Hello, guys and gals --
Ever since I started posting on APUG and also eventually made the leap into joining, I've been meaning to post an introduction. Of course procrastination got the better of me and I never did! I just looked at my stats and saw that I made my account a year ago this month, so it's about bloody time I introduced myself, right?
I live in Memphis and grew up not far away in rural eastern Arkansas, still in the Mississippi River delta. As a child I had an Argus 110 camera and later a Polaroid One-Step: my father believed that Polaroids were cheaper because of not having to have the shots processed. Needless to say I still hate Polaroid to this day.
It wasn't until late 2008, after having a (my first?) mid-life crisis that I at first decided to quit my job and go back to college. I wanted something lucrative so as to not waste my time. My husband suggested graphic design, but I've never been able to draw. A friend mentioned that I nevertheless had an artistic eye -- and that got me thinking about photography. People close to me then reminded me how much I'd always loved taking photos. Faced with a terrible bureaucracy that stifled my attempt to re-enter college, I decided to keep my job so I'd have health insurance and money to buy gear, and to teach myself photography. My husband helped me buy my first "good" camera, a Nikon D80 DSLR.
The instant feedback of digital helped me master the basics of photographic theory, but I still felt that I needed to learn film, since darkroom is still an indispensable part of a photographic curriculum. I started buying up film bodies and then developing supplies, and taught myself to develop film, both B&W and C-41. I now enjoy both film and digital, and see them as both being good for different purposes. Digital is good for when I need to get "the shot," and for intricate lighting setups, but it doesn't even come close to film for when I simply want to be creative Film gives me an artistic satisfaction I can't get anywhere else. I've already subscribed and unsubscribed to several different photographic magazines already because they're digital-centric. I shoot every format, from 35mm to medium format to 4x5. So far medium format is my favorite because the larger negative size and the convenience of rollfilm, although my Crown Graphic is begging me for more exercise. My favorite medium-format camera is my Mamiya 645 Pro.
Now, nearly three years after my big jump into photography, I've just acquired two enlargers (Omega D2 and a Beseler 45MCRX) and still need more accessories for both, but I'm close to getting all the supplies I need to start the next phase of my photographic education: printing!
Thanks to everyone on APUG for selling me stuff through the Classifieds (I'm no stranger to GAS), and for providing me with so much good information about everything having to do with photography. Thanks to Sean and APUG itself for being here. I'm glad to be part of it.
Terry E. Christian