Hello all - wonderful site you have here. I have lurked for a while, and decided I was gleaning enuf worthwhile info that I "bellied up to the bar" and paid my dues. I guess if I paid, I can post.

To give a perspective of where I am coming from, a history is in order. For history to be accurate... I was born in 1957, in Central Nebraska. I started taking photos in 7th or 8th grade, developing them in the basement without a sink (bucket washing). My parents had an old enlarger which I wish I still had, no idea where it ended up (probably in a landfill). Through high school I took pictures and experimented. I bought my first SLR in about 1980, an Olympus OM2n, wonderful camera with great glass. As I matured (can't believe I typed that, I refuse to grow up) I moved thru a couple darkrooms, built one that even had wall switches for the safelight, and a SINK. But dark times were looming.

As I progressed, I started reading Ansel's books, and subscribed to Fred Picker's "Zone VI Newsletter". Pretty soon I longed for less "automatic" cameras, and better metering. I bought a Crown Graphic, one of Fred's modified spot meters, and traded my OM2n for an "all manual" OM1. I still kick myself for not keeping the OM2n. Anyway... I started being more picky about what pictures "should" look like, maybe became snooty. It wasn't FUN anymore. Eventually I wandered away from photography. Ended up spending many years mostly using a P&S, seldom using the Olympus, selling the Graflex.

About a year ago I realized how much I missed taking photos, and working in the darkroom. With the arrival of digital and the blessing it provides those working with film - mainly absurdly cheap analog equipment, I have returned to the "light side". I have settled into using medium format as my everyday format and am loving it. Hopefully I have my head straight and can keep things in proper perspective. I take pictures I like, try things I want to try, and like to give away prints to family members. No more Mr. Photo Snobby for me boy howdy. I am not interested in competing, or nit picking other's work. I will tell you if I like it, and I like most of what I see.

So there you have the history. I hope I can bring something to the table for the rest of you. My background is in Electrical Engineering, and I am pretty good at figuring things out - as long as you are not in a hurry.

I look forward to swapping some photos with a few of you. I also plan on purchasing a print or two to support some of the folks here who make a living from photography. Suggestions welcome.

And if you are ever passing through Nebraska and see some moron on a red motorcycle blasting down the interstate and it is below zero or is raining - wave. Heck, you can wave if is a nice day!