Monday, October 25, 2010
United Nations Day (Or Not)
Yesterday was United Nations Day. I'm about the only person in the world who knows that, because it's also my birthday. I made myself a new pink dress, but didn't get a picture of the dress. Oh, well, I'll wear it again for my baby's birthday next weekend, so maybe it will appear then.
All of my college and beyond kids called me yesterday; I spent more hours on the phone that day than I will between today and Thanksgiving. I'm so lucky that they like to call me!
The summer before my eighth birthday, my father took the family to Roger's Park to visit their rose garden; we went there often, because it was pretty. But one weekend, he hung his Pentax 35mm camera around my neck, and told me I could take 24 pictures. And I did. In my mind's eye, I can still see them: single roses, shots through a line of arched trellises, asymmetric scatterings of the arches, and so on. I do not know if my father ever processed or printed those pictures, and I don't recall ever seeing them. But I knew then that I have little artistic ability (but a good eye), and photographs were my artistic calling. So for my 17th birthday, I bought myself a brand new Pentax K1000. It cost me $150 (at a time when babysitting paid $1 per hour, and minimum wage jobs paid $1.01 per hour). I used that camera until I had 2 kids, in 1985, when I bought a Pentax A3000. It wasn't necessarily better, but it had an autowinder, so I could shoot faster. (And, yes, I still have every camera I've ever owned, and they all still work.)
But I always wanted a Leica. That was the Rolls Royce of cameras. And in 1988, I found a used R4 for under $1000 (new ones were around $3000). It took the best pictures I've ever taken, especially when used with Kodak Royal Gold film. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, I shot about 75 rolls of film per year. There were a lot of great pictures, and plenty that were truly terrible, but that goes with taking photos of children, dogs, holidays and vacations, right?
In 1993, I was in Marv's Pawn Shop in Cheyenne, and found this beauty.
It was only $50 with the 1000 mm lens on it. I'm not going to lie; the body is rather beat up. The cover for the battery is missing, and someone welded a handle on the film winder. But the Canon AE was a workhorse, and that lens alone was worth a lot more than that. It is hard to use freehand, but I got some fun shots with it!
I've had 4 Kodak digital cameras. One is in my office, one is on loan to Ryan (whose camera disappeared this weekend), the gold one only shoots at 3.1MP, and the black one has been in use here for about 2 years. Nothing wrong with it, but I've been pining for a DSLR of late.
So I found a lovely Pentax K-X, which will use my old, manual lenses and filters, and I was sold. The magical internet fairy delivered one to my house, the little boys found and wrapped it, and so it appeared in my life yesterday. Now I'll have to learn to use all the fun features that go along with it. But mostly, I'll be in better control of my pictures again.
And best of all, my guys ordered Chinese food last night, so I didn't have to cook last night. And they ordered so much that I'm not cooking tonight, either!