Let me tell you a little about Peter Kraiker…

I grew up around cameras, learning about the actual hardware long before I began to appreciate the idea of art. I am Canadian because of cameras, Leicas in particular.

The original Canadian KraikersKarl, Rolf, Marie, Peter

My father (Karl) brought his young family to Canada in 1952 as part of the small group of German “magicians” who came to start the new Ernst Leitz Canada in the tiny town of Midland, Ontario. And I have the honour of being the first Canadian born Kraiker. We came here to build cameras —  originally the Leica M series — as well as the amazing lenses that Leitz is also famous for.

“Homework” to me was using grinding compounds and perfecting the action of lenses like the Elmarit and Summilux as the family did piece work one lens body at a time in the evenings. I measure the quality of a lens based on those experiences, I know when it’s “right”. I did better at that than I did at my school homework! And now, well I have a completely different perspective on it.

There are lots of wonderful memories of Midland, however something instilled a wanderer instinct in me. I can’t live in a small town, and I do so love to travel. Perhaps it was a trip in the ’60s with my mother (Marie) back to Germany and into Switzerland with Guenther Leitz  that prompted it. Whatever the source, I am happy to have that particular itch. Working with Zen and Eva at a little shop called Rolfoto is one of those wonderful memories. It happened at an important time in my life, when my father died I was all of 16. And they felt very much like friends and parents. I spent a few years there, learning the wonders of a darkroom and the beauty of what a camera lens can capture. I never planned on being a photographer, it simply happened.

I also never planned on being a starving artist…

I was ok with it though, until my son Steffan (Zef) was conceived. So I put away aspirations of being an artist and got down to the business of earning a living that would support my young family much as my father had. After looking around, I landed a temp job with IBM, which turned into a permanent position some months later.

Zef was later joined by Kayla and life took on a shape of its own. And to cut a long story short… 30 years have passed since that decision. A career at IBM that lasted 30 years, a lot of great people and great experiences. Working and teaching and… well, living life as a part of “Eightbar”.

Laurie is no longer in my life, folks like Mark and JDH have come and gone, Andrea has come into the story, lots of great travel, bicycling galore, not enough photography. And I think 30 years is enough. So I’m officially retired from IBM and getting back into photography, including travel. Now though, I prefer to think “frugal”, not starving.

My traveling Studio (Babe)

I’m reducing what I need to work with, I have a traveling Studio f/Stop, and a long list of destinations I hope to see. And the idea of looking through a camera lens for the pleasure of what I might find, capture and share with others is exciting. I wonder how it will work out, and I’m not concerned. Very liberating. I do wonder what mischief Babe will get up to though!

I think that “About” sums it up. I’m sure if you read this blog you will learn about lots of people and influences and thoughts and places… the experiences that shape me. I hope you’ll enjoy it.

I’ll close with a quote I like… it sums up a bit of what i feel:

Time and Space to THINK and Rejuvenate

A parting shot… “just a pretty place”

I look forward to crossing paths with the author of that a few times in my travels 🙂


  • I have not received any compensation for writing or sharing this content.  I do this as a form of self expression.
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