I hope I can change that.
Obviously, I cannot keep this blog current. Apparently I spend so much time on photography related stuff that I no longer find time to write.
I hope I can change that.
My next adventure will be in California.
I will visit Yosemite and the recent fire-damage there. I plan to visit Mono Lake. I will spend some time in Kings Canyon and Sequoia. And I plan to enjoy Monterey, Big Sur and some of the light houses on the coast.
Today I saw a post on Facebook about someone's first experience with photography and I began to think about my own photography path.
What is it about photography that people find interesting?
For me, at about 14 or 15 it was just something new to do. At first I didn't put any significance to taking pictures. It was not even an interest in personal or family history or memories. It was just fighting boredom, like fishing, or bowling, or a day at the beach.
Slowly, during my time in the US Air Force, I began to think of photography in a more serious way. I started reading photographic magazines and finding books of photography or about photography. The notion of photography as a means of communication, like writing, was forming in me. That's when I purchased my first serious camera (a Pentax Spotmatic). I started going out for the sole purpose of creating photographic images - to be creative and to communicate.
I learned about different film types, exposure, depth-of-field, stop-action, purposeful blur and panning. I learned to develop film, make prints and enlargements.
Nearly, two years later, I added a second Spotmatic body and extra lenses to my equipment. I also purchased a good, strong flash unit.
I realized today that I've been taking pictures for fifty years. Wow, how time does go by. How did this happen?
When I left the military, I decided to see if I could write and photograph professionally. At SIU, I signed up for mass communication as my major and art as my minor. The classes in broadcast journalism and radio proved that I was nor cut out for on-air journalism. But the reporting, writing, law, and photo-journalism classes and I got along quite well. Photography was becoming my strongest interest and by my senior year I was photo editor of the university's daily newspaper and responsible for the weekend pull-out section of the Thursday edition.
While I was studying at SIU, I did wedding photography and free-lance work for area newspapers and magazines.
So my primary interest in photography became it's ability to communicate. I also appreciate the creative and art aspects of photographs. But I get just as excited about a guy playing accordion on the streets of Portland as I do about the beauty of the mountains in Denali, Alaska.
To recap 50 years of photography, I can say that I spent only one-year working as a professional photographer at the Metro-East Journal in East St. Louis, Illinois. I moved to Michigan to work for the US Army as a technical writer, then as an editor, and finally as a publication program manager. The regular hours and stability made it easier to raise a family and have a "normal" life.
But I continued to take pictures and to learn more about photography. I took photographs of everything; dance, fireworks, my children, landscapes, flowers, insects, performances, politicians, musicians, wildlife, public events, private parties, portraits.
I've taken more bad photos than I have good. I struggled with film photography
as I raised my children during the 1980's. I could no longer have a darkroom in my home (too expensive, too time-consuming, too isolating). I tried to depend on labs to produce quality prints of my photographs and was too-often disappointed. I was considering giving up and then digital photography technology happened. Oh, at first it was difficult to achieve the quality of film. But I could see the potential. Soon Adobe Photoshop brought excellent control to my computer. Canon provided my first digital SLR camera (pretty decent quality). Suddenly photography was wonderful again! I was able to capture photos I liked (even in low light). I was able to control what the final print would look like.
I retired from work and began taking more photographs than I ever did before.
And I really enjoy not having to stop to change film.
The result of 50 years of photography - this web site.
Experienced photographer who has used Canon equipment for several years. I use Photo Shop Elements to finalize my images.