They say that the end of the year is for reminiscing and the New Year is the time of new beginnings. I fell into an entrenched crevice in my brain this morning as I was thinking back on my years in photography. Mine all started in 8th grade with a science project when I decided I wanted to learn about darkroom techniques.
At that time I didn’t even own a camera but because it was a science project my parents got me a Brownie camera and flash (remember those burning hot flash bulbs?) and very basic darkroom equipment. That was all I needed to acquire my lifelong interest in photography. My darkroom was the area under the basement steps. I placed a black length of material over the opening so that no light could enter. I was setting up my darkroom red light –screwing in the bulb- when my dad decided to plug it in for me. Since my hands were on the metal turnings it was a very electrifying experience. From that point on, it was a learning experience. My prints were small since I didn’t have an enlarger but I was proud of every one of them. Even at that time my photos were almost entirely nature shots. I think I had a huge box full of different cloud formation photos as well as photos of various plants and animals.
My time in college was spent away from my camera but after I got my first degree I went right back to my photography, although for several years the pictures were family photos. I hated paying for photos that did not turn out, something I never discovered till after I had picked them up at the store. I no longer had time to develop my own shots. Therefore, my nature shots were few and far between.
When digital cameras arrived I was one of the first to embrace them. I could take pictures and just delete those that didn’t depict what I desired. That was such a blessing when taking nature shots, as at times it took me many shots to get the one I would like to keep. Then I acquired a computer program that could fix and enhance photos. I was ecstatic. The first program was very basic but I eventually worked up to Photoshop and now my only hindrances seem to be lack of time and at times a lack of imagination and mental imagery. My only question now is – what great things will the future bring? Bring them on, I am ready for them. I just hope the glimpse of my past brought some fond memories back for you too.
Speaking of great changes and the future, I wanted to mention our January meeting. Our website is being revamped by Stacy Carlson and Jim Atkins; the focus of the meeting will be an introduction into the new and exciting things that will be available. See you all there.