That was my prompt for this post. Really when I start thinking about all my cameras, the old ones and new, I end up thinking about what made me love photography in the first place. Above all that was the magic of film. I don't remember when I was given my first camera, but I was pretty young, and it was just a simple one that took 110 film. Who remembers what stuff? haha 110 film is even smaller than 35mm and honesty makes it hard for whoever processes it. Not as hard as the film my next camera took though.
|Mine looked something like this, though the image is from https://irishbear3455.wordpress.com/2014/06/10/why-do-we-love-photography-a-thirty-somethings-photographic-journey-the-early-years-1976-1986-part-six-week-three/ who got it from Google images....an image chain.|
My second camera was an APS film camera, a weird little format in hard to open cartridges that I hated having to deal with when I worked for Ritz camera years later. It's advantage was that it had a switch for making different format images, and recorded which you selected so lab techs would know which to print later. It led to some expense since the panoramic shots cost more to print. However it was perfect for trips as a teenager. I ended up losing my first camera after a couple years during a fall weekend retreat, while out in the woods. It was found the next summer in a creek, full of grit and inoperable, but the film was still intact. In the meantime I have saved up my babysitting money for another similar model that I kept using until I finally got my first digital camera in 2004.
|Switchfoot, Purple Door Festival in Shippensburg, PA, 2003|
|Red Umbrella, GMA week show in Nashville, TN, 2004|
Meanwhile, I decided to try community college out and one of the classes I thought would be fun was photography. My brother had taken a photography class and liked it when he was in high school, but he was hesitant to lend me his camera. But one of my coworkers, Jim, lent me his camera for the semester. I was shocked because it was so nice I was almost scared to take it from him, temporary as it might be. But he was incredibly kind about it and insisted I should. I think he knew I'd do well at it.
The first day we stepped into the darkroom I was terrified. I felt like I couldn't handle all the chemicals and was scared of making mistakes and of the potential toxicity of the chemicals themselves. I almost dropped out of the class then and there, and I think I must have said something to my instructor about being worried. Ms Talbot, being the lovely person she is took it in stride and told me to just keep coming and she'd help me out if I needed it. So I came back the next week, and everything went perfectly. I excitedly developed my first roll of film from that beautiful Olympus OM-2 camera and started down a path that changed my life.
|Image via Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Olympus-OM-2-35mm-Film-Camera/dp/B0084X2RIS|
I think Jim knew he was influencing me back then, and I'm so thankful he was a part of shaping my life and career. Not too long ago Jim passed away, but I will remember him as a wonderful, kind, Christian man who put a camera into my hands when I needed it most. Thanks Jim.
I will write more about cameras at a later time, because I want to share more about my current set up and what I used while in school, but I wanted to end my post on this note as a way of thanking everyone who helped me find my passions.