Lens-Artists Challenge #133 – My Photography Journey

[Categories: Photography, Photography 101 Forever]

Per Amy at The World Is A Book: “This week, the theme is My Photography Journey. I’m taking the opportunity to share part of my journey with you.”

My journey is typified by a seemingly endless string of cameras, any one of which I will have for several years until I am attracted to buy a different one.

As I’ve said countless times, “photographers take photographs, I take pictures”. Throughout many decades of ‘taking pictures’, my expertise has remained firmly rooted in illiterate naïveté about the rudimentary functions of photography and cameras. Point and Shoot R Us, no matter what equipment I have. Owning a Steinway does not make one a better pianist, or any sort of pianist at all.

My memory being what it isn’t, I can’t even recall what film cameras I had before the digital age, I just always took pictures. I don’t even know why I was motivated to do so. Memories, perhaps. Growing up, we took family pictures. I recall taking pictures in ‘Nam, boring ones thankfully, and on R&Rs in Bangkok and Hong Kong. They were converted to slides and I had trays of them, and a slide projector. I threw them all away when I joined an ashram and divested myself of my worldly possessions for one of umpteen times.

Possessions, meager but plentiful, come back to me like dust to static electricity, so a decade or two later I worked in Europe for 4+ years, traveled a lot, and ended up with a thousand-plus prints. I kept those and a few years ago had them converted to digital, keeping those memories remain intact.

Voilà, the digital age. I definitely can’t forget my first digital camera, the can-TANK-erous (emphasis on TANK) Sony Mavica FD-91. A beast, but this is early-on, groundbreaking technology:

Yes, it recorded on 3.5″, 1.44MB floppy disks. I took it on a trip to Amsterdam and London and quickly had to search all over A’-dam for more disks. I found a box of fifty somewhere. Pack THAT in your suitcase. Still, it took some decent photos. I think the following is one, The Keukenhof of course. No self-respecting tulip would take a bad picture:

Somewhere along the line I dabbled with a ‘real’ camera, a mid-range DSLR. A Nikon D5200 with several lenses; an 18-55mm, 55-200mm, and a 35mm ‘prime’.

It was a lot to carry, and it seemed like I never had the right lens attached for the shot I wanted, so eventually is was back to Point and Shoot. I’m really into the portability of the small ones, and the quality is usually sufficient for archiving and blogging.

I’ve had a Sony DSC-V1 and a Canon SD 850 IS:

I’ve had a Canon SX 200 with 12x optical and 4x digital, totaling 48x zoom. ZOOM ZOOM! Minor problems was that clarity washed out at 48x and it is nearly impossible to hold still.

I had a little Canon Elph 100, which served me well on a trip to Europe.

I had a Panasonic ZS-100, which I still kick myself for having lost on a trip. STUPID! I think I left it in a rental car and, surprise, it was never turned in.

I liked the ZS-100 so well that I replaced it with a ZS-200.

It’s a little larger than some of my previous, but I think it has a good combination of features. Without case, it fits in many of the pockets of my hiking shirts and jackets. With case it still fits in jacket pockets.

As you can see below, I’m still in possession of three cameras:

Wrist straps are a must, in my opinion. It’s the first thing on when I reach for my camera. I like the cases small also, each with a belt loop, which I sometimes use:

Of course, my iPhone camera is always handy. I have an X (ten) presently. I find it best for closeups, though I’ve also captured some decent sunsets. It’s also good for marking a location for a group of pictures.

That’s all folks!

Stay safe, be well, be kind to one another.


50 thoughts on “Lens-Artists Challenge #133 – My Photography Journey

  1. Thank you, John for sharing your journey and memories. It’s wonderful to have photos of your cameras, I wish I had done so.
    Converting many photos to digital is a big task that I have been wanting to do. I need to find a cool scanner first. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Entertaining journey … one I can relate to. I have boxes of slides and negatives stored in our storage unit. Not sure what I’ll ever do with them. I’m partial to those Panasonic cameras and have owned several and continue to use a couple of them to this day. Love your photo of the tulips!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. No matter what camera, John, I think you “take” beautiful pictures.
    I once had a National Geographic photographer tell me photographers “make” photographs. I hold up a camera, point and shoot, and if I’m lucky, make, take or somehow get something I like if I push the button often enough.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. John, you are too funny! Camera in a rental car – OH NO!!! I can relate to that but thus far have always recovered from my mistakes. Once it was my purse with all my id. Cab driver in NYC came after me – thereby meriting an additional tip. Another time I was in NYC for a funeral w/husband and granddaughter. “Grammy, is this yours?” Yep, my husband’s suit pants in a puddle on the corner. They’d fallen off the hanger. I could go on but won’t. Enjoyed your journey and seeing cameras I’d never even heard of. but I bet that Lumix with the Leica lens is SWEET!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I love this John!!! I think I’ve had just about all of these cameras… lol Great history here.
    Ok tell me more.. for the last few years I’ve been eying the Lumix Lexia but haven’t pulled the trigger because it’s one more thing to carry and I love my iphone but it doesn’t cut the mustard for upclose and personal shots.. Do you love? I hate carrying 2 devices and I need easy peezy.
    Thanks.. do tell all.. ❤️


  6. Wow, you have gone through some camera equipment haven’t you? I am with you on the portably though. I still have my little cannon s 100 (I just went to see what it was after I read your post). It took some pretty nice photos of the beach a couple of years ago when I didn’t want to take my new camera out on the boat. But forget zoom, it just isn’t very clear and what prompted me to step up to better camera. But, I have wonderful memories from slipping that little thing in my pocket and taking it everywhere on vacation! I enjoyed your post!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 😱😂 If I had tracked the expense I might have been more frugal, though none were outrageous by pricey camera standards. The Nikon gear must have added up a bit. Love’s labors, and expense, lost.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Great post, my friend! I, too, lost a digital camera. I was on a hike and it was in the pocket of my hoodie which I took off, at some point, and tied the arms around my waist. Like a dolt, I forgot my camera was in the pocket. Somewhere on the hike, it fell out. I was with a large group of hikers, had no transportation of my own, and I wasn’t sure how far on the very long hike it was that I lost the camera. Even though I was offered help to find it, I didn’t want to inconvenience the group and just ate the loss. Fortunately, it was an inexpensive camera I purchased just for hikes.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. John, I enjoyed reading about your journey and pictures of your gear past and present: from a “tank” to a “pocket compact.” I totally understand why, too. 😉


  9. John, I don’t remember any of my cameras before my first digital camera. I recalled the cheap 35 mm I would buy that would break within a few months.

    Wow, I never knew there were digital cameras that would take a floppy disk. How many photos would a floppy disk hold?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t recall, but if a 640×480 photo is/was 307,200 bytes, divided into 1.44MB, 1,440,000, that’s only 4.6875 photos per disk. Not many. I think I did a little better than that but still had to lug some disks!


  10. I love my point and shoots that fit in my back pocket. Glad to see I’m not the only one that feels that way. I never heard of a camera that recorded on a 3.5″ disc. Wow, just wow!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. how cool that you still have those three little black cameras – and it reminded me that i learned a lesson about the wise use of the wrist handles
    – i once dropped a new point and shoot Canon in the sand/water and it was so sad – ruined and only had it for a few weeks
    since that time i used the wrist strap and now if i use my phone – i grip it tightly

    Liked by 1 person

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