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My Passion for Photography June 6, 2011

Posted by Donnie in Gadgets, Photography.
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I remember as a child my parents owning a Polaroid Land Camera. It always amazed me the way it unfolded and expanded with the bellows opening up. My parents kept it in a hall closet and used it for special family events or vacations. This camera of course was their “modern” replacement for the old Kodak Brownie.

One summer, 1965 or ’66 I think: my older brother David, went to a summer school in Chatham Virginia, on a visit to see him we picked him up and went down to Danville shopping. While there my parents purchased him a Polaroid Swinger Camera. I thought it was the coolest thing! An inexpensive Instamatic camera and MY BROTHER owned it! I was so jealous.

It used flash bulbs that you inserted each time you needed a flash. I remember burning my finger tips removing burnt bulbs. The photograph came out the side of the camera and once given time to develop you would coat it with this liquid to finish it. The black and white images it produced were horrible by today’s standards, but back then they were cool! This camera retailed for $19.95. This was a lot of money in the mid sixties.

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Those experiences started my passion for photography. While on a vacation, in the mid-seventies, I kept thinking about all the photographs I had missed using my Kodak 110 camera. My wife and that night after arriving at our next overnight stop went shopping. Before the night was over I was the PROUD owner a Pentax K1000. At the time this was a very popular budget minded SLR camera.

I remember being the butt of jokes from people who didn’t get my interest in photography. At that time it was rare for someone to own a SLR unless they made a living shooting photographs. I brushed off the comments and continued by exploration of photography. I signed up for a beginner photography class and learned all about f-Stops, Shutter Speed, ISO, Rule of Thirds, etc..

This class was followed with another class on Beginner Darkroom. Before long I was developing B&W photographs in my home. Through experimenting I learned a lot about dodging and burning in, etc.. Family and friends who didn’t understand my passion would commonly ask, “black and white!!, why in the world would you shoot black and white?” The answer was simple, I couldn’t afford to do Color and didn’t know how, but at the same time shooting and developing B&W Film taught me a lot that I would not have learned by shooting color and taking down to the local photo shot to get developed.

In the 35 years since I first picked up the Pentax K1000 I’ve owned a lot of camera and shot thousands of photographs. I’ve shot a few weddings, lots of sporting events, hundreds of car shows, a few concerts and countless family gatherings. Photography has recorded a lot of my life and the things I’ve done. Today I use a Nikon D5100 DSLR that is Light-years ahead of that K1000, but I’m so glad that I started with a all manual camera. That K1000 taught me a lot about photography the the average new user today will never understand.

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