My Photography Background

Well, I'm in my forties, so  even though I would say I am rather immature from the photography skill perspective, I have been around photography in one form or another for a fairly long time.  

My first camera that I can remember being able to call my own was one of those Kodak Disc models.  The film was this circular flat disc.  They didn't take very good photos, but I liked it.  Back then I was a snap shooter.  I can't say that much has changed in that regard, but my interests sure have grown.  I didn't take photography too serious then, so I refer to those early years as my pre-photography years...

Act I: 
It wasn't until I was in highschool at Shawnee Mission South that I started taking photography semi-seriously.  I signed up for Photography I and II taught by Guy Malone (or as I knew him then, "Mr. Malone").  It was for those classes that I saved up from my first job and bought my first camera, a Minolta Maxxum 7000.  It was the first consumer level AF Camera that I can remember, but I could be wrong in that regard.  Pretty fancy for a highschool kid (in addition to loving photography, I am also a gadget head).  Luckily, since living at home, all of my job income went into hobbies, etc.  Even though I was "into" photography back then, I never took it to the next step to develop a serious addiction.  I never tried to become the photographer for the school newspaper or yearbook or anything.  

I did have my first run in with copyright types of issues though.  I left a negative I had been printing in the school's darkroom and someone else took it and printed from it for their assignment, claiming it was their image.  Even though it was a very distinct image of a gorilla picking its teeth with straw, I couldn't prove it was my negative so nothing happened to the other kid, but to this day I am bitter about that episode.

After high school I decided to buy a new camera.  I wasn't that invested in Minolta yet since I didn't have many lenses or any accessories so I switched brands to Canon, getting a T90, a great manual focus camera.  When I got it I thought I would do great things with it, but with college distractions, it ended up sitting in the closet.

In 1999 I took the year off and travelled to Southeast Asia for the first 5 months of it, followed by driving up to Alaska.  It wasn't going to be a Photo trip, but I did want to record where I went.  Instead of taking my SLR, I decided to get a digital camera that I could use to email photos back.  I bought a Sony Mavica that had a floppy disk built in.  It was a whopping .8 megapixel (later replaced with the 1.3MP version after the first one was stolen).  I had a great time on my trip and one of the side benefits is that it rekindled my interest in photography.

It was after I came back from my trip that Act II began.

Act II:
In 2000, I was interested in getting back into SLRs.  The industry had progressed quite a bit and I decided to go back to autofocus.  Since I wasn't invested in any autofocus system yet, I again changed platforms, selling my manual focus T90, and getting a Nikon N80 (great camera).  I started taking more and more photos and even signed up for a Mentor Series Photo trip to India.  I bought a cheap FE10 to backup my N80, and headed off to India for 3 weeks in 2001 (2 weeks for the Photo trip and 1 week on my own).  

That's the only photo trip I have taken.  Although expensive, it was a great time with lots of great memories and people.  I highly recommend them to anyone.   It was in processing my last few rolls of my India trip that in addition to prints, I started to get digital copies of the roll on Kodak's Photo CDs. This was my first foray into digital on a SLR. 

Following the photo trip, I signed up for Photography classes that extended through 2001/2002. I was living in New York at the time, which is a great place to take a camera. At the end of 2002 I moved to Philadelphia with my then fiance (now wife) and the camera again took a back seat to life changes such as buying our first house, getting married, etc. It wasn't until 2003 or 2004 when things picked back up.

Act III:
In 2004 I bought my first DSLR, a Nikon D70.   I stuck with Nikon in going digital because I was very happy with my N80, and had started to build up what I considered a pretty good lens collection by that time.  I really liked the D70. 

I continued with my D70, with most of my photographs focused on family until 2007 when the D300 was announced.  My wife and I (and her brother) were planning a trip to Vietnam for Tet 2008, and I used that as a good excuse to get the D300 (that excuse doesn't really work anymore unfortunately).  We had a great time, and came back with some captures I was really happy with.  However, other than the occasional trip, my photography has continued to focus primarily on family.  

With this blog, I hope to direct myself into a bit more focus for my hobby.  We shall see what Act IV holds....