Photo Addictions

Because I started out with no ideas about what to write, I decided to post a bunch of photos—that’s always fun and easy. So I sat down at the computer and opened Finder and browsed the sizable number of photo files I have in an also sizable number of thumb drives and backup drives, and everything came to a screeching halt.

It was like zipping along a two lane highway through Utah on a beautiful clear day and running straight into a herd of loose Herefords swarming the road.

I have an embarrassing amount of photographs. Both print and digital. I can’t throw any of them away, except the blurry ones. Even the uncomfortable ones, taken when uncomfortable things were going on. I’ve also adopted all of the family photos. Not just my immediate one, but those of the parents, grandparents and more going back to the long ago past.

In the spare bedroom are dozens of photo albums. My sister, who was able to retire far before I was (lucky dog), digitized all the old black and whites, also yellow-bleached color snaps, and shared them with us on Flickr. The digital world so far has not let us down, but the originals are priceless, having been looked over during years of childhood and adulthood. Once she had completed this major task she turned them over to me.

Both my parents were camera users. My mother wielded a Brownie twin reflex. My dad preferred Polaroids; I hung onto one along with his old 8 millimeter movie camera for years. I got my first Kodak Brownie for Christmas when I was nine, and the nonsense began.

What followed was a Konica rangefinder, then a Nikkormat single lens reflex (a semi-auto Nikon product markedly cheaper than the original). When the Nikkormat died (during a trip to Mexico!), I was back to Kodak again with the purchase of my first digital camera. This little inexpensive machine took surprisingly crisp photos. Passing that one onto one of my sisters I sprang for a Leica, whose cameras I had always coveted but could never afford. On our way to an Alaska cruise, I realized I had forgotten to pack it. The husband, who was dropping another sister and I off at the Bellingham ferry terminal, took a detour to the closest Costco, and I bought a Samsung 21x zoom. After that the poor Leica with its lesser pixels and anemic zoom went into a drawer.

When the wonderful Samsung was stolen from my luggage in Johannesburg, I went Samsung again with more pixels and the same marvelous zoom. Still got that one. It slips into a pocket with ease, it’s got more bells and whistles on it than I will ever use in my addiction of point and shoot. Like everyone else I’ve got a phone that takes whopping good snaps, but for precision and closeup, there’s nothing like the Samsung.

Thus is my short history of personal photography is done. Next week, maybe, once I’ve mined the image data and sorted it for use, rather like a statistician building tables for a paper, I’ll share a few with you.

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About Jill Zeller

Author of numerous novels and short stories, Jill Zeller is a Left Coast writer, 2nd generation Californian, retired registered nurse, and obsessed gardener. She lives in Oregon with her patient husband, 2 silly English mastiffs and 2 rescue cats—the silliest of all. Her works explore the boundaries of reality. Some may call it fantasy, but there are rarely swords and never elves. More to the point, she prefers to write as if myth, imagination and hallucination are as real as the chair she is sitting on as she writes this. Jill Zeller also writes under the pseudonym Hunter Morrison

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