I think it was yesterday in DVM’s Wife’s post (Sky Watch Friday) that she spoke of cameras and her love of photography. She went on to ask about the possibility of sharing her experiences with a camera with the rest of us. I think we have a LOT of photo nuts out there and I am anxious for us to be able to share experiences and tips.
And while none of you asked for it, because I can be selfish and controlling (and this is my blog!), I’m going to share how and when I became interested in photography and I hope the rest of you will do the same.
I think I was a Jr. in high school (so that has been a LONG time ago considering I graduated in 1970!) when my Dad decided to take up photography. Dad never did anything in a small way. He started out with one Haselblad and the big old heavy over the shoulder battery pack and a Leica…WAY BEFORE DIGITAL WAS EVER A THOUGHT. He turned his old shop into a portrait studio and the rest of the shop into a dark room for developing black and whites. I’m sure he must have taken classes but I don’t remember. I just remember HIM trying to teach ME all about light meters, fstops and aperture.
I learned how to develop film and make photos (again, just black and white). I also learned that I did not grab the concept of fstops and I did NOT enjoy shooting people but that was the business. He got Mom involved too so many times they were away photographing weddings. Once in a while I would get to be the 2nd photographer, but it seemed a lot of people were uncomfortable with a teenager being part the photo team shooting their wedding (and probably because I did NOT enjoy that part, it showed). I think our biggest “claim to fame” was being the official photographers of the Miss Michigan pageant which was held in Muskegon. I don’t remember what year it was, but I DID enjoy that job. It meant I got to wear a pass and be ‘back stage’ where all the excitement was, where the contestants primped, took naps, nursed headaches, etc. It also meant that we had special seats close to the stage so we could get the shots needed. By this time Dad had 2 Haselblads and 2 battery packs so we worked in tandem; he’d fire a shot, then I would. This way it gave our packs time to ‘catch up’ so they would fire for the next shot.
I’m not quite sure why Dad had a dark room for b & w’s because most everything I can remember that we shot was in color. There did come a time though that I remember Mom doing oil portraits from black and white photos. And there was something that I had taken up which required b & w photos. I can’t remember if there was a name for it, but it involved using a b & w photo with a matte finish (which you managed to obtain by how you ran the photo through the dryer…or was it a combination of that and the paper??). Anyway, with this b & w photo, I took a quill pen, dipped it in black ink and then outlined or filled in the portions of the shot that I wanted to “draw”. After the ink had completely dried, then the photo went to the dark room because that is where the pans and chemicals were. As I recall the photo was then put through a bath of potassium ferricyanide and I think I alternated it with a bath of water but I can’t remember. Anyway, the end result was the photo disappeared but the ink “drawing” remained. It was kind of a neat thing, especially with flowers (not so good for people as far as I was concerned!)
I don’t remember when Dad decided to sell Magi Photography and the equipment, but I think it was a bit after I graduated from high school.
My only cameras between then and in 1986 were plain old instamatic types. I still enjoyed photography, but it was mainly about scenery, my horse, sunsets, and later on my baby daughter.
A year after Dan and I married, we planned a trip out west so I bought my Canon 35mm and managed to really develop my interest in scenic photography…nothing fancy, just to please my tastes.
So that is how I got started. I guess that is one thing I can really thank my Dad for…even though I still don’t get fstops!
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