Why a Fisherman Chose Photography

I think the local fishing stores miss me.  Where is that guy that used to come in here and spend all that money?

Dad the Fisherman

I have caught my share of fish.  But sometime during 2010 I realized I was driving a whole lot to catch just a few fish.  Yes, I do catch fish, but not as many as I would like.

I’ve been fishing all my life, but film cameras were never far from my mind.  (Yes, the nice largemouth bass was released immediately.)

Canon SD880, Dad's Big Fish

ROI (Return on Investment) of Fishing or Photography

An average fishing trip on a Saturday would cost me $60.  It may not sound like much but I had little to show for it.  A photo or two of a largemouth bass I had caught and a few panfish that I would release alive back into the lake.  I was spending money but had little to show for it.

Then during 2010 I started collecting film cameras.  I used less gas, met interesting people, had the thrill of hunting and negotiating prices on cameras, and it took less time.  And at the end of the day I might find an Olympus XA, Pentax Spotmatic, or a Vivitar V3800N for my troubles.

The Thrill of Collecting Film Cameras

When a fish bites, you don’t know what you have until you reel it into your boat.  It’s like Christmas.  Every fish is a surprise.  Garage sale hunting is similar.  You never know what you’ve got until you actually hold an old film camera in your hands.  It’s a thrill when someone stops you at the garage sale and says:

I have some old film cameras at my house.  Can you wait 5 minutes so I can bring them to you?

You bet I’ll wait.

The Enjoyment of Great Photos with Old Cameras

Admittedly, not all of my older cameras have taken good photos.  But as a computer guy its fun taking an old technology with a quirky interface (all old cameras work a bit differently) and creating nice photos with them.

Kodak Motormatic 35

Add 35mm film to this old camera, wind it up like a toy, and it advanced film based on a mechanical inner spring.  I purchased it on eBay for 5 dollars and it takes nice photos.  It’s about 50 years old and still works.

Kodak Motormatic 35, Blue Pond

Agfa Optima II

A German camera from around 1960.  It’s automatic light metering still works well.  A 5 dollar purchase from eBay.

Agfa Optima II, Tricky Exposure

Old Cameras and Their Stories

And if you’ve spent some time on this website you know I like a story or two.  I enjoy my cameras even more when there’s a story behind the camera.  Perhaps its a Mamiya/Sekor 1000 that photographed Mohammad Ali.  Or maybe its the Yashica T4 worth $250 that I purchased for $30.  Or maybe it’s the Canon AE-1 that traveled to Borneo and Morocco.

Don’t throw away your old camera, of any type.  Yes, it might be worth something and you can sell it.  Better still, give it to your son or granddaughter and ask them to keep it for you.  It won’t be a cheap camera to them, it will be the old SLR their grandmother gave them.

Fishing and Photography

One day I’ll return to fishing when there’s a better chance of catching a fish or two.  In the meantime, I’ll keep “catching” some old film cameras, taking nice photos, and telling camera “fish tales” on this website.

Unknown Camera, Rich Fishing at 15


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