History of My Cameras

The History of my Cameras.

Most people that know me, know I am somewhat of a pack rat. I keep everything. Too much of everything. I am not a collector by any means, but I have some collectible items. I built a display case for the cameras just to get them out of the closets. The shelf includes a Kodak Duaflex II, an Olympus, my Swinger a Brownie and a Kodak Instamatic 100. I picked up the Kodak Duaflex, Olympus and Kodak Instamatic 100 at Garage sales and Flea Markets. The Brownie has been in my family for years and is believed to be my Great Grandmothers. I think the display looks pretty cool!Camera Display_20170124_003


I got my first camera in the late 60’s early 70’s, a Polaroid Swinger. It was black and white film and used the Polaroid cartridge. Look through the view finder and turn the red know till it said “YES”, press the button. It was a Christmas gift. I remember saving my pennies and other change to buy the film! It only took 8 pictures but produced them in an instant.

My mother got a color version called the SX-70. I remember shooting, then shaking the picture in hopes of it drying faster. Wow, times have changed.Polaroid Swinger_20170123_003


Like many others I took Photography in High School. I can’t remember most of what I learned back then, but none the less it was an experience. We used Box Type cameras, similar to this Kodak (can’t remember the name). We shot black and white and developed the film and prints in class. I remember it was fun though.

Kodak Box_20170124_004

My second camera was a Kodak 110. For the life of me I don’t know that happened to that camera. Normally I wouldn’t get rid of something like this but who knows since it’s been over 25 years ago. In some old shoe-boxes I still have the negatives. Me being the pack rat that I am, I have a few rolls of film that have not been developed yet. Hmm, wonder what is on these guys?

110 Film_20170123_002

My first REAL camera was a Minolta X-700 35mm I purchased in the mid 80’s. It was an awesome camera although I never really conquered everything about the camera. It mostly stayed in the “P” program mode. I purchased a Power Winder that would shoot 2.5 frames per second. Of course that’s much faster than I can press the winder myself. I got my first taste of the interchangeable lens. It came with a 50mm standard lens. Later I purchased an 80-200mm telephoto. Then a 2x converter, so in essence I had a 100mm and 160-400mm lens.


I tried all the normal shooting like, double exposure, long exposure etc. I got some good pictures and plenty of bad ones. My biggest problem was my budget and the fact I had to buy a roll of film, around $5.00 to $7.00 for 24 or 36 shots, have them developed for another $5 to 7 dollars to find maybe 10 keepers. I’m exaggerating about the keepers but invariably there were more than a few bad ones, especially when I added the 2x converter to the 200mm lens. My worst scenario was I was photographing a wedding and apparently the winder did not attach to the film correctly. I thought I was taking some really good shots and development time came with not even one single frame was exposed. Wow! Talk about a lesson in humility. Thank goodness I wasn’t being paid. Besides other things in life, out of frustration, I did not shoot with it much afterwards.

Minolta X-700_20170123_003Minolta X-700_20170123_004


We moved to Dallas in February 1996. We decided to take a trip to Shreveport and go to the River Boats. Crap, I forgot my camera. We stopped at a Best Buy and purchased a Minolta Freedom Action Zoom 35mm camera. Basically a point and shoot 35mm camera but it worked pretty well. We captured many shots. Again, buy film, take to develop and $14.00 later we had some pictures to put in an album or the proverbial shoe box. So were the days of film cameras. I actually took it to New York in 1999 on a business trip. I came back with some nice shots.Minolta Freedom_20170123_001


The Digital Era

In 2003 I decided to go digital with the purchase of a Nikon 4300 Point and shoot camera. A 4 megapixel and 3x optical zoom, and a 1.5″ LCD screen. This camera has video as well but strangely enough, no sound. I actually got some really good shots with this camera. In turn got the creative juices flowing in the world of digital photography. I HAD to get Photoshop. On a trip to New Mexico, I filled up every compact flash card I had. I had about 4 cards, of course they were only 128mb each. After a few years of this camera and several thousand shots I decided it was time to go bigger and better.Nikon 4300_20170123_003


In 2007, we were going on a trip to the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta. Enter the Canon S3 IS – 12 megapixel, 2″ articulating LCD screen, 12x optical zoom. Now this was a camera, at least I thought. I took well over 550 shots of balloons, architecture, landscape and people. Next year we went to South Padre Island. 600 shots. It is a fantastic camera in the point and shoot world with a big zoom. I have taken several thousand pictures with this camera. The manual modes were fantastic as far as I am concerned. In some ways, I could operate this camera better than what I have now. I guess that was from experience and trying to emulate the better photographers I have seen and known. It also was easy to carry around and I took it everywhere too.Canon S3IS_20170124_004


In December of 2013, for our anniversary, my wonderful wife got me a Canon T3i DSLR, 18 megapixels, interchangeable lens, and 3” articulating screen. Although I am not much of a videographer, is has pretty good video with sound as well. This camera will be with me for a long time and has helped me produce some really good images. I take it everywhere.

Now I have a list of lenses and accessories to boot.
Canon 24mm f2.8
Canon 50mm f1.8
Canon 18-135 f3.5-5.6 Standard zoom
Sigma 17-50 f2.8 Standard zoom
Tamron 70-300 f4-5.6 Telephoto zoom
Yongnuo 565EX flash
I have a remote shutter release to use while on a tripod plus much more.Canon T3i_20170123_005Canon T3i_20170123_002


The bag keeps getting smaller and heavier! I love this camera and I am trying to keep G.A.S. (Gear Acquisition Syndrome) out of my system but the Canon 80D has surfaced. Here we go again, but this time I’ll wait because I need to get much, much better before I can justify spending that much on a new camera.

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Thanks for reading and looking!


It’s all about the light!



Well it’s 2017. Who would have thought?

I finally decided to create photo blog (It’s about time). Hopefully I can keep it up to date with insights into my photography and our adventures.

I decided to name my site “P in a Circle Photos”. P in a Circle is a name I came up with many years ago. It is derived from the trademark symbol ® and the copyright symbol ©.

Of course my name since birth is Pody and naturally the P is dominant! My given name is William, but I was given the nickname Pody and it has been with me ever since birth.

December 20th, 1991, I was fortunate enough to marry the most wonderful person I know, the love of my life, Juanita.

San Antonio Trip _20160416_010

She has put up with me for 25 years now. That in itself is an amazing accomplishment for her. We love to travel and go antiquing. Sometimes we just go on the spur of the moment. We call it an Adventure. You never know what you might see.

Anyone that knows me, knows I take my camera everywhere, especially in the last several years with the digital era.  I have over 43,000 photos on my computer (I know that’s a lot of photos). I hardly ever delete anything. Even the bad ones I keep to try and learn from the mistakes. Photography is always evolving and you never know when a new technology might be able to recover some. I plan this year to archive the “bad” ones and clean up my hard drives.

I am starting the blog with a recap of 2016. We had some really fun experiences last year.

Most of the time during the first part of the year we are recuperating from the holidays and birthdays. Juanita’s birthday, our son Fred’s birthday and My birthday along with Thanksgiving and Christmas are within a few weeks of each other over a period of 3 months.

Our first trip was to Beeville, Texas to a bike rally. All three of us ride and sometimes Adolfo, Juanita’s brother.


Juanita’s mother wanted to go to west Texas to see some of her friends so Adolfo took her with him to visit for a while. When she was ready to come home, we met them in Abilene. These were taken with the 18-135mm.

We decided to take a trip to Broken Bow Oklahoma for the July 4th weekend. We booked a cabin in the middle of nowhere. This place was 25 miles from town, but very peaceful and quiet. My Nephew Shane got to come with us. We all had a blast.

Juanita, her Mom and I went to East Texas to pick blueberries. I only took my 18-135mm lens. I always try to capture the memories as well as some artistic shots.


We decided to take a trip to Colorado for our vacation this year. We drove miles and miles to get there from Plano. I booked a cabin in the middle of nowhere again. Very peaceful and quiet. This time we were only 12 miles from a town.

We drove to Dodge City Kansas on the way back. Miles and miles of farmland.

I started a new job in September so some of the quick trips stopped for a while, but our 25th Anniversary was a few short months away. We never take a BIG trip so we decided New York City, here we come!

When we arrived it was 21 degrees but clear so we decided to head out. We walked to Times Square.

The weatherman said it was 17 degrees and the wind was blowing 25 mph. Lets got to the Top of the Rock!New York City_20161215_090

It was supposed to be cloudy and possibility of rain and snow sometime the next few days. My fingers got so cold I couldn’t feel the buttons on the camera.

Over the next 5 days/4 nights we walked 35 miles according to my fitness watch.

People Everywhere!

New York City_20161217_441

We rode the Staten Island Ferry.


Our Anniversary Dinner. Really good cake and coffee!IMG_3403

As I close this post, I will try to post about once a month with some pictures of our adventures and other projects. Hope everyone has a great New Year.