My interest in photography began in the early 1970’s, inspired by a skilled and incredibly passionate graphic arts instructor, Walter E. Rand.
While at school, I was introduced to lithography, typesetting and offset printing, stenciling, layout, and a favorite class: darkroom film processing. I was also involved in art, and have always enjoyed drawing.
Under a student intern program, I also worked at a local cable television broadcast station, adjusting sets, studio lighting, camera work, and video editing.
Next, I worked a camera store where I learned the operation of Single Lens Reflex cameras. My first cameras were a Practica and Konica Autoreflex-T. I later used Canon brand cameras, including the AE-1, A-1, and the renowned F1 camera system.
These were used for my next great interest, which was Drag Racing photography. That was tough gig with film cameras, not only because of the high speed of the cars, but also their ground-shaking horsepower, and it would take at least a week to find out whether your pictures even turned out!
In the years since, a camera has never been very far from my hands. (I’m now using a Nikon D810).
Like most other photographers, I’ve come to appreciate the advances and many benefits of digital technology. Inexpensive smartphones have exceptional sensors that work well in most lighting conditions. Mirrorless cameras are challenging digital SLRs on all fronts, and will likely replace them altogether. And GoPro’s mounted on drones can take stunning videos.
Due to the technical advances, numerous operational features, and digital post-processing, I’ve probably learned more about photography in the last 10 years, than I did in the 30 years before that.
However, technology is not a replacement for creativity.
And this, to me, is the great appeal of photography.
Like a painting, a sculpture, or drawing, it reflects the artist’s unique style and perspective of things. For this reason, I’m equally wowed by the works of other photographers, just as if it were artwork.
So whether you’re still using a film camera, a smartphone, a bridge camera, a DSLR, or a Mirrorless camera, really doesn’t matter too much. It’s about how you convey the picture to instill conversation, or to inspire.
And definitely throw in some passion.