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.
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.
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...
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 .
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.
i got into it so that i could have a hobby that my wife had an interest in as she was a keen photographer at the time. now were married and shes losing interest but i am constnatly itching to shoot!
Ay, it's been so long ago I don't accurately remember! :blink:
I remember being fascinated with the results, and intrigued with my parents' folding cameras which were pretty intricate eye catchers for a kid that liked to understand how things worked. One was a Kodak that took 620 and the other was some little cheap off-brand thing (in my eyes) that took 127 film. In a Cub Scout meeting we developed a film (under way less than ideal conditions) and that proved fascinating. When I was perhaps 9 or 10 (circa 1950) I was given a Brownie Target Six-20 (which I still have and still works) probably to bribe me away from the folding Kodak. By 1957 or so, as a junior in high school, I managed to amass enough funding to acquire an Argus C3 and was able to do some processing in a darkroom belonging to a friend's father "and the rest is history." :D
I still have the C3, but have done a CLA and rangefinder recalibration in recent times. In fact. I believe I still have all the cameras I've ever owned, one, the Konica FP, has a stuffed shutter, unfortunately.
I aways wanted to do darkroom stuff. I did a lot of optics and chemistry projects in middle school (my physchist/machinist grandfather helped me build a Michelson Interferometer, an accurate absorption spectrometer, and an experiment probing Faraday's law via electrochemical plating of metals)
Anyway, I found my optics and chemistry interests combined in photography, but I really got kicked off when I was given my Grandfather's Nikon F and Pacemaker Speed Graphic. When I got to high-school they had a darkroom, and I taught myself that first year.
I got into it in my teens taking pictures of pretty girls, hoping that through some miracle I might get laid.
Still trying. To no avail.
My earliest memory of photography was as a very little girl at a backyard barbeque. My grandmother was there with a polaroid instant camera and I was so intrigued by the "magic box". How did she capture my family members and put them on pieces of shiny paper? I followed her around all day watching that camera. I wanted so bad to touch it but it was "much too big for such a little girl..." I still wish she had the camera just so I could prove that I am so a big enough girl for that big camera!