As a child of the 1960s, photographic images were a major influence on my perception of the world and visual storytelling. Television hit its stride in that decade going from black and white to color (we didn’t get a color set until the next decade) and expanding the nature and volume of programming. The space age and developments in technology were offered up with each issue of Life magazine, while the secrets of Africa and the ancient people of the Amazon were visited monthly in the National Geographic.
My father was an avid hobbyist and was quick to bring out his camera at any occasion. A running joke in our family centered around his 35mm slides of his Air Force tour of duty in the Arctic. Our lives were comprehensively documented on Kodak paper and slides, which provide many hours of treasured and embarrassing memories.
At some point in time, I gained access to an old Kodak camera that belonged to my Grandfather and began trying to take photos with it. We had our share of point and shoot cameras, but that one was different. You could adjust the aperture. In high school, I had access to the school’s SLR camera to take pictures for the yearbook. We had a great journalism teacher who taught so much more than just how to write. We designed and produced our own book with the guidance of representatives from the yearbook company.
My sister-in-law gave us a Canon AE-1 Program camera as a wedding gift. This was an incredible camera that took amazing pictures. Following my father’s example, I poked my nose into the action as often as I could while my daughters grew and we attended many sporting and family events. I had that camera with me while I was stationed in Sicily and recorded some of the incredible sights of that beautiful place.
I often work from photographs in my fine art and use my own images in designs, so a good camera is important to me. I’ve tinkered with several digital cameras, but my most recent gift from my great wife is a Canon EOS Rebel digital SLR. I am in love with this camera (not quite as much as I am in love with my wife).
The element that I find most attractive about digital photography is that I can take as many pictures of whatever I want without incurring production costs. This leads to the biggest problem that my wife has with digital photography—the fact that I rarely print out snapshots. I have to get better at that. It took me a year to compile a Kodak book of our trip to Hawaii last year. This summer I hope to get better organized with the output of images that I have taken, so that we have a physical record. I also hope to learn more about getting the most out of my new toy.
Illustration: Spring Arts Preview
2 years ago