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) and a Calumet CC-401 4x5-inch monorail.
On the other hand, the community of old-camera-owners on the web sometimes generates excuses for using them. Quite a few of my cameras are for 127 film, and I usually 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 in February. 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. 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. 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. 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 a walkout-in-disgust from photo.net. 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,
though the site has just adopted a new software which makes it big, colourful and much less useful than previously. I used to visit it daily to read the 'classic manual cameras' board, and I'd check the medium and large format boards, and a couple more. It was 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. Now, it takes several extra clicks to see posts older than this week, and posts older than two years can't be viewed at all.It seems everyone hated the new site so much they reverted to the old software! We shall see how long that lasts...
- I recently 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; quite new. I've registered but haven't posted anything yet.
- The listings for past auctions at Westlicht 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. New auctions happen twice every year.
A vague to-do list
These are things I hope to do some work on. I see this has turned into a list of routine maintenance jobs, rather than than exciting camera articles to write. Feel free to comment on these, especially if you think any of them is a really bad idea. (This isn't an invitation for anyone to insert jobs for me to do: I hate that! .. If you know enough to write one of these ideas up before I get to it, go ahead, of course.)
- When I come across ISBNs in articles, I'm putting nowiki tags round them. By default the wiki turns text like ISBN 1234567 into a blue clickable link which sends you to a special page where you can search for that number on four online booksellers' sites. That seems to go against the prevailing feeling against adverts and commercial exploitation at CW. The nowiki tags stop the link being made.
- Related to that: we have too many citations to Prochnow's Rollei Report (several vol) which seem to be entered independently. These could be converted to a template, so that when anyone wants to edit them, it only takes one edit, as rebollo_fr did a lot with his Japanese refs. Also, many of these give Braunschweich (-ch); should that not be Braunschweig? Check.
- Write the Century Graphic its own page. Things to link: the article in Graflex Hist Quarterly (much useful stuff there anyhow); Flickr user's group.
There is an old list of jobs that were never done, commented out here.