You may know that Luminate's mission is making images interactive, but did you know that we're also pretty passionate about making pictures too? Our conference rooms are named after camera makes; Ansco, Leica and Polaroid are just some of them. And among our employees we have a professional motorsports photographer, a cinematographer, and a camera collector. I sat down with Will Scullin, one of the Luminate engineers, to ask him about his hobby for camera collecting.
What got you interested in collecting cameras?
When I was a poor college student I would frequent garage and estate sales, looking for bargains. There were invariably cameras, and since it was the era of the 35mm point and shoot, the cameras being discarded tended to be older, cooler looking models that took less common films. In fact, cameras were so common at these sales that I had to start making up rules about which cameras I collected in order to stave off just plain hoarding. I settled on only collecting Kodak cameras, because while it placed some restrictions on my buying, Kodak covered a huge range of photographic history and made a wide variety of cameras, from the basic Brownie to large, ornate bellows cameras.
What is your favorite camera in the collection?
It's hard to pick just one, but the Kodak Flash Bantam is up there and the No. 3A Folding Pocket Camera is also particularly nice looking.
Is there a camera that is missing from your collection?
There are hundreds cameras I could add, but of those the one I would probably like the most is an original Brownie. Because I generally purchase at garage sales and flea markets, it's not the sort of thing I'm likely to encounter. But I keep hoping.
Will you start adding digital cameras to your collection as some of the older digital cameras become antiques?
Sadly, Kodak's digital camera line is pretty unattractive. Most digital cameras aren't really display pieces in the way an Art Deco Bullet camera is. While there are some cool looking digital cameras, many of them, like the Leica digital cameras, simply borrow from classic designs.
Do you use these cameras?
I don't use any of them, really. You can't really go to Walgreens to get film for most of them, and in some cases using them would be detrimental to their health. I've always had current cameras that I've used to take pictures, and have kept up to date like the gadget fiend I am. My current camera of choice is my iPhone 5.
What is your favorite thing to take pictures of?
I am a student of traditional photo subject matters, mostly my cat.