Photographic childhood memories

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous Equipment' started by cliveh, Aug 20, 2013.

  1. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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  2. bsdunek

    bsdunek Subscriber

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    Very cool! For my 8th birthday (1946), my Grandfather gave me a Kodak 620 box camera and a couple of rolls of film. Being a kid, I shot both rolls that day. The next day, my Dad took me in the darkroom and taught me how to develop, and later, how to print. I just loved it! At 8 years old, I could develop and/or print any time I wanted to, just so long as I cleaned up after myself. Still doing it, and Dad is with me in my darkroom.
     
  3. Truzi

    Truzi Subscriber

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    My first camera was a Brownie (Holiday, I think). My Grandfather gave it to me when I said I wanted a camera. It was my mothers when she was a child. I've very fond memories of that camera, and if I can find out where I put it, will use it again. This time, though, I'm pretty sure I won't move the camera as I press the button (I was very young).

    A few years later the same Grandfather/Grandparents gave me a new 110. Shortly after (it broke) they gave me another, which I practically grew up with, using through college until I dropped it on a ski-slope and it met with a comber. I retrieved it, though, and still have it. I replaced it with a cheap off-brand point-and-shoot 35tmm, and then my Grandparents got me a Kodak 35mm P&S.

    When my Grandfather died, I was given his Sears KS-2, which is now my main camera. The Brownie still stands out in my mind, though, as it was my first camera - I was so thrilled to have it.

    I guess my best childhood/adulthood camera memories have more to do with my Grandparents than the cameras.
     
  4. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    i used my mom's old kodak hawkeye flashfun for years ..
    it was given to me when i was maybe 8 and i used it an awful lot
    at home and at summer camp. those flash bulbs were cool ... ( i had a mickey mouse camera before that )
    my older brother got the wildest camera i ever saw when he was a few years older than me
    it was called something like "krazy kamera" and was some sort of insane looking thing
    that shot peel apart polaroid film ( i think ? ) it stood on the floor with a stand and was truly
    a krazy kamera ...
     
  5. Prof_Pixel

    Prof_Pixel Member

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    I've always loved the Star cameras. I was just starting out in college and working part time in the photo department of a college bookstore. The introduction of the Star line was my first introduction to a Kodak dealer event. We went into Detroit for the show - and it was audio-video high tech - and great snacks (I can still remember the large shrimp).

    We sold lots of the Star cameras.
     
  6. agnosticnikon

    agnosticnikon Member

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    My parents got me a Brownie Starflash the same blue color as this one. I was so happy! I took it with me to New York and Washington DC on vacation from Michigan that year, and I still have it and some of the photos I took.
     
  7. George Collier

    George Collier Member

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    Living in Baltimore in the 50's, and in the Cub Scouts, my parents gave me an official (really) Cub Scout camera. Basically a 620 box, hard bakolite like plastic with flash. I had great fun with it, and when we moved to Japan (Pop was in the Air Force).
    The first summer, the AF was offerering activities for the kids, and I took a photo class given by a Japanese photographer (who ran the lab). There were only two of us the first day, me and a girl my age, and the girl never came back, so I had 1 on 1 lessons all summer. My interest surged, and eventually it was replaced by a Yashika tlr, and others
    When we left Japan, in 1961, I gave the camera to a Japanese woman who had become a family friend, who had always looked at my pictures with me.
    I never took my film to a lab ever again.
    Just remembered, I have a picture of me with my camera, taken on the first day by the teacher. I'll post it if I can find it.

    Great thread, good memories.
     
  8. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    What a lovely story and would love to see the picture.
     
  9. George Collier

    George Collier Member

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    OK, I'll look for it - been distracted by other business lately. (It is pretty cool)
     
  10. Mark Feldstein

    Mark Feldstein Member

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    One really cold Saturday in 1959, my uncle Arnie, who smoked pipes, wore a houndstooth overcoat and was a fantastic photographer in his own right, took me to the Central Camera Co. underneath the elevated tracks in downtown Chicago. A salesman named Gene showed us some possibilities for my first used camera. Arnie and I chose a somewhat seasoned Argus C-3. http://camerapedia.wikia.com/wiki/Argus_C3. For good health and luck, he cajoled Gene into giving me my first roll of film, Plus-X. Gene showed me how to load it and unload it while Arnie explained what would happen if I didn't rewind the film before opening the camera door.

