Last weekend my wife and I again ventured over British Columbia’s coastal mountains, this time to attend a camera swap meet. This was the last camera swap meet of the year. And I had a blast!
The event has been taken over by a new coordinator and moved closer to a more central location for photographers that live in Vancouver. There was more parking available for the swap meet, and we were able to find a reasonably priced hotel that was located nearby (only about five minutes drive away.) And for folks like us from out-of-town, the new location offered better access to a variety of restaurants.
The new venue was smaller, but the tables were less spread out and had an intimate atmosphere that I really enjoyed. Our day started at 9am with the long line-up of photography enthusiasts rushing in as fast as they could.
Vancouver is a large multicultural city and for those of us living in smaller communities in the BC interior, the sudden barrage of dialects and different languages being spoken takes a moment to get used to. However, everyone there spoke “Photography”, and that made for a fun and friendly day of showing, demonstrating, explaining, and, of course, bargaining with savvy photographers of all kinds.
I was pleased to find that I had a table next to my long time friend Brian Wilson. That was a treat, Brian is the guy that got me into this business 20 plus years ago and there is no doubt his knowledge on cameras and their history is second to none.
The place was packed and there were many bargains, and I doubt anyone that had rented a table had much time to themselves until things slowed down for a short time around lunch. After splitting a great big deli sandwich with Brian I decided to take advantage of the lull to have a quick walk around to see what was for sale and take a few pictures for this article.
I’ll sum up my walk-about in one word, Wow! The variety of equipment was exciting. I felt like the little kids I sometime see safely tucked in a shopping cart going down the grocery store candy or cookie aisle, hands reaching out pleading with their mother for the goodies on the shelves. It was all I could do to keep myself from reaching in my pocket for the proceeds of the morning sales ready to buy. Nevertheless I touched everything I could before safely returning to my table to be out of temptation’s grip.
I talked to lots of people, renewed some long-time friendships, made new friends, sold a few cameras and lenses, and had a good time. Oh, and like icing on the cake, I was able to find a neat 1960s Twin Lens Yashica camera for myself.
As usual, the Vancouver Swap meet was exhilarating, and even though the day was tiring and after packing up what I had left from the show, Linda and I ignored the comfort of our quite hotel room and headed to downtown Vancouver to spend the evening in a pleasant Broadway bar for a meal of fish and chips with locally crafted beer, all in all, a perfect way to end the day.