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!
Canon EOS1N ('Brutus', 1993—), TS-E 24mm f3.5L, 20mm f2.8, 17-40 f4L, 70-200 f2.8L
Pentax 67 ('Pentaximus', 2010—) + SMCP 45mm f4, 55mm f4 & 165mm f4LS;
Zero Image 6x9 multi-format pinhole (2008—); Sekonic L758D;
Olympus XA, Nikon Coolpix P7700
"If you're not having fun, then you're not doing it right!"
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.
"The difference between a very good
print and a fine
print is quite subtle and difficult , if not impossible, to describe in words."
---AA (The Print
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.
“Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”
Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2
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.
Originally Posted by cliveh
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.
All that really matters in the end is the image, not what your using to create it.
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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.
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......
Paul Jenkin (a late developer...)
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!
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.
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!