Let's Talk with Cheryl Hollon

It’s National Camera Day!

June 29, 2023

I’ve always been interested in photography. I think it’s because my parents were both avid photographers. On the left is my mom’s ANSCO SHUR-SHOT JR box camera that she bought as a teenager. On the right is my dad’s camera, a Kodak Retina IA 35mm Film Camera with a Schneider 50mm f/3.5 lens.

Mom had her cousin take this black-and-white image of her with the camera. It was very simple to use and held eight images on a roll. She called it her Brownie, and she used it until the 1980s. She got a cartridge camera and took the film to be developed at the drug store. She never liked any of the digital cameras because you didn’t get a print.

I’ve had a series of manual, automatic, and digital cameras. Here are my two favorites. On the left is my current Nikon Z fc DX-Format Mirrorless Camera w/NIKKOR Z DX 16-50mm f/3.5-6.3 lens. The monster on the right is a vintage Hasselblad 500 EL (it weighs 4 lbs. 14.7 oz.).

Here’s my favorite image taken with the Hasselblad. It’s my grandson at about six months old.

The exact origins of National Camera Day can be somewhat elusive, but the celebration can be traced back to the late 19th century when photography was in its infancy. Photography was still considered a relatively new art form. The camera itself was rapidly evolving, with inventors and innovators experimenting to improve its functionality and accessibility.

In the era of social media, the easy accessibility of photography has made it possible for anyone with a camera to become a storyteller. Platforms like Instagram, and Tic Toc have become a global stage for sharing unique perspectives.

Let’s take a moment to appreciate the camera in all its forms, from vintage film cameras to cutting-edge digital marvels. National Camera Day reminds us that behind every photograph lies a unique tale, waiting to be shared with the world.

I appear to be the keeper of the old cameras in my family. Do you own any vintage cameras?


The Paint & Shine Mysteries are set in the Daniel Boone National Forest. My parents were born and raised in the area, and now they rest in peace in the JJ Adams Family Cemetery in Wolfe County, Kentucky. The characters spend considerable time preparing traditional southern meals and creating moonshine cocktails. Please consider buying locally. Independent bookstores need your help.

Don’t forget to enter our Booklover’s Bench contest on or after June 1. We’re collecting entries for TWO free books to one lucky winner. It runs from June 1-22. Click HERE to enter.

Want to know more about author Cheryl Hollon? Visit her WEBSITE.

Posted in Let's Talk, with Cheryl Hollon • Tags: , , , |  23 Comments


23 thoughts on “It’s National Camera Day!

  1. My Dad had a Brownie and I used to borrow it when we went on field trips to Salem, MA and other places. He taught me how to change the film. He also had a camera to film home movies and the projector to show them. We didn’t like watching ourselves, we liked the Woody Woodpecker movie instead.

    1. My uncle had the projector and would film us on family vacations. He also rented movies from the library. It was magic to have fresh popcorn and free movies.

  2. Not anymore. Still may have a vintage tape recorder but that is it – unless you count Joel and my living room furniture.

  3. Like you, Cheryl, I love photography. I still have my Olympus OM-2 that I bought somewhere around 1980. I also have a Nikon D7200 and have been considering one of the Z series cameras to eliminate the mirror shake. I love vintage cameras. They were so high-tech for their time!

  4. I have two regular cameras which I like for the zoom feature. I do miss the days of prints. It would be so easy to wipe out our entire digital library. And what do we pass on to our kids? They won’t want to weave through our hundreds of digital pictures. Yet albums take up so much room. We have a closet filled with them.

  5. You asked if I had any vintage cameras. The answer is…not on purpose! I tend to find a home for my “old” cameras because I get so enthralled with the new ones. I am using a 35 mm Canon SureShot, I think, if that’s a thing, and it takes great pictures. As I’ve aged, I’ve found I need to use a tripod for distance shots with the zoom fully extended. Otherwise, it looks like a toddler took the pic! I am very drawn to the play of light on a subject. And shadows. We have so many shadows since our community is shrouded in live oaks. When we first moved into this house, I would spend about an hour every morning, early, with the window open and the camera mounted on a small tripod. I got some great shots because I happened to be in the right place at the right time. Once I snapped a pic of a deep taking a dip in our high marsh on an exceptionally high tide. Another day I got an egret landing on a raft of marsh rack, and so on.

    1. I’m now regretting that I gave away the tripod for my Hasselblad. I’m finding it too heavy to hold steady enough for longer exposures. I’ll be looking for another one soon.

  6. I remember my first camera, a Brownie. When my mom passed away and we were going through her things, we found a vintage Polaroid, the original version, still complete. Our son’s a photographer. He’s begun shifting from Nikon to the OM-1 system because it’s lighter and he does a lot of travel photography. My current camera is the OM-5, which I got right before our trip to the Arctic.

    1. An original polaroid! What an incredible find. My uncle had one as well and it was such a joy during family Christmas. He made sure everyone had a family picture.

  7. My mom had a Brownie that she used forever…I can still picture it in her hands. Not sure where it ended up but hopefully one of my siblings has it. My dad used a Polaroid for many many years for business and family pics. I remember how cool it was when the photos came out of the camera and you waited for the image to magically appear before you rubbed the fixative on it. Back in those days you didn’t waste your shots practicing your duck lips, LOL.

    1. LOL! You are so right about how careful we were with taking pictures. It was sometimes weeks or even months before a roll was ready to send off for development.

  8. I’ve always liked photography, too. I even took a class in college. That was back before digital. We learned how to develop our own photos.

  9. My first camera was the Brownie that had belonged to my mama. When the instamatics came out, she gave it to me. I now just take pictures with my phone.

  10. Good Morning from Crazy California,
    Yes, I have a couple of “vintage camera’s” of my husbands, tucked away in a bin in the garage. He may not even know they are there! Too bad I don’t have the “oatmeal cannister camera” we used to make in High School.

    1. I have a collection of vintage cameras!! I loved displaying them in my 1st house. Haven’t got them out in a while….

  11. Hubby and I both LOVE photography – especially wildlife in their natural environment. It’s a joy to be able to capture in a photo what the eye and brain see. It is harder than it sounds. It’s also taught me a lot about patience, which seems to be a major ingredient in getting that great photo. No photo is perfect, but they give us a goal in what to do better the next time. Maybe that’s also a great lesson in life to remember.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

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