Camera Reminiscences

On Mondays I get to be by myself in the office (studio) and when I get the biz part of the day over with, I get the caffeine and music going and see where it leads. This morning started out gloomy chilly foggy, but around 10 the sun broke through, and I started looking through my photos. I have one or more cameras with me at practically all times and I can’t begin to comprehend the 10s of 1000s of images I have. One of these days…

   My first photo, taken with a Kodak Baby Brownie when I was 12, was of Puddles the hippo at the San Francisco Zoo. Next when I went on a 3-month motorscooter (Lambretta) trip through Europe in 1957 was a Rolleicord (cheap version of Rolliflex). I spent 2 years in the USAF in ’58-’60 as editor of a base newspaper (Sembach AFB, near Kaiserslautern, Germany) and the secret service had a Leica they weren’t using and let me borrow it. (There’s just something unique about those black and whites.)

   Next in the early ’60s I got a Nikon 35mm, then a Nikkor. I shot ’60s culture, and always, buildings. Then along came the Olympus OM-1. It was 50% smaller than the Nikons, with equal lens quality, and I ended up with a full arsenal of OM-1s and lenses.

Next, in more or less order:

•Canon digital camera that focussed on what your eye was focussed on. Don’t recall what it was called. Kinda weird.

•Canon 20D, one of my camera sweethearts. Big bodied and worth the weight.

•Panasonic Lumix G1. Pretty much the same way the OM1 overtook the Nikons, this camera cuts way down on the weight of the gun-slinger Canons and Nikons. There are compromises, the worst of which for me is shutter lag, but still it’s so much lighter if I’m going anywhere on an airplane.

•Canon Powershot S100, a wonderful little pocket camera.

•GoPro Hero Helmet movie camera, this was a revolution in affordable sports filming

•Sony Cybershot DSC TX7 that shoots kinda weird panoramas

    I have a fireproof cabinet full of 30+ years of negatives, and maybe 30-40 binders of film as well as digital thumbnails (I print everything out, 20 per sheet of paper).

   Whoops! By this time I had faint recollections* I’d said all this before, and lo, here’s what I wrote barely 6 months ago:

*Hey (and I’ve probably written this before too): your memory isn’t infinite, right? So as you get older your brain has to jettison stored data to make way for the new. Right?


About Lloyd Kahn

Lloyd Kahn started building his own home in the early '60s and went on to publish books showing homeowners how they could build their own homes with their own hands. He got his start in publishing by working as the shelter editor of the Whole Earth Catalog with Stewart Brand in the late '60s. He has since authored six highly-graphic books on homemade building, all of which are interrelated. The books, "The Shelter Library Of Building Books," include Shelter, Shelter II (1978), Home Work (2004), Builders of the Pacific Coast (2008), Tiny Homes (2012), and Tiny Homes on the Move (2014). Lloyd operates from Northern California studio built of recycled lumber, set in the midst of a vegetable garden, and hooked into the world via five Mac computers. You can check out videos (one with over 450,000 views) on Lloyd by doing a search on YouTube:

4 Responses to Camera Reminiscences

  1. I find myself wondering more often if I am re-posting something that I've recently done, but now I just say, 'if I've already told you that story, oops and move along to what's next.' But just so you know, I've gone back to that camera article a LOT so now it's going to be even easier to find!

  2. Just so you know, after reading your previous writeup I bought my wife a Powershot S100 for Christmas last year. She loves it, carries it daily and we couldn't be happier with it. Thanks!

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