Collector or Photographer??
Maybe a little of both.
My name is Ken and I live in Orange County CA. In another lifetime I equipped myself with a Nikon 35mm and spent a few years experiencing my young family through a viewfinder until I decided I wanted to participate more than capture moments of others participation in life. 40 yrs later I found myself searching ebay for a replacement digital camera and through buying and trading and selling, I ended up with a nice Olympus E-3 outfit with assorted lens. It takes gorgeous pictures and I'm very happy with it. During that journey I started seeing film cameras for sale - CHEAP. Ridiculously cheap. I picked up a couple..then a couple more. Now with over 100 various film cameras, mostly medium format antiques, I'm finally developing a style - figuring out what type of photographer I want to be. My digital spends most of the time at home unless there is a specific need for one (ie: zoom lens, speed photography, etc).
I shoot film. Generally, B&W film. And I love everything about it from using a light meter to setting up a TLR or old folder to developing to printing and occasionally, just looking at the pictures.
Looking through some of the portfolios here, I see some wonderful shots. Mine are still 'wanting'. I'm learning all of the time and still stumbling around trying different cameras I have and different films. I also do some heavy-handed post processing occassionally, trying to re-create what I saw or create what I envision. I will be posting some pics later even though I feel a little out of place with some of the photoshopping I do in comparison to some of the wonderful 'un - or lightly edited pictures I see in the portfolios here so I hope you forgive me trying to make up for lack of experience or talent or ??? by relying on the computer to salvage whatever it is that I did to the original film.
Anyway, this is me. At 62, I am no stranger to film but definitely a hobbyist or amateur at best. When I was 12 I shot with my grandfather's Kodak Folding Pocket Camera #1 and still have pictures from it. I've come full circle now and am back to shooting 'my grandfather's cameras', or at least cameras from his era.
Oh, you young whippersnappers. I am a photographer but not a collector. I rescue olde cameras. Strays, cameras nobody wants, sad little creatures on dusty shelves or thrift store windows. Some work flawlessly after 60 or more years some have missing parts, you never know. I found a pair of Bilora Bellas that I bought for $10 each for spare parts for one I already had and both were in better condition than the one I already had. Loads of fun, olde film cameras and lenses. I bought a 60-year old Rolleiflex in wonderful shape for $180. It's a keeper.
Great story. BTW welcome to APUG.