Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Brownies and Ice Cream

Ever since I started taking pictures earlier this year I have completely fallen in love with photography!  I think it's funny that it took me until my mid 40's to find something besides my family and pets to be so passionate about.  Better late than never I suppose!

In all honesty, I don't think I could have been a photographer prior to the digital age.  I would have been too impatient to see the results, and too frustrated that I had destroyed a whole role of film by using the wrong settings.  The beauty of using digital is that you can take lots of pictures for free and play around with the manual settings as much as you like until you learn what works and what doesn't.   Plus you get almost instant feedback on what works and what doesn't...I love that!

My hat is off to the Ansel Adams of the world who could do this long before digital cameras existed!

 (check out the view in the viewfinder on this one, it was completely accidental)

If you've been reading my blog for awhile, then you know that we've begun the painstaking process of selling my childhood home. 

My mother was an only child so she inherited a large amount of "stuff" over the years, plus my parents acquired even more stuff in their 50+ years of marriage.


Lucky for me, one of the things they had never thrown out were old cameras.  When we went through the attic there were several old cameras that called to me.  None of them are particularly valuable, and thankfully no one else wanted them, but because of my new found love, I just had to have them!

Sarah, from the wonderful blog A Beach Cottage, has a passion for vintage, well loved cameras too, and had done several posts on using her new camera to shoot through the lens of these old beauties.

I had Mr. Tide hold this old Kodak camera as I shot a picture of the brightly colored maple tree in our yard.  I love how the scene becomes reversed or upside down sometimes in these old viewfinders!

I have no idea who these belonged to, except for the Argus, which was my parent's camera.

But I love imagining where these cameras have been and what wonderful bits of history they recorded for someone in my family.  Just think if they could talk...I wonder what tales they would tell of  war, or foreign lands, and family gatherings?

Shooting through the viewfinder on the Brownie I captured this pint of Breyer's Ice can't have a brownie without ice cream right?!  Is a pint really a good size for ice cream?   I think not!

Here is the Argus.  I'm pretty sure this one produced a few embarrassing photos of myself when I was very little!

My father was the official family photographer.  He had a wonderful knack for snapping photos of you looking like a puffer fish as you blew out the candles on your birthday cake each year. 

My mother was particularly fond of the photos he took after she had stayed up all night being Santa, or the Easter Bunny.  There all 4 of us kids were lined up looking bright, happy, and perfectly dressed, while my mother was still in her nightgown, or a slip waiting to finally get herself pulled together for the day!

Although I know photography would not have been for me when film was your only option, I still love the way these cameras look and feel.  All the fancy dials and knobs must have been the height of technology in their day.

And on the old ones, I love the simplicity of it all.  How wonderful and exciting it must have been when cameras became available and easy to use for the general public.

The Argus was the most difficult to shoot through the lens with my own camera.  See that tiny speck in the middle of the photo of our table and umbrella?

Even though the photo isn't great, I still love the way that tiny spot of table 50's/60's with the colors and the haziness.  All those things we now try and recapture with our fancy textures and actions!  Our grandparents and great grandparents would get a kick out of that I'm sure!

And here is that same scene just shot with my Canon Rebel.  Amazing how far we've come isn't it?!  My great grandfather on my mother's side was a professional photographer, and actually met my great grandmother when he came to take her picture.  Maybe that's where my love of photography stems from...

And to answer Jo's question about how I downloaded and installed all of my new actions onto PS Elements 9, I simply followed the step by step instructions that came with my Flora Bella textures and Actions.  They came as part of the download so you have to open them up and read the file.

For the Pioneer Woman actions, I simply clicked on the actions on her download page (HERE), and then followed the link to the Texas Chicks website where they give you step by step instructions on how to install them, click HERE to read those instructions.   

The Flora Bella Actions installation differs from the instructions for installing Pioneer Woman's actions, and be sure to "unzip" the files after you download them.

I use a PC so the install for a Mac will differ as well.  And there is also an updated version for installing PW Actions which I've linked HERE.

I hope you each have a happy Wednesday!


  1. Very cool cameras. But, I'm with you. Digital cameras are so much more accessible for impatient types!

  2. I must admit - I am starting to share your enthusiasm for photography. Up until now I have been more than happy to snap away on my dinky little Panasonic Lumix. As long as it was in focus - well that was good enough for me! However after seeing the beautiful photos which continually grace your wonderful blog - I am totally inspired. I now find myself seeking out information about "apertures", "actions" etc. etc. and have become a devotee of Pioneer Woman. I am even looking at SLR's on ebay! So here I am in my mid 50's seriously considering embarking on a new hobby. As you say - "better late than never". Thank you so much for your continued inspiration. ;)Sharyne

  3. Kat, what wonderful vintage cameras you have acquired and for free. Those babies are pretty expensive in the antique stores. I need to figure out how to use manual settings, but I hate to read and try to figure things out that are over my head. My aunt is a professional photographer as a side hobby and I wish she lived here so she could show me. I never was in to photography either until blogging.

