For me, it all started innocently enough in the Swingin' Sixties.
I don't remember the exact year, '65 or '66, maybe -- but my parents bought a Polaroid Swinger, and I was bitten hard by the photography bug. If you listen closely, or click the link, you can still hear that rockin' TV commercial jingle:
"Hey, meet the Swinger...
It's more than a camera,
it's almost alive,
it's only nineteen dollars and ninety five..."
Did you recognize the girl in the striped shirt carrying the Swinger at the beginning of the spot? It was none other than Ali McGraw, who later gained fame in Love Story and married Steve McQueen.
Anyway, I digress. The Swinger led to the harder stuff, starting with a Kodak Instamatic complete with flashcube. As my appetite for picture taking grew, I stashed away what little money I got from my after school job delivering dry cleaning, and a few months later I was able to buy my very first 35mm camera; a used fixed lens Minolta from Kurt's Camera Corral in Albuquerque.
When my best friend's dad got a Honeywell Pentax SLR, I knew I was hooked -- I started jonesing for an SLR of my very own. I got my fix with a Fujica -- I think it was an AX-1, and started shooting mostly slides and black and white.
Ironically, it was that camera that almost made me kick the habit of photography all together.
In 1980, I started working at a local independent TV station and put the Fujica to use taking slides for cheesy local TV commercials. Going into mom and pop shops every day to shoot ugly displays and smiling old people got to be a pain -- and what had once been a passion became drudgery.
Thankfully, a few years later, our station got a minicam, and we started shooting spots on video. But the damage had been done; I was burned out on photography and turned away from it, even hating to take the obligatory family vacation and gathering pictures. I wouldn't even take the camera on trips -- my only picture of my young kids at Old Faithful in Yellowstone were taken with a disposable camera.
When digital came on the scene, I resisted as long as I could -- especially because of the horrid shutter lag that's inherent in p&s cameras.
But about 2004, I got sucked into the world of Megapixels when my son talked me into a spur of the moment purchase of a Sony DSC-P100 to take along on a trip to New York.
Gradually, those old urges to shoot that I had suppressed so successfully for so long returned. It happened slowly at first, but then roaring back with a vengeance. Suddenly 5 megapixels and a 3x zoom weren't enough.
So early in 2007, I started looking into DSLR's and finally bought a Nikon D80 based on the recommendation of several friends who swear by the brand.
My appreciation for the art of photography has been renewed. I still don't take many shots of people, but I love the outdoors -- especially the desert southwest where I grew up, and California, where I've lived for the last 17 years.
Thanks for dropping by. If you see something you like, just click the contact button, and I'll get back to you ASAP.