, and occasionally moonrises come from visit to the in-laws in Florida and hiking trips. Pictures of Nordic skiing scenes. And lots of photos of family events and family members, most recently Phoebe, my grand daughter.
I have just recently begun setting aside some time for ‘shoots’ related to a specific theme or technique. My camera wants me to use more of its features. And how many pictures can one take from the top of Madison in the Presidentials?
Many of my photos are visible (and for sale) at pheski/SmugMug. I have not set up a gallery here, but I might do that down the road with some selected photos and links to the appropriate gallery on SmugMug.
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