My real name is Pete; on here and on Flickr I'm Dustin McAmera. I live in Leeds, in England.
I have more cameras than I can do justice to as a user (a few dozen), but I resist the idea that I'm a collector. That said, the pleasure of using my cameras is sometimes just as important to me as the photographs. My oldest cameras are from the 1920s, but I like to try to write about earlier stuff, just because it's under-represented here.
My own cameras include several that I feel guilty for owning, because they're so good, and I use them so little: in particular my Century Graphic, my Mamiya 645 Pro and my Ensign Reflex. I notice that since I started writing for the wiki, that problem has got worse. Recent new purchases are an Agfa Standard 208 (9x12 cm), a Calumet CC-401 4x5-inch monorail, and a quarter-plate Ensign Carbine. Another one is a Canon EOS M50; I find my life nowadays gets in the way of doing much with film, and I got this to keep a toe-hold on some photography. It's not the same; but it's a lot better than nothing.
On the other hand, the community of old-camera-owners on the web sometimes generates occasions for using them. Quite a few of my cameras are for 127 film, and I try to do something for 127 Days (12 July and 27 January). 2012 was the centenary year of Kodak's introduction of the 127 film size, and I think I did quite a good effort for the summer day that year. Although I've taken pictures for 127 Day since about 2005, I didn't know until 2012 that Summer 127 Day is also George Eastman's birthday; I'm glad we mark that. We owe him a lot. I try to observe Take Your Box Camera to Work Day. I first spotted this at Flickr. Taking my box camera to work isn't strictly possible since I changed my job (or it was changed for me) to one which doesn't tolerate such eccentricities. Instead, I take my cameras around town outside of work. On Flickr, I see there are people doing 'Take Your Box Camera to Play Day' instead, and there isn't great concensus as to when the right day is. I usually go out for Pinhole Day (Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day: look for pinholeday.org) a little later in the spring, and try to do something with Light Night in the autumn.
Being an admin
I was promoted to be one of the admins for the wiki There are something like six of us: I'm first in that list on alphabetical grounds only). If you're here in search of an admin, to ask something about CW, or complain about something, feel free to talk to me about it. If you're a registered wiki user, and logged in, then you can either write me a note here in the wiki (do it next door on my Talk page) or you can send a message using the 'Email this user' link at the bottom of the links on the left of the page. If you're not yet a registered wiki user you can still contact me at my Flickr account, linked above. In particular, we switched off the facility for people to register new user accounts for themselves, because we got large numbers of spammers; so if you want to register, you need to get an admin to do that for you.
Although a wiki is a kind of collective, it still has some rules (rules of conduct, rules of style, rules about copyright), and it's the job of the admins to enforce them when necessary. Please try not to take it personally if one of us changed what you wrote; but of course, feel free to ask for an explanation.
For all its faults, I don't know anything else as good as Flickr for hosting your pictures. It's where the wiki gets all its pictures. I have stayed there through several big changes. Nice little groups have formed (and disbanded). I'm still happy with what I get for what I pay. I've had a bit of a lull in my own photography, but these are the latest uploads to my Flickr account.
Other camera-related sites I go to include these:
- PhotographyToday.net; set up as a replacement for the NelsonFoto forum after Craig Nelson died, and the future of that site looked uncertain (it's gone now). NelsonFoto itself had its origins in Craig's dissatisfaction with photo.net. It's a discussion forum with a few dozen, mostly American, photographers. Having not-too-many contributors gives it a strong personality and the feel of a club.
- ... and there is still Photo.net. It's a huge forum site, and you can upload pictures, though that side of the site is a lot more clunky than (say) Flickr. It's been sold, and moved to new software, and the amount and quality of new activity has been affected. It's still a good place to search for old posts about your own current difficulty, or see who else had posted about a camera you'd just bought. I usually search it with google (add "site:photo.net" to your search terms). Like Flickr, you can sign up without paying, and I would recommend that; some people have trouble getting the site to stop charging them later. I have never felt obliged to pay subs, because I don't use the gallery side, only the fora.
- I registered at the Large Format Photography forum. It's quite big and active; more than 30,000 registered users; which isn't always a good sign, but I found some useful and interesting stuff posted. Until you register, the site is a bit awkward, and my registration hung up for several days (perhaps waiting to be signed off by a human admin). There are For Sale and Wanted boards, and fora for not-large format stuff too.
- There's a UK Large Format Forum too; not very active though.
- The listings for past auctions at Westlicht (now Leitz Photographica Auction) in Vienna: a good place to see good pictures of some cameras that you may never see anywhere else. I have often used these pictures to check details of cameras for articles in the wiki. You can't use these pictures in the wiki, but I cite them in references. New auctions happen twice every year. I was tickled one time, to find a line of text from the wiki used in one of the auction's descriptions! Yeah - we made the big time!
An old to-do list
There is an old list of jobs that were never done, commented out here.