For some reason or another, my older brother gave me my first camera back in what I remember being 1987. He purchased the Pentax Super Program 35mm film camera from someone at work and it started me on my eventual professional career in photography. I remember seeing the cheap blue camera bag on the carpet of our house and marvelling at this magnificent silvery machine with mysterious knobs and dials. I can still smell the silica gel desiccant packets that were inside the black lining of the bag.
The camera came with a 50mm, a 70-210mm, some filters, and another lens or two not worth mentioning. Those other lenses turned out to be really cheap quality and took Instagram quality images. Attached to the camera was also one of those awesome retro camera straps that are sadly found on hipsters who are using retro cameras such as that Pentax.
I loved that camera but it wasn’t my first as I do remember my mother had a 110mm Kodak that I captured some of my first childish imagery on it’s tiny negatives that are still somewhere in the house on Huisache St. I guess my brother saw something in me and thought maybe I had some talent with photography. I guess he was right because I’ve made my career of taking pictures starting about the time I walked out into the world with that Pentax.
The camera still sits on a shelf near all the new fancy stuff. I almost threw it out but Sweetie made me realize the importance of that gift. I would imagine the camera still works if I put a fresh set of batteries in her.
As the last of the photo labs close in Hawaii, the Pentax becomes a relic lost within the pixels of the digital age. Thank you Brother for the most significant camera that helped start my career. But to tell you the truth, you should have given me a damn stethoscope!