Triggered your interest

Discussion in 'Ethics and Philosophy' started by cliveh, Jan 15, 2012.

  1. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    Do you know what triggered your interest in photography? I can remember my grandfather taking a picture of us in his garden with a box brownie when I was about 5 years old and thinking what is that box and how does it work. Do others have a recollection of what started their interest?
     
  2. Vaughn

    Vaughn Member

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    I was sick a lot as a young kid (up to 14 yrs old when my bad tonsils were finally removed). I use to go thru a drawer of "old" (before my time) B&W family photos....square prints with the scalloped edges. In our house I also walked past two photos in the hallway that always attracted my attention -- Watkins 16x20 prints, one of a two-locomotive train stopped at Cape Horn, CA and the other of the Three Brothers in Yosemite Valley.

    I still love the square and large contact prints!
     
  3. ColdEye

    ColdEye Member

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    A few years ago while I was really active in keeping all sorts of animals, my friend showed me some pictures he took when he went to the amazon and the wildlife pictures were so amazing. That sparked my interest in photography, but I don't photograph wild life at all. :D
     
  4. ChristopherCoy

    ChristopherCoy Subscriber

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    I had always liked taking pictures with whatever camera my mother had in the junk drawer, but I didn't really get hooked until my Sophomore year in high school. I took Photography I as an elective because I would then spend two straight hours in the art wing. By the time my Senior year rolled around, I took Advanced Photography in addition to Art II, III, and IV. I spent 4 hours in the same art class, and my teacher allowed me to spend 4 hours a day in the dark room. Aside from a few other kids who had class after my four hours, I pretty much owned that darkroom that year.
     
  5. Oxleyroad

    Oxleyroad Subscriber

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    When I was in Kindergarten my father showed me how to make images appear on paper. I would have been 5 or 6 and we worked on the garage floor, the safe light was my bed light with brown paper and red celophane taped over it. Dad would place one of his family negatives on top of the paper under a bit of broken glass on the floor, turn on the garage lights, then off again, and he took the paper out from under the glass and placed it into the magic water and the picture would appear! I was shown why the second bath was important by simply turning on the lights and watching the paper go black.

    I have loved the whole darkroom experience ever since. Photography is my way of generating more images to play with in the darkroom.
     
  6. wildbill

    wildbill Member

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    My sister always gave me her old Ansel Adams calendars.
     
  7. brucemuir

    brucemuir Member

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    Awesome story...
     
  8. Hexavalent

    Hexavalent Subscriber

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    My older sister received a Kodak Instamatic for her birthday, and when she showed off the glossy prints processed at the drug store, I became quite jealous. I whined to my parents about the terrible unfainess that she had a fancy-schmancy camera and I had none. My father gave me a camera, a 1939 Balda. Fussy little gadget it was: no neat pop-in film cartridge, touchy focus, shutter and f-stop to bother with. I had to learn to use a light meter and set the camera accordingly. Then, to top it all off, I was told that I had to develop the film myself! I was probably 10 at the time... and so the journey began

    I am so glad I didn't get the Instamatic I originally wanted. :smile:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 15, 2012
  9. M.A.Longmore

    M.A.Longmore Subscriber

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    .
    I always disliked being photographed, eventually I ended up behind the camera.
    Usually played with the 110, and 126 cameras, then my brother-in-law let me
    use his SRT-101, and some assorted lenses. When I was 16, I decided it was time
    to get my own Minolta XE-7, 58mm 1.2 Combo, and a bunch of crappy Spiratone lenses !

    Ron
    .
     
  10. cjbecker

    cjbecker Member

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    My brother got in the darkroom in high school, and naturally I had to do the same. Then my uncle gave me his nikon fe with some lens and still shoot those to this day.
     
  11. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

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    Strange. My dad also photographed me man-handling a box brownie, as my avatar shows. I was about 5 then. History records that I terrorised kids at primary with a tripod, using it to keep bullies at bay. That's why I still call a tripod...my steady-friend. But photography didn't pick up again seriously until around 1980, after I had recovered from a debilitating illness since birth. I don't think when very young I had an appreciation of how things worked, just a fascination with handling them. And I've always liked the touchy-feely experience! It agonises me to the nth degree if I have to buy a camera (generally, anything!) on FleaBay without that requisite touchy-feely experience. Same with selecting and buying a car: you must have that touchy-feely experience! :laugh:
     
  12. CPorter

    CPorter Member

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    In highschool, I was on the yearbook staff, the teacher showed me how to do basic printing, when I saw the image appear on the paper, I became fascinated.
     
