The camera was brown and square, with a little viewfinder in the rear and what I called the “clicker button” on the front to take photos while running around my grandmother’s house.
The photos weren’t real. The camera was, though. Far as I can discern through a web search it was a Brownie Bullet. Or maybe a Brownie Hawkeye. Heck, it’s been more than 40 years ago and my brain’s hairy. But it was fun taking photos with that old broken Brownie, even if they were only pretend photos and only what I saw through the viewfinder.
A few months ago, my father gave me a box that had his Brownie Starmeter camera in it, which surprised me. I never knew he enjoyed taking photos as a lad. My late mother, bless her, took a lot of photos with our old Kodak Instamatic. I have one from 1969 in a diaper wearing a holster with two plastic 6-shot revolvers. Heck, yeah! Others from vacations: visiting the USS Battleship in Mobile, Alabama; taking my first airplane flight on Southern Airways in the early 1970s. Holidays, family gatherings and so forth. Like almost all of us, photos were an important part of our lives.
I don’t remember the first photo I took of an animal, flower, tree or other outdoors critter. My first camera was a Polaroid Land Camera in the late ’70s. Then my parents bought me a Canon AE-1, a real camera with lenses and so forth. Today I still shoot Canon cameras: a G-11 and bigger EOS 40D. They’re older, I also have some GoPro cameras, and I don’t get to shoot as much anymore, but I still enjoy taking and seeing photos. I love Instagram for some of the great images on there, along with some other social media sites.
So it’s always great to see the outstanding work of photographers in different settings, from architecture to hunting and the outdoors. A full complement of the latter is what you’ll get in the ongoing Sitka #Diverge5 photo contest — white-tailed deer, waterfowl, elk, bighorn sheep, hunters in the field, scenic shots and more. Great photos. Great passion. Probably some artistic images that you might have ignored elsewhere but, in all honesty, you should look at and appreciate.
We often see things in the woods that seem inconsequential — a blue jay feather amid autumn leaves, a mouse scurrying around a blind — but we appreciate and enjoy them. Right? I mean, last season I had an ugly, egg-sucking, tick-eating armadillo walk up and smell my boot while I was in a makeshift ground blind. I had to laugh because they’re so unique and the interaction was cool.
These photos in the #Diverge5 contest will do the same. Enjoy them. Appreciate them. Celebrate them, and tell others about them. It’s easy to participate: just post a photo to Instagram with #Diverge5 in the caption, or upload it on the Sitkagear.com/diverge page.
The contest ends Dec. 1. Prizes include cool gear including caps, GoPro products, magazines and more.
Here are some more cool photos: