I was given a 12 photo concertina B&W camera when I was about 13 by a boarder who lived with us. One of the photos I took with that camera I thought was great but the others were disappointing.
After I left school I bought a Practica, an East German film SLR, which was the only one I could afford, but my shots compared well with my mates who had expensive cameras.
I bought a whole lot of filters, simple lenses over the years but only the UV lens was worth it.
Shortly after Denise and I married in 1981, we were burgled and all my camera gear was stolen plus Denise's Opium perfume.
With the insurance money I bought 2 Olympus OM1-N SLRs, a Sigma wide angle zoom lens, and a Sigma telephoto zoom lens and had one of each lens on each camera permanently.
I was constantly disappointed how many of the film shots once developed were not as amazing as I expected, but some were good enough to have framed and adorned the walls of our home.
Then in about 1994/95 I had a month on the Great South Road in Southern Australia, taking photos of the Twelve Apostles every day for about 2 weeks trying to get shots as good as the postcards.
Then one day there were massive seas, so we went to Lochard Gorge which has a narrow entrance of tall headland cliffs and a little beach within. I stood on a small rock on the beach taking shots of the waves smashing higher than the entrance, with both cameras around my neck.
I was using the telephoto zoom, sensational. Then I felt a push in the back, which caused one foot to fall forward, the wide angle camera around my neck swinging and dipping into a wave that had come around the cliffs and come up behind me. The camera dipped into the water for a split second and the water was gone.
The camera could not be repaired so I only had the telephoto left.
When I went to China in late 2002 I was paranoid of being robbed so I bought my first digital camera, a small Nikon point & shoot with adjustable LED screen.
I was amazed how good the photos were, I could see what they were going to look like in the LED and I could take as many as I wanted.
I upgraded to a Nikon S4 for a later China trip in 2005/06 and was taking shots in -20C conditions so I thought my camera was great.
Later in 2006 my camera failed in Malaysia so I upgraded to a Nikon S10, a small point and shoot with 10x optical zoom.
I took it to China, Patagonia and East Africa, blindly thinking my shots were as good as those with the fancy cameras and lenses, thinking as I had a pocket camera I would not be robbed.
As it turned out in Zambia I was the only one in the group that was robbed. The cook took all of my money and my passport, but not my camera!
Then in 2010 I was at a Blues Music Festival and was taking the same shots as a professional photographer there, or so I thought.
I went to his photo exhibition...and my years of blindness were wiped away...his photos were brilliant...and mine were shit!
So when planning for Mali & Ethiopia in 2010/11, I had to get a decent camera.
I wanted a camera whereby I could see a camel on a sanddune and take it close up and also wide angle without changing my lens.
I also wanted an adjustable LED as I hate looking through the lens for a portrait...makes me feel as uncomfortable as the subject!
I tried heaps of SLRs but settled on a point & shoot with a single 18-200mm lens...the SONY NEX5HD.
I can't take shots as good as the Blues photographer at night, but in daylight....another story!
I guess I am still blinded by my fear of technology, but now that I am a member of Travelblog my eyes are opened regularly.
Anyway I'm happy with my point & shoot SONY NEX5HD...here are a couple of my favourite portraits...until I get a fancy SLR...this thread may inspire me.
[Edited: 2012 Jul 08 10:57 - Dancing Dave:192151 ]