Time Life

Isolation, Upper West Side, New York

When I was about 12 or 13, Time-Life Books started issuing a subscription series of books on photography. They were very cheap, but much more than my weekly allowance would cover. I persuaded my father to cover half the cost and every other month a new volume would arrive. I devoured them. Initially a series of 8, they subsequently extended the series but we had left the country by then so I only have the original set. Still a worthy source for the budding young photographer.

Kodak DC280

Isolation, Upper West Side, New York

My first digital camera. Lovely, sleek design. Sometime in the late ’90s I decided digital had come of age and bought this 2MP beauty for something like $700 for family snapshots. That summer I had an epiphany with it on the beach at dawn, realizing how much better modern cameras with auto-focus were than my match-needle, fresnel-screen, manual-focus SLRs and soon I had switched to higher end digital cameras, sticking with Minolta (I had an srT101, an XE-7 and a couple of xD-11s) and getting the Dimage A1, a 5MP all-in-one that I loved, and then their first DSLR the 7D, now both long gone.

Ansco Viking

Isolation, Upper West Side, New York

I don’t remember where I picked this up but I actually used to shoot with it. In fact, in 7th grade, when I was 11 or 12, I shot pictures of Greenwich Village with it for a group school report. Entirely manual and un-metered and, probably with some minor holes in the bellows I got some nice big foggy, low-contrast negatives on Kodak 120 film with it.

Coin of the Realm

Isolation, Upper West Side, New York

Stack of coins from long ago travels, with a wooden clothespin on top. The brilliant Fuji 60mm macro has picked up schmutz and fine dust hairs that I can’t see with my weak, unaided eyes.