Saturday, May 30, 2009

My Digital Conversion

I used to really be into photography when I was in school. I took a photo 101 class at San Jose State taught by Max Crumley. He's a funny guy who told stories of shooting a locomotive at night by hand firing the flash and "painting" each section of the massive dark beast with his SLR set to the bulb mode. I remember spending hours in the darkroom and coming home smelling like fixer.

My first real camera was a Minolta x700 film SLR. I was fortunate enough to live with a room mate who had most of the darkroom equipment just sitting in boxes in the garage. One day I asked him If I could set it all up. I turned pantry closet into a makeshift dark room complete with Bessler enlarger, safe light, dark bag and a print washer. I took portraits of neighbors and gave them away as gifts. I was having the time of my life!

After graduation, I got married and my Minolta disappeared one day from the trunk of my car. My second camera was a Nikon N8008 complete with a 50mm lens and a Vivitar 3600 TTL flash. Wooo Boy! I was all set!

Funny how free time slips away from you once you get married and have children. Priorities change and you grow in a different direction. I had a friend once, named Ed Jensen, who said: "You never realize how selfish you are until you get married, Then you never realize how selfish you both are, until you have children." He was sure right!

I'd kinda forgotten about photography for about 15 years. Just long enough for digital SLRs to become affordable. Sure I've had a bunch of point-and-shoots over the years, but these were relegated to "happy snaps" for the family and vacations. I'd rarely go out just to shoot pictures.

Now it seems I've rediscovered photography all over again. The kids are old enough to not want their parents around all that much. I seem to have more free time now than I have in years. I've taught myself Photoshop from watching tutorials on YouTube, I joined Flickr and started listening to TWiP. I bought a D90 a month after it came out.

I find myself looking at the world in a whole new way. I started to notice how the light hits things; How different morning is, from evening, I keep saying to myself; "Now that would make a good picture..."

I love learning it all over again. Sure, the basics still apply, "good light" is still "good light", bad light still sucks. I've enrolled in classes and signed up for "photo walks" and bought books. I guess its safe to say "I'm Hooked (again)" But this time its for keeps!

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