    They showed me how to understand the exposure info printed on the paper film insert sheet. The camera body was built like a tank, even with it's bakelite components. It was black and chrome or maybe aluminium with a leatherette covering and I remember the scent when I first held it up to my eye while turning the seemingly complex geared rangefinder focusing mechanism. As I recall, in 1959 the camera cost about $10 but the remainder of the day was remarkable and priceless for a 9 year-old.

    After Central Camera, we walked a few blocks over to the Art Institute where I incorrectly exposed and photographed the lions on the front of the building and galleries inside one excruciating frame at a time so as not exhaust my precious first 36 exposures of good luck film. Uncle Arnie stood by me patiently showing me how to hold the camera in my hands that were much smaller than his, how or where I might stand or sit to get different perspectives and how to release the shutter and advance the film after relearning how much light I should give the film.

    Arnie honed his photographic skills in WWII as an air combat cameraman in B-24s and after the War, he apprenticed at Vogue studios also in Chicago. While my initial photographic works weren't nearly quite as remarkable as his, the experience of learning how to process it in Arnie's darkroom truly was. In retrospect, all these years later, it seems like thousands of rolls of Plus-X, Tri-X, Kodachrome and yep, even Verichrome Pan 120 have passed through my now much larger hands.

    And even now, every time I load a roll of film or put sheets into a holder, somewhere in the back of my mind, whether it's conscious or not, I think of that amazing Argus C-3 and that day with uncle Arnie; how he patiently and gently revealed and shared a lifetime of pathways that allowed me to learn processes and explore, visualize, create and capture the world on film; to connect with people from all endeavors and all walks of life.

    Central Camera by-the-way is still there on South Wabash Ave. Since 1899 it seems to have lived in a time warp and looks the same now as it did when I was first there. It has the same musty scent from pipe and cigarette smoke circulated by overhead ceiling fans; the same wooden floors and the counter-top departmental divisions. It's still owned by the same family. You can see some indoor and outdoor photos of the place over here:
    https://www.google.com/search?q=Cen...s=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a

    Thanks for giving me this opportunity to remember Arnie as the best friend and mentor I could ever have and for the loving ways he educated and shared and taught me his boundless love, his lust for life that for me, all started with that Argus C-3.
    Mark
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 14, 2013
  11. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    Mark, loved that story and a great post, thanks. It reminds me of an experience I had when about 12 or 13. I noticed an ad in the local paper that the great Weegee would be at the photographic department of Owen & Owen on Saturday afternoon. I went along and there was no one else there. He was smoking a big cigar and spent about 30 minutes explaining different cameras to me.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 14, 2013
  12. Mark Feldstein

    Mark Feldstein Member

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    AAAah, Weegee, a/k/a Arthur Fellig. Yes !!! Now HE was a street photographer. What an incredible experience that must have been. Interesting how those chance encounters become so valuable to us an engrained in our memories. I sometimes think the younger we were the better the experiences.

    It's rather amazing when you think of the totality of experience around this site and the common threads that weave us all together. Film and cameras.

    Thanks for your memories too Clive.
    Mark
    Thanks for
     
  13. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    My first camera was a Brownie Holiday that my oldest sis gave me for christmas at the ripe old age of 10. The following spring I recieved a Sears home darkroom kit for my 11th birthday. That was many years ago (1961/62) havent stopped shooting film or processing.
     
  14. paladin1420

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    I must be the youngster around here because my first camera was a Polaroid Swinger which I got for Christmas in 1967 (or so). I still have it somewhere. My favorite part was the squeezy red sleeve around the shutter button which you used to adjust the aperture (I think) and it would flash "Yes" in the viewfinder when you set it correctly. I don't think I used it too much because film for it was pretty expensive and since Mom and Dad we're paying ( i was only eight at the time), these was a limited supply. But it did get me started and I haven't given up yet.