Saturday, February 12, 2011

Smile for the Birdie

My Daddy was a photographer.  Both as a hobby and during the 21 years he served in Photomapping Squadron in the United States Air Force, their mission: Mapping the World.  Daddy was a Photomapper but more specifically a HIRAN [High Range Navigation Radar] Operator.  He flew most often in the C-130s where they photo mapped from the air.  (Note: Photomappers don’t exist in the U.S.A.F. any longer as technology has taken over those jobs with the use of satellites.)  Daddy loved taking pictures so I’m sure that’s where I got my love of photography. 

I bought my first camera when I was 9 years old at a yard sale for 25 cents … a ‘Real 35 mm’ …at least that’s what I thought.  It was a cute camera.  Looked like a real 35 mm, opened up and had the spools to hold the film and even had slots for a flash bulb (remember those little square flash bulbs with four flashes, one on each side of the square?).  Its body was plastic, lens was plastic and it even had a plastic neck strap.  I’m not talking about the hard durable type plastic that cameras are made with today.  This yard sale FIND was cheap thin plastic, like a toy.  I thought it was awesome!  (The picture on the left was one of the best ones made with my first "35 mm" ... my best friend, Kathy Bissonnette, and me at Forbes AFB in Topeka, KS in 1971)

When I brought it home, I couldn’t wait for my Daddy to see it and “Daddy it only cost 25 cents!”  My Daddy tried to tell me it was just a toy but I didn’t care I wanted to take pictures like my Daddy.  I said “it looks just like your’s Daddy”.  I somehow convinced him to let Mama buy me some film to ‘try it out’.  Once I had film I was told I could only take one picture at a time and only outside on sunny days cause no way were they buying me flash bulbs “to waste”.  Film was expensive and so was processing.

Amazingly, it worked.  It didn’t take great pictures like my Daddy’s did but it worked!  I only took two rolls of film with that camera …one of which I totally wasted by opening up the back and exposing the film …oops!  Later, I was allowed to use my Mama’s 110 Camera …you know the ones with the 110 film cartridge … whenever I wanted to take pictures BUT I could only take pictures of “important stuff”. 

My next camera was a Kodak Disc Camera, remember those?  Took crappy pictures.  Half the time the disc didn’t turn after you took a shot and you’d end up with double or triple exposed pics.

In 1992 I got my first REAL 35 mm … a Minolta Point and Shoot … with my income tax refund.  When it died in 2002, Scott surprised me with a new Minolta 35 mm SLR and basic Zoom Lens for Christmas.  For my Birthday, two days later, he got me a Macro Lens.  I loved that camera.  It took awesome pics.  It took incredible close UP close ups!!!

Well it got to the point that my 35 mm picture taking was getting too expensive sooooo when the really good Point and Shoot Digitals started coming out, Scott let me get one, a Sony Cybershot, FINALLY. (Remember how grainy the pics from the first Digital Cameras were?)  This one was awesome … next best thing to a Digital SLR.  And besides, the Digital SLRs were cost prohibitive running between 5 and 8,000 thousand dollars at that time… I had to wait!

My Sony Cybershot took some great pics, portraits, action shots, decent faraway shots and close ups but not close UP close ups.  But then, out of the blue a couple weeks ago, the Shutter Release Button (the picture takin button for those of you not sure of camera terminology) popped off and it was going to cost a minimum of $141 to repair … even though I had the parts!  (that’s just a little less than half of what I paid for the camera originally)  Sooooo…

A few days ago Scott surprised me again with a new Nikon Digital SLR that came with two lenses and a case.  AND to top it all off … my old Macro Lens will work with my new SLR … Yeah!!! 

Well … its back to REAL picture taking for me!  Maybe now I can get that shot of the Hawk in the tree or the Giant Woodpeckers I see so often (yep Debi Potter Drawdy they do exist, I see them too lol)  … Smile for the birdie!!!


  1. Now see there, what a wonderful story. We can always write about what we love the best. In this case, your Daddy and pictures...and your shared love. Beautiful.

  2. Yeaaa.. I love and I told Michelle they are real I was beginning to wonder myself.. Love the story too....Debi Drawdy

  3. The words just roll onto the paper when writing about something you love..super great story! DHW