I am not sure of the exact year, but around the late 60’s, when I was in grade school, I received a free camera for opening a bank account. It took 126-style film and of course, had no batteries, motors, electric eyes or program mode. I took it on a family trip to Washington D.C. and took pictures of things that were big and bright, things I had never seen before! It was amazing how beautiful the photos were! There were cherry blossom trees, pure white statues and buildings with intricate designs, people everywhere, and deep blue sky for a perfect backdrop.
Over the following years I didn’t do much with photography. My father had a Sears brand 35mm rangefinder, but the kids were not allowed to fool with it. The spark must have come back in 1978, when a bar owner was taking pictures of customers, of which I was one, and mentioned wanting to sell his Canon Ftb. I was hooked! I took pictures everywhere. I brought the camera on camping trips and vacations. I wandered the neighborhood in search of “images” to record. I wasn’t very good. There was a picture I took, of dried leaves hanging on a branch, that looked so delicately beautiful, artsy and professional. That photo was another rung on a ladder I didn’t know I was climbing. I called it “Nature’s Clothesline”, and it is still one of my favorites.
I did stay with it on and off, especially when upgrading to a Canon A-1. The bells and whistles this thing had were all I needed to make great pictures. Or so I thought! I learned that it took some knowledge and plenty of patience, of which I had neither (still?), to make great pictures.
Since then I have self-taught myself through reading and practice, to gain an acceptable amount of control over the camera, lenses, and lights. I continue to read articles, both in magazines and online, for inspiration and technical knowledge, and take as many photos as possible, as there is always more to learn. With the advent of digital imaging I have discovered a new talent within myself for artistic rendering of photographs that has sparked an even greater energy for photography and two-dimensional art.
My only goal in this field is to continue to learn, and create images, that are pleasing to others, and especially myself.