The Cameras Which Made Me.

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139
Name
Damian
Edit My Images
Yes
#1
Afternoon,

It would be fair to say that we live in a throwaway society. Everything has a shelf life and when the day arrives, we moved on the next biggest and brightest thing. Phones, TVs, cars and cameras… I am slightly sentimental to objects. Everything I buy is bought with purpose and very rarely on a whim. I keep everything, but everything I keep is useful and can still be used today. I am also very funny about boxes. I love the original box and store them safely away so when the day comes that I need to get rid of something, the next person knows I’ve cared for it.

Last Saturday I look at my storage cupboard and noticed it was spilling out. With not much else to do I decided to organise it all. Whilst working my way through I came across some of my original cameras and it made me a bit sentimental. Remembering how I got the camera, where it had been and what we had created. In this throwaway society of ours I don’t think many people can pull something like out and tell you its history.

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I am going to tell you about these items history and how the sculpted my business today.


Praktica Super TL 35mm

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I studied media at the Arts Institute of Bournemouth as I really wanted to get into graphic design and websites and at the time media was the only course which covered everything I work on today. At this point in time the digital cameras available were 2mp smartcard cameras or very expensive DSLRs which weren’t much better (from what I remember) and film photography still had its place.

During the photography aspect of the course we were shown how to work in a studio using medium format cameras and were taught to develop 35mm film in a dark rooms and process pictures. This was cool. Proper analogue and required a lot of fettling which I really liked. I can’t remember exactly where this camera was bought, I believe eBay, but I bought it so I could take photos rather than having to painfully rent it from the supply store at uni.

I wasted so much film trying to get it all right but it was fun and shooting black and white and seeing them develop in the dark room made me feel like an artist. Even though I was buying £5 rolls of Iford film and £20 packs of paper I considered this such a great investment.

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OP
OP
Blades Media UK
Messages
139
Name
Damian
Edit My Images
Yes
#2
Fuji Film S9600

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Toward my final years at uni, hybrid cameras were coming out they were a cheap alternative to getting to the DSLR game. They felt professional, looked professional but only needed a singular lens to do it all. I was shunned by people who thought they were pro (talking about you Tom) for having a DSLR but my parents bought me this as this is what they could afford and knew I wanted a proper camera.

I remember doing hours of research on it as back then there was no YouTube or fast Google answers. You had the manufacturers websites and magazines. Everything about the sensor, the optical zoom and picture quality looked right on the mark and this was the camera for me.

Regrettably as anything new to market, the technology wasn’t fully developed, and the electronic view finder didn’t really give a clear picture with 90% of my images being out of focus when trying to manually focus. However, it did open the world of photoshop to me and I was able to start trying to use digital photos to create designs using my photos.
 
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OP
OP
Blades Media UK
Messages
139
Name
Damian
Edit My Images
Yes
#3
The Nikon D90

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This camera is life, I will never sell it. Unlike the other two this till sits in with my main equipment. Barely used now, it still holds the largest importance for me as this is where my business started. After finishing uni I started working at Tesco as at the time it proved to be a lucrative source of income. Like the Fuji, I did my hours of research and decided this was the camera. Ticked all the right boxes and manual mode was going to be my game changer! Using about £500 of saved birthday and Christmas money Plus and additional £500 I had saved I bought the Nikon D90 18-105 VR Kit from Jessops in Bournemouth.

That purchase essentially led me to today as the improved picture quality and overall freedom to take photos got me my first few gigs, which turned to appointments as their professional photographer (which I still have now). It has put me in books and earnt its self-back ten times over. Last year it was downgraded to make space for the D500. The reason why I changed over was because I needed more megapixels for a billboard advert and the D500 was the only camera which felt like the D90. Otherwise I might still be using it now.

It may sound silly to pay homage to an inanimate object, but I owe this camera everything. Without this camera, those lenses and that flash I would still be working at Tesco today and it has earnt me the freedom to be my own boss, be creative and help people.

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Thank you for taking the time to read this love note to a camera, ha. Hopefully it has made you think about your history and what items have gotten you to where you are today.
 
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918
Name
Alistair
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No
#7
A really nice write up/homage.
My first SLR was also a Practika, the MTL5. Given to me by my parents. That got me into photography. Sadly I sold it when My wife gave me a Minolta Dynax 4, which had AF. I do still have this body but no lenses.
My first DSLR was a Sony A100 which really gave me the bug, so in some ways that's my most important camera. But I sold it to fund a Sony A350.
The A350 was sold to fund a Canon 60D and that was sold to fund a Canon 6D.

I have however over the last few years bought a Pentax Spotmatic SLR and more importantly (for me) an Olympus OM20 because I always aspired to have an OM after my dad had the OM4Ti when I was growing up.
 
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4,359
Name
Dave
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#8
It all started when I was about 12 when my Dad gave me the AGFA Isolette II he brough back from Aden in about 1960.

I still have it and still use it :)

 
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