I have been digging through my archives of photography and am surprised to see I have been doing it for 10 years. I didn’t even think about this until I saw I had been on Flickr since 2007. That time has gone by so fast!
I picked up the photography habit with a friend, who later loaned me his Nikon D70 for nearly a year. Until then, I had simple point-and-shoot digital cameras, and complete fiascos with film cameras (back before digital) as I had no idea how to take pictures. I figured a good camera was all I needed. Not true! I have a lot of pictures of the backsides of deer which are evidence of my lack of knowledge on how to get a good picture. I like to think I have improved since then!
The only formal education I ever had – in a classroom, for a grade – was in 2003 when I was laid off from a job. I took a film photography class that summer, and it was an eye-opener. I used a film camera my husband had from high school, a 50mm lens, and access to a darkroom at the local community college to develop and print black and white film. I loved it – and hated it. Most important, it taught me a lot about photography, though I really didn’t grasp the relationship between iso-f/stop-exposure until I had the ability to do endless experiments with a good digital camera (the D70) which allowed for exploration into those factors. By exploring those, I have learned I prefer f/stops for my main image control, as DOF is, to me, an extremely important photography element. Only when the light shifts do I change time and iso as priorities.
Photography is an art, but it is still not my go-to preference. But, when I look back, I can see what I do enjoy about it. Memories of times past, seeing how people change over the years (like my husband!), and just how lucky I was to get some pictures, and how much I’ve learned. Because I am such a gotta-be-doing-something-with-my-hands person, the darkroom – the film darkroom – was a great place. The digital darkroom is not my favorite place because you sit and play at the computer. Still, I appreciate it – there is a lot which can be done easily in the digital darkroom (digital dungeon?) which is not so easily done in the physical darkroom.