  13. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    My father worked for Canadian Kodak (for more than 1/3 of a century), and photography was part of our everyday life from as far back as I can remember.

    The camera pictured here was the one he had refurbished and gave to me at age 11 when he started teaching me about the darkroom - 616 film gave me 2.5" x 4.5" negatives for contact prints. It is now about 75 years old, but still works with 120 film and modified spools.

    Dad is 90 now - he doesn't take many photos any more, but still likes to talk photography. The current situation with Kodak makes him very, very sad.
     

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  15. jon koss

    jon koss Subscriber

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    Great topic, by the way. Thanks for posting.

    I was born with a severe case of the astronomy bug, and I do mean severe. There was a lunar eclipse back in the mists of time, and after it was over I said to my self that I had to capture the next one in a camera so I could enjoy it after it was over. This was maybe age 9. Afraid of catching an equally severe backhand for cultivating an interest other than football, I asked for a camera for Christmas without explaining the reason why. So on the sacred day I received a Kodak 110 Instamatic along with a precious roll of 110 cartridge film that came as part of the kit. I secretly photographed the moon (not during an eclipse) with it through the eyepiece of my older brother's little 30mm Alt-Az spotting scope (the little green one with the black eyepiece section - can you picture it?). After the film was exposed and pulled out of the camera I realized that I did not know what was next. A few leading questions to my older sister and I learned that film had to go to the drugstore and it would cost several dollars. Several dollars! OMG - I was not about to ask the old man for that. Not gonna happen. So I wrapped the film in foil and saved it until I could afford to have it developed. Never did happen, but finally during high school I became friends with a boy who had a darkroom and could develop black and white film. I still have my first shots of Jupiter and his moons somewhere. From astrophotography, it was a natural progression to plain old daylight photography. To this day around half of my shots are taken at night. That's how it all happened for me.

    J


     
  16. Danielle

    Danielle Member

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    I started playing around in a darkroom way back in high school when the art class teacher suggested we try taking photos. Images appearing like magic in the solutions from the film I just shot etc. Eventually my dad let me use his f90x which I thought was really fancy, which soon enough became mine. Then I ended up in specialised photography course using all this stuff, I think to put it simply it just evolved from there.
     
  17. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    I enjoyed playing with my dad's yashica but we didn't have any film where we lived. It wasn't until I was a teenager on my own that I discovered I really enjoyed using a camera- even throwaways. After recently finding some negs from my first trip alone, some memories came back and I wrote blog post here about it: Photos not Stolen.
     
  18. Paul Jenkin

    Paul Jenkin Member

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    My dad had a Rolleiflex and photographed me as a small child (early 1960s). When I got a bit older and saw the photos, I was fascinated to find out (a) how to take such photos and (b) how to turn the negative into a positive. When I got to about the age of 10, I got a Kodak instamatic (or similar) for my birthday but I didn't like it as it wasn't as heavy / shiny / complicated looking as my dad's Rollei.

    By the age of 13, my mum and dad saved enough to buy me an Edixaflex 35mm camera with a waist level finder. I loved that camera aside from the WLF as my hobby became shooting Speedway matches at Belle Vue in my native Manchester (the proper one in the UK). Learning how to pan the opposite way to the way the motorcycles were travelling was really tricky.

    I don't think I've ever been without a camera since and, despite enjoying using D***tal as well, I remain an ardent fan of film to his day. My biggest regret, photographically, is that I traded that camera for next to nothing and I have no idea where my dad's Rollei went. He probably hawked it when we needed some money......
     
  19. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    My father was a part time wedding photographer who spent a lot of his spare time in the evening just looking at his cameras and cleaning them (or so it seems). I got interested but wasn't allowed to touch them. One of my early memories is of my mother showing me the reversed image in the viewfinder of a Rolleiflex (whilst my father was out!).

    When I was ten years old, I was given an Agfa Isolette. My first task was to photograph my aunt's wedding, which I did, produced a perfectly exposed set of twelve prints, all cutting off the subjects' heads!


    Steve.
     
  20. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    My father gave me his old camera when I was 2 and I spent a happy couple of years shooting pictures many ofthem of my then new sister despite having no film in the camera.

    Then while at school aged about 7 or 8 my interest was sparked by two teachesr who did their own processing and there was a small darkroom we could use.

    Ian
     
  21. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    When I was about five, I invented digital photography. I had a box which I would pretend was a camera connected via a piece of cord to my blackboard which was my pretend huge TV screen.

