Welcome to a blog with pictures.

I was born an engineer, we are not made anymore than writers or musicians are. Taking things apart started about 4-years old. I once took a little Interarms  .22 automatic pistol to pieces, losing a few tiny pins in the process. It reduced me finally to bringing it to the big “Sportsman’s Corner” sporting goods store in Reno to a gunsmith who new pins and put it right. What a failure for a child! With cheap tools from the local Grant’s department store I began disassembling cars at 15, when not building shortwave radio kits or wandering in the desert and alleys behind clubs and bars.

The time in the dark arts was spent in the defense and space business in Silicon Valley–with large space and defense companies, advising NASA, the National Labs, and new Russian companies of the mid-90s on doing business in Silicon Valley when the Wall came down, and managing relationships between competitors on an advanced armored vehicle program.

My parents had a two-lens Graflex-22 camera I figured out when I was 11. (Sadly, I did not have the tools to take it apart.) A light meter would have been an expensive luxury, so I just guessed exposures using the instructions that came in the Kodak film boxes. Film and developing and printing was done at the local K-Mart, or wherever it was cheapest.

I got a Polaroid Swinger one Christmas and took many pictures with it. We don’t need no stinking drugstore!

Somewhere in college I got a Fujica ST 801 that still works. It was stolen and cost $25 at a pawn shop to get back along the way. Then came an Olympus OM 2S which also still works, but was never stolen. It has a design flaw in the power supply causing it to eat batteries. Olympus fixed it once, but the problem came back.

Ansel Adams books, “The Camera”, “The Negative”, and “The Print” taught me better photography with the OM 2, until I got an Olympus C-4000 Zoom in 2001. Finally, it was possible to photographs and process them adequately using Adobe Photoshop Elements 1.0  included with the camera.

I shoot Olympus and Ricoh GR cameras now, processing files with various SW, except for Lightroom for religious reasons. It’s an old Apple, Steve Jobs, Silicon Valley thing.

At this writing, 2024, I am the past president of the Thousand Oaks Photo Group and teach street photography online for the Photographic Society of America

Besides this over long aside, this website contains various random & unrelated blog posts and photo galleries of whatever photography I might be doing or have done.

For your entertainment, or not. 


Mike Macartney