Saturday, July 3, 2010

Smile, You’re on Candid Camera!

220px-Hawkeye_brownie My very first camera was a Kodak Brownie similar to this one.  I used it to take pictures of my friends and family, first in black and white and later in living color.  It had a flash attachment that used disposable bulbs.  You had to buy a whole bunch of bulbs because each one was good for only one picture, and if you didn’t let the bulb cool before trying to remove it, you could get a nasty burn on your fingers.

Mary Daddy BrownieThis is a picture of my daddy and my cousin Mary that I took with my Kodak Brownie.  Appropriately, the pony was named Brownie.

I later graduated to a twin lens reflex that I used during my college days as a journalism major.  The journalism department at the University of Arkansas had a good supply of twin lens reflex cameras that we could check out for our photo assignments, but I was fortunate to have my own camera.  Daddy found me a good used one somewhere, that I continued to use until after the birth of my first child.  Here’s a picture of Hunter that I took with that camera.


Sometime in the '70’s I graduated to a single lens reflex.  My Canon AE-1 was a great camera and served me well for many years. But when the winder broke on a trip to Maine a few years ago, I finally moved into the world of digital.  Here’s one of the last pictures I took with my AE-1.


Since then, I’ve been through several digital point and shoot cameras, mostly Canons; however, ever since Canon introduced the first EOS Rebel digital SLR, I’ve wanted one.  A couple of months ago, I got my wish when I purchased a Rebel T1i.  With all of its bells and whistles, this camera is capable of so much more than “point and shoot,” but first I had to learn about those settings. So on the recommendation of a friend, I signed up for a class at the Birmingham School of Photography.

I still have a lot to learn, and there are other courses I want to take, but Paris Farzad taught me so much more than I could possibly have absorbed by simply studying the manual.  Our last class was a field trip to the Birmingham Botanical Gardens, where we practiced all kinds of neat tricks.

At the lily pond, we photographed dragonflies landing on the colorful flowers.

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Using a fast shutter speed, we froze water.

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And using a very slow shutter speed (1/4 second), we made this waterfall look painted.

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Here’s another neat trick Paris taught us using a zoom lens.  The 18-55 mm lens that comes standard with most digital SLR’s is perfect.  Use a slow shutter speed (we used 1/4 second) and the appropriate aperture to give the proper exposure.  As you press the shutter release, zoom in on your subject, and you’ll get some neat star burst effects like I did with this pot of petunias.

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FAVORITETHINGSBUTTON I can’t wait to do some more experimenting with my new toy.  And with three grandchildren and several trips planned, I should have plenty of opportunities.  Meanwhile, I’m linking up with Laurie’s Favorite Things, because right now, photography is one of my favorite hobbies.  


Mid-Atlantic Martha said...

Wow! Amazing photos. Can't wait to see more.

Sue said...

Your a very good photographer...I love what your learning in your class...I would love to take a class like that but for some reason the husband thinks I know all I need to know...I still have my original Honeywell Pentex from that camera...but I really need to get a great zoom lens for our Nikon...husband thinks I don't need one of those either....he's no fun...Can't wait to see your future photo's from class...

Joyce said...

You have some lovely photos...I'd love to take a class (and of course have a new camera to go with!)

Hope you have a wonderful 4th!

kate said...

This is the same camera Wes just got me for my birthday! You may have to give me some of your pointers! I would love to take a class, so I may look around here! Happy 4th!

Baumbastic said...

Interesting stuff. I have found that I don't use the camera that I have often enough. I carry it with me (for example, to ball games) and then get wrapped up in the action and never break out the camera. Afterward, I always wonder why I didn't take some pictures.

I'll just have to enjoy yours.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful photos Kathy!!! Looking forward to seeing more of the grands and your trip pics. The new g'daughter is just adorable.
dianna w

laurie @ bargain hunting said...

Oh Kathy, you are so smart! I know I don't use my Cannon to its full potential. I've got to take the time to figure out some of these wonderful effects you're using. All of your photos are wonderful. Oh how I remember burning my fingers on those bulbs. This is a wonderful post showcasing the way photography has changed over the years. I'm so glad you linked it to Favorite Things Sat. laurie

insteadofthedishes said...

Great photos! I was just checking out your blog and wanted to invite you over to the Arkansas Women Bloggers site. We'd love to have you link up with us!


Aunt Snow said...

Hey, good to hear from you again!!

I love this post, now you have me thinking about the cameras in my life - and the times I had no cameras.

My dad recorded our childhood with an old accordion-style Brownie camera, and they were the best photos you could possibly imagine.

Sarah said...

Kathy, I've been MIA of late so am spending some time catching up on the previous recent posts I've missed. So happy I saw this one. The photos are amazing. Love the water splashing over the birdbath. ~ Sarah

Joycee said...

Kathy, thought you'd like to visit The Susie Q Malt Shop on's the link!/pages/Rogers-AR/Susie-Q-Malt-Shop/103743996332542?__a=7&ajaxpipe=1