I was a photographer from a very young age. The first camera I owned was a box Brownie by Kodak, which had the viewfinder as a small glass square you looked down into while holding the camera at waist height. The film came on a roll you had to wind into the camera and advance manually, looking for the number to appear behind the tiny red window on the back. I graduated to a curved plastic Brownie with the viewfinder at eye level. My first real camera was a Hunter Gougo, which required the lens to be pulled outward on a small cylinder before photos could be taken.

When someone put a Pentax into my hands in my early 20s, it was the beginning of a longtime love affair. It was a 35mm single lens reflex, and took 24 or 36 photos from a cartridge that had to be slotted into place and wound until the teeth engaged. I learned about shutter speeds, f-numbers and depth of focus. Alas, I could not afford to keep it, so for years I made do with a Russian Zenith 3, an inferior but very much cheaper, similar instrument. What a joy it was when I finally made it to a real Pentax. I must have taken thousands of photos with it. One of my great acquisitions was a catadioptric 500mm lens for taking close-ups of distant objects. It was like a long telephoto lens, but with internal mirrors that cut its size to about 3 inches.

My final Pentax was a 105 automatic, with sensors that measured the distance to the subject and set it automatically. I could point it at a dolphin leaping from the water and take a photo in perfect focus. After a lifetime of Pentax, I finally graduated to a Leica Digilux 2, which looked retro, like a 1930s single lens reflex, but which had up-to-date digital innards. Then came the iPhone...