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Brownie Hawkeye Flash

My love of taking pictures began the first time I ever laid my hands on a camera. It was this camera right here. The Brownie Hawkeye Flash.

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This bakelite beauty had been a Christmas to my grandmother from her 5 little boys back in the ’50s. They earned the money to pay for it by collecting beer bottles. I often wonder how many beer bottles it took to raise that kind of cash. I just figured out that it would have taken 17,025 beer bottles to pay for the camera I used to take this photo. I included the cost of a memory card in that calculation. This mid-century Kodak is mine now. Would you believe I even have film for it?

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16 thoughts on “Brownie Hawkeye Flash

  1. I’m so into Vintage…Great piece, and how awesome that it has such wonderful memories for you too. I honestly haven’t ever seen one of those before. It’s beautiful! I also like how you two-toned the background vertically with light and dark. Nice post.

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    • Thanks. I took the photo on my dining room table facing the French doors. I extended the zoom lens to try and blur the background out. It was working well, but I forgot to charge the battery, so I only got a few shots in. I didn’t get a lot of experimenting done today.

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      • I watched some clips on youtube for learning how to create Boke’ (not sure I spelled that right), if you have the right lenses and the aperture and stuff set right, well the effect can be stunning. You did good though. I love experimenting it can lead to some great shots.

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      • I didn’t know that, but on the other hand, being able to do it for real is a nice talent to have too. 😉 I gotta check out this picmonkey place.. hehehe.

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      • PicMonkey is really fun, but if your images are more than 16 megapixels it’s going to reduce them to that size. There’s a free version, but the paid version is well worth the money. I use it a lot for “silly stuff” I put on the web, and for promotional things I post online for the animal shelter I volunteer with.

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      • yeah, I have played with the free version of it before. I always thought about getting the paid version but I haven’t really discovered the joys of photo editing yet. That’s cool you volunteer at an animal shelter!

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  2. That’s very cool. The first photo I ever took was on my Grandad’s box brownie. That gave me the photography bug. The family historian in me loves that you have this tangible connection to your forebears too.

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  3. Well coming from back in the days of the 50’s, bottle returns were 2¢/ bottle, or 50 bottles for a dollar. If that camera even cost $20. That’s 1000 bottles. When I got 10¢ together, I’d be getting me a bottle of pop, that’s soda for my Southern brothers. Your Uncles worked pretty hard for that gift.

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    • My father tells me that they drove my grandmother foolish with their bottle collecting. He said that they had “the dairy” full of bottles. “The dairy” was a shed they used for food storage (apparently only when there was room in there for food).

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      • In the “thumb” area of MI, we call them milk house’s. People probably now think they are playhouses. We had “cold” spring water keeping it cool @ my uncle’s milk farm.

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  4. That was very admirable of those little boys … what a lovely camera, and great memories for you.

    Not until the digital came into play, I caught that bug. I had a camera when I was young, but for some reason, I constantly worried about how much film I had, how long it would take to develop [and cost] … I thought more about that than anything else. The freedom that the digital brings … that’s what makes it so much fun to me!

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    • I had the same concerns about film. Oddly enough, I was more concerned about that stuff as an adult than when I was a teen. I have far fewer photos from when I was in my 20 and early 30s than I have from when I was a teen. When I was 12 or 13 I was in 4H and I got to develop my own photos there. That was a lot of fun! But yeah, digital has made it so much easier to experiment, learn, and to become prolific “artists”. All we have to worry about now is battery life and how much room is on the memory card. 😀

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