At The 2017 Vancouver Camera Swap Meet  

 

A great way to search for bargains

Last minute pricing

Ya gotta concentrate

Check this out

A photographer with attitude

Gosh, a 110 camera

Trying a lens

I like this camera

 

I am usually greeted in the morning by the sounds of my two roosters crowing and the high-flying, neighbourhood crows cawing. But early last Sunday, as I walked across the parking lot to my hotel room carrying two cups of coffee, my morning greeting from the birds was from a loud colony of seagulls. I thought that the sound of the seagulls was a nice hello as I prepared to go to the Vancouver Camera Swap Meet.

Last February I wrote about how I look forward to this event, and that in my opinion, it doesn’t get much better than to spend the day surrounded by a huge selection of cameras and other photography equipment all for sale.

Well, there I was on the first Sunday in April having a great time again. I have been a regular at the Vancouver Camera Swap meet since the 1980s. And as I have written so many times in past articles, I look forward to meeting and talking with the diverse gathering of photographers of all interests, specialties, and lifestyles.

I always rent a table and after my customary quick walk around the hall, I was ready for the 9am rush of photographers looking for bargains. And as usual I was guessing about the latest trend and hoping I brought the right camera equipment to sell.

I only bring what I can fit in my car and space is limited on the eight-foot table the organizers provide. I have found that piling too much on the table not only invites theft, but makes it too hard for people to see what I have as they jostle shoulder to shoulder with other bargain hunters.

Those bargain hunters include all kinds of lifestyles, interests, and photographic specialties. What they all have in common is an interest in photography. That’s it! Everyone there is interested in photography, whether they are looking for film and vintage cameras, or searching for modern digital technology, it’s just all about photography.

As always, I had a great time talking with other photographers. Sure, I like selling things, but selling is only half the fun. Renewing long time friendships, meeting people from all over everywhere, and finding out about their different interests is the other half.

Another Camera Swap Meet is over, and this year was no different than last in that I spent an exhilarating day talking non-stop with other photographers, and even got time to wander a bit checking out all the neat photography equipment.

It was hmm…what’s a good word to describe the Vancouver Camera Swap meet? Invigorating, energizing, stimulating, exhilarating? Or maybe I should just say it was just good fun.

The Vancouver Camera Swap Meet is an excellent way to meet and exchange information with other photographers, and to look at and check out an impressive selection of used photographic equipment that would not be so accessible anywhere else in Canada.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve Been Robbed!

 

foot prints in the snow

A phone call at 3:30 in the morning is never good.  And sure enough the call I got last Monday morning met my worst expectations.

As I answered the phone I wondered, “Is this a call about a fire or a break-in”. Sure enough it was the latter. There was a break-in at my store.

Somehow three thieves gained entry into the main building from the alley door, and as the alarm blared, they made their way towards my storefront shop. Thereafter, they easily smashed the glass of the door entering my camera store, rushed to a display cabinet containing cameras and lenses; and because I found some lenses scattered on the floor, I think they rudely shoved equipment from two shelves into a camera case that contained my digital projector, and then ran back through the building to exit the rear door.

The tenant that resides on the second floor added her 911 call to the notification the security company was getting from the alarm, and looking through her window watched the burglars making off though the falling snow. Fortunately, the police arrived very soon after and using their tracking dogs easily followed the criminals to their hideout and apprehended them.

I give credit to the fast work of the local RCMP. They were certainly aided by the freshly fallen snow that at that time in the morning revealed the tracks of those thieves that entered and exited my shop. I would like to have watched those Mounties with their dogs chasing down the bad guys.

As I child of the 1950s radio shows like, “The Lone Ranger” and “The Green Hornet”, I listened with excitement as Sgt. Preston of the North West Mounted Police, and his dog, Yukon King, fought evildoers in the Northern Canadian wilderness.

I don’t want to make light of the excellent police force we have here in Kamloops, but as I stood outside the back door in the eerie, 4am light talking to the woman from the upstairs apartment I looked down the snow covered landscape and thought of that radio program of my childhood days from all those years ago. I cannot say the reason. Perhaps it was the lack of sleep, or the stress of the break-in, but when she mentioned the police and their dogs following the tracks in the snow, that’s what came to mind.

I received a call from a constable regarding the photography equipment stolen from my shop, who told me they recovered cameras and lenses in a black case. I assume that’s the missing projector case.

There is a good chance that most of, or hopefully all, of my property will be returned. Now I just have to wait for the lead inspector to determine how long they need to keep things as evidence. After posting the incident on Facebook, I received lots of concern from local photographers. That was nice. I found it interesting when someone would write, “You must feel violated”. For me that isn’t the word I would use. “Irritated” was a much better word to fit my mood as I cleaned up the glass, covered the opening with wood, and now must wait for the police to return my camera equipment.

I will get through this incident, survive my disappointment, and today returned to selling good, used, photography equipment, but now I also have a story to tell of yet another of those stressful events. There are so many photographers out there that have, as me, been photography equipment and have lost their prized photography equipment to, as one officer I talked to called them, “rats that scurry around in the darkness looking for an opportunity”. As I am sure readers know, we must be vigilant against thieves.

As I write this I remember how Sgt. Preston would hug his dog at the end of each episode and say, “Well, King, it looks like this case is closed.”

Thank you to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police for helping me recover my merchandise.