    I used to take a picture of something then go and draw it on the board with chalk then tell anyone who would listen that it was my instant photography system.

    Obviously I was just playing, but in my mind, this was an electronic system (I was interested in electronics then too as my grandfather had already taught me how valves (tubes) work).

    Dear Kodak, please send me my share of the royalties!


    Steve.
     
  22. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member

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    My grandfather liked taking photographs, usually color slides, with his 35mm Topcon, and later when that stopped working with a Minolta Auto 110, and he gave me the Topcon just to play around with. Around then, in the 4th grade, we had a teacher who was into photography and set up a darkroom in the back of the classroom, so we made photograms, developed film with his help rolling the film on the reels, and made some simple prints, and we also took apart some old defunct cameras, including that Topcon, just to see what was inside and learn about how they worked. When my family moved to a new house a few years later, we had a spare storage room, where I set up my first darkroom.
     
  23. KarnyDoc

    KarnyDoc Member

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    My interest, it could be argued, was "pre-ordained."

    My parents, both of whom had creative tendencies, with my father having formally studied art, had decided, back in the early Seventies, that a darkroom should be built "for Dieter" in a formerly-enclosed space in the basement of the house they were looking at, as my sister and I had also accompanied them. This was the house they eventually bought. I was about four or five at the time.

    However, much work had to be done on the house, which pretty much killed the darkroom idea, but the kernel of the idea lodged itself in my noggin.

    I "kinda sorta" got more interested around ten years of age, and it went from there. My "first camera" was a Kodak Instamatic 126 as I recall; this eventually went to my now-departed grandmother once it had been supplanted by another one, or was simply deemed surplus; I don't remember. I do remember the "family camera" being a 35mm Voigtlander that had the misfortune of getting soaked on the beach well above the high-tide line.

    The Voigtlander's replacement was a Minolta XG-1 my mother bought at JCPenney. This was the new "family camera," and I was permitted initially to use it with adult supervision. In time I got to use it with progressively less supervision until it became my high school graduation gift. This would eventually be replaced by an FM2, followed by a 500C/M as my film cameras, and a Nikon digital P&S.

    I am largely self-taught, with a one-semester darkroom b&w photography course in college.

    Dieter
     
  24. mooseontheloose

    mooseontheloose Subscriber

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    Well, I've always been interested in photography, ever since I was a little girl, but never really had anyone in my life who inspired me or showed me what to do. I joined the yearbook committee in high school specifically with the hope of being the photographer (which I was) and using the defunct darkroom, which alas stayed defunct as no one was around who could show me how to use it. I personally had a 110 camera that I was given for Christmas, which was upgraded to an APS camera during my university years. Once I moved to Japan though, I knew I needed something more, and with the help of a few friends who were into photography, bought my first SLR (a Nikon FE, which remains my favorite model). Being in Japan though, meant being self-taught, and this was without the internet -- spent a lot of money on books shipped over the US (thanks Amazon!). But I learned a lot and by the time I left Japan in 2005 I was dabbling in black and white phtoography and bought my first medium-format camera (TLR). Took a darkroom course back in Toronto which helped a bit but it was mostly automated (RC paper through a processor). I moved to France in 2006 and I was then about 50/50 BW/colour, but by the time I left two years later it was mostly black and white thanks largely to discovering this site, which inspired me to set up my own darkroom, try lith printing and other alternative processes, experiment with pinhole photography, and buy a large-format camera. And still the journey continues...
     
  25. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    When I was thirteen my dad gave me a Zeiss Contax 11 camera with a 5 cm 1.5 Sonnar lens I still have and use he had bought in Germany after the end of WW11 when he served as an infantry officer, I got every photographic book and magazine I could find and voraciously read them to find out how to use such a good camera, and more then fifty years later I'm still hooked .
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 17, 2012
  26. Brian C. Miller

    Brian C. Miller Member

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    Moonlight.

    When I was growing up, cameras were on the "don't touch that" list. My dad had one, but I hardly ever saw it used. When I decided I needed a camera, I bought a cheap P&S sold in a bubble pack. When that died, I bought a Pentax P&S, which is still in the closet.

    And then one night I saw moonlight. I thought to myself, "How marvelous!" And so I needed something better than my Pentax P&S. Yes, it had a bulb setting, but I needed something better. So after discussing cameras with a coworker, I bought a used Pentax 6x7. I still have that camera, and still use it after 15 years. I have lots and lots of photos from that camera.

    I'm still trying to photograph moonlight as I see and imagine it.