  4. I used to use a pentax K1000... but had NO PATIENCE for the film process. I can't tell you how much I love the digital world. :-)

    Love your old cameras...

  5. I have asked for a new camera for Christmas, inspired by the beautiful pictures you take Kat. I love the shots you took showing the imagine through the view finder. Thanks so much for sharing your family camera history.

  6. I remember when there were old cameras around our house, I have no idea if they are still stored at my dad's or not. What fun for you to have these.

    I too am learning to love photography. I'm still using a simple camera...but, it is beginning to do odd things. I'm going to have to decide if I'm going to upgrade or replace. I honestly think I had to get past raising kids to have the ability to focus on a flower or a leaf!

  7. My Dad had that exact same Argus camera. I remember that camera case so vividly!! Thanks for the memory recall!! :)

  8. Kelly J/Hunters HillOctober 27, 2010 at 9:22 AM

    Those are awesome vintage cameras! I am sure you have seen Loic's collection at Cafe des Artistes?

  9. I used to have one of those Kodak Duaflex cameras when I was kid. I would bet it was well used by the time it was given to me. It certainly brings back lots of memories.

  10. What fun! I know you love having these! I still have my little Brownie camera that I got with S & H Green stamps! Love your photos...and the links you gave! I have never been to Pioneer woman but I've heard a lot about her blog! ♥

  11. Very cool. But I agree with you about the digital cameras. You can shoot and shoot and shoot with instant results. You can delete, too!

  12. Hello Kat,

    I just spent some time catching up on your posts and am so glad I finally had some time to do so.
    I love all your old cameras. I used to have a collection of cameras. I began the collection by getting cameras from family members who were getting rid of them or ones I found when foraging in their attics. I no longer have the collection and am not quite certain what happened to it. They were either lost or stolen during one of my many moves over the years. I was most especially fond of my first camera which was a hand me down Brownie.

    Your Big Yellow Taxi post is quite poignant and brought to mind a similar relationship I have. Many times in our lives we have to endure emotional pain but when we overcome and emerge from it, we come out a stronger person. I loved seeing the farm and especially the cabin with all its wonderful memories. In just looking at the pictures, I can almost hear the echoes of laughter and the chatter of family and friends who have gathered there over the years.

    Simple Kindness spoke to me also. It really is true that by sharing our experiences which have shaped and strengthened us or hearing the experiences of other people can help us in ways totally unexpected. It can open our eyes and/or mind to a different perspective which may help us learn how to handle a certain situation or simply to just clarify it for us.

    Thank you for sharing yourself with us.

    ~ Tracy

  13. Wonderful old cameras, Kat! I have always loved the wonderful graphic quality of these when displayed, and now I won't look at one without thinking about all the photos it must have taken...lovely post!

  14. After reading your great post I have to say I love the title "Brownies and Ice Cream". Lucky you with all those great vintage cameras you were able to aquire.

  15. Love the old cameras. We also have a collection of old cameras that we enjoy.

  16. What a wonderful treasure -hoard of cameras Kat - though I'm with you on the freedom of digital - film cost money!
    My poor mother-in-law took a new camera to Paris and came back with a roll of photos of her left ear... never lived it down.

  17. I loves me my Canon ...
    AND my mactop!!!

    genius girl, that's you

  18. Those cameras are beautiful! What a special treasure for you to hold on to and imagine all the wonderful times they must have seen, happy smiles, giggling children, loved ones, all so very special Kat. I loved how you took the pics through their "eye". I dowloaded slides last year for my mom of my brother and I growing up. They were from my grandpas camera and I was just amazed at how beautiful they looked, even though they looked pretty worn. Maybe because it was my family! :)But you are right, we have come a long way but it is still cool to make the new pictures look 'old'. I am going to have to try the downloads, they look like fun!

  19. Lovely photography!!
    I cannot wait until I can finally purchase a fancy camera and lenses of my own!
    I also love vintage cameras! Someday...I want to start a collection of my own:)

  20. Kat-thanks for the tips. i'l have to check them out this weekend. my job just interferes with my passion too much! I really love your photos. you are doing a great job! i'll always take any hints you care to pass along. thanks.

  21. What a treasure trove for a camera-lover!
    My uncles were photographers - they must have taken every graduation photo in Nova Scotia in the 50's, 60's and 70's. I remember the thrill of being allowed in the darkroom, or to sit outside the studio when a bride arrived for a studio portrait.

  22. That is very cool to learn about your great grandfather. What a gorgeous vintage camera collection you are lucky to have! ~Lili


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