My father taught me how to use a single lens reflex camera when I was 9 years old. I have been taking pictures, in various forms, ever since. I have used 110, 35mm, 6×4.5cm, 6x6cm, 4x5in, and Polaroid cameras.

My main formal photography training is from high school. I took introductory, intermediate, and advanced photography in 11th and 12th grades. ¬†I learned how to process black and white film (at the time we used Plus-X and Tri-X , and T-Max came out not too long before I graduated). I also learned how to print and display¬†black and white enlargements. I was good enough to be a teacher’s assistant in the introductory and intermediate classes during my senior year. I have since taken college classes and attended seminars and conventions when it suits me. No matter how much things change, the fundamentals do stay the same.

I still shoot film. I like the discipline that film demands. I like the fact that it takes time before you see the results of a film shoot. It forces you to think about the picture you are taking. I have room for about 1800 pictures on the SD cards in my digital SLR, plus several spare cards. On my film cameras I have either 10, 12, or 15 shots, depending on the camera. Putting in a new roll of film is a chore. Like I said, it forces me to think about what pictures I want to take.

I am not a luddite. I love digital cameras. They are great for candids (I am a great fan and devotee of documentary style photography). The ability to take several thousand pictures at a time is marvelous. It does have some drawbacks, however. Reviewing several thousand pictures to find a few good ones can get to be a drag. Computers have made photography easier, but not necessarily better.

Computers have definitely made video easier, and I would daresay, better. Computers allow you to accomplish amazing things with video, things that simply were not possible without tens of thousands of dollars worth of equipment when I first picked up a video camera. The introduction of computers has made video fun; I love multimedia projects.


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