Tony Hyman

Camera Biography

    I bought my first camera, a Kodak Pony 35mm, in 1957 when I was 17 so I could document my new life in the Navy.  Within a year I moved up to an Aires 1.9, an inexpen-sive Japanese 35mm camera. Reviewers said the biggest complaint with Aires was inconsistency of lens quality, but I got one of the good ones and used it for four years, taking a few thousand pictures with it. While stationed in Hawaii I began experimenting with a larger format Roliflex I won in a poker game, but found it cumbersome.

    After the Navy I bought a Pentax and a Canon. I didn’t go Nikon like most of my serious photographer friends. Nikons are fine cameras with lots of accessories, but they are too dang heavy for me to be comfortable shooting. I learned early on that I won’t shoot a camera, no matter how good it is, if it doesn’t fit my hands and my style of shooting. I sold the Canon I found awkward but loved my Pentax so much I bought a second one as back up, or for times I wanted to shoot two different films. I worked with Kodachrome, Ektachrome on rare occasions, and for a while used mail order movie film, but I also shot Plus X and Tri-X.  I experimented with high contrast b/w films while teaching a course in experimental photography at Ithaca College.

    In the LA airport while waiting to catch a plane to China, I held a Minolta 7000 carried by a fellow traveler, fell in love with it, and bought my first one as soon as I got to Hong Kong. I liked shooting the Minolta so much I used it for almost ten years, and bought four more identical bodies, one on the net, two in pawn shops, and one in a second hand camera store.

    It was a difficult camera to give up, but the digital hand writing was on the wall. A Sony using three inch floppies was followed by two of those “twisty” Nikon CoolPix, then by a Panasonic 18X with a built in 500mm zoom purchased in 2008 for shooting animals and birds in Africa. Loved it but replaced it in Summer 2012 with a newer Panasonic 24x with a 700mm zoom and many improved features.

    Most of the pictures in the galleries at left were shot with the CoolPix or one of the two Panasonics. Older pictures from New York or China were shot with earlier instruments.


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Personal Biography  (abridged)

   Tony has a BA in History, MS in Socio-logical Research and an EdD in Information Management. He has been a Navy draftsman, cartographer for a mineral research company, USFS fire-fighter, Federal game law enforcement officer, Peace Corps trainer, HS teacher, college professor, regional school administrator, library director, professional photographer, author, lecturer, newspaper columnist, radio talk show host, QVC pitchman, publishing company CEO, and spent three years on-camera with CBS-TV Network News in New York City.

    He worked in college and community theater and for twenty years lectured on antiques and collectibles in most of the larger cities in North America. He has written more than 25 books and catalogs, and more than 450 newspaper, magazine, internet, and television stories and features as well as being a guest on more than 2,500 radio and television talk shows including Oprah, Donahue, Gayle King, Terry Bradshaw, Vicki Lawrence and Tammy Faye Baker.

    Tony is currently Curator of the National Cigar History Museum and writes on the history of advertising and packaging on the net.   <>

    If you should want Tony’s Cigar Biography or his Work and Family Biography,

both can be found here:

    Feeding gulls in our backyard.

Photo by Marilee 2009

Tony Hyman’s Photo Galleries


Two weeks in Alaska

Leo & Allie Visit Shell Beach


Last update  July 24,   2015

Photo by Marilee Hyman  2007

Photo by  Rev. Katy 2010

Photo Gallery


Photos and more


Their pictorial story

Newly added photos


Their pictorial story

Beach birds of Pismo

11 you may see



Interesting two weeks

Newly added photos

Pismo Beach Sunsets


Tony’s favorite photos

A sample

Mediterannean garden

in Shell  Beach

A horticulturist’s delight

Our Garden on Memorial Day

Flowers - flowers - flowers


plus a few favorites

Dinosaur Caves Park

We’ve worked on it for 10 years


Pismo Beach Car Show

100,000 people can’t be wrong

Photo Gallery:  Travel


One of those must-go places

People and places

Peru abridged

It’s more than Machu Picchu

Of 31 countries, my favorite

Birds of Kenya

More variety than anywhere

Kirstenbosch Gardens

1300 Acres of South Africa

Cats of Africa

Not a meow among them

Hooved animals of Africa

How many can  you name?

Hippos, Rhinos, Elephants

Which kills the most people?

Misc. animals of Africa

Leftovers can be interesting


A look at the past


Nairobi slums

Where white folks don’t go

St. Petersburg, Russia

Interesting but few surprises

Tallin, Estonia

A surprise

The Netherlands

More than marijuana



China 1985

COMING as soon as I can

convert slides to digital


Marilee’s 1911 Mason-Hamlin in a front room filled with art representing various events and places in our  lives. The photo depicts one fact of life in our house:

if one of us creates a flat space, one of us will put something down on it.  

We agreed 45+ years ago that cleanliness and neatness were not as important as doing things...and we both enjoy doing lots of things.


Tony’s Cigar History Museum
an entertaining triphttp://www.CigarHistory.infoshapeimage_29_link_0