I have to credit Lisa with transitioning me to digital photography. She bought me this camera one birthday long ago. Until then I was an Ektachrome slide photographer. Nikon would not put out the digital D70 for a year or more. This (G3) was the camera recommended by the camera shop. I enjoyed the use of it though I never made it my “go to” camera. Nonetheless, I used the G3 to shoot some of Susan’s daughter’s wedding though I never did use it extensively. And then, the Nikon D70 came in 2004. I shot Dave’s high school graduation and never shot another frame of slide film after that. Just like that – analog slide to digital. Julia swore she could always tell my scanned slides from digital images, until she stopped complaining one day. Yup, I still have this camera. It’s unused. It occupies a treasured spot on the shelf, honorably retired. (My mistake. it’s gone missing. The G3. I have an extensive collection of unused gear. It’s there somewhere, just where, I’m not sure.)
The latest greatest? I just learned (realized) how much I have evolved. I did a photo shoot with a mirrorless camera. Advantages over my big Nikon DSLR: smaller, lighter weight!, LCD viewfinder. I shoot at different angles and compose differently. Embrace change? It’s a tool (camera). Know your camera and it’s capabilities. Use it. I love learning new things after all these years.
And, once more I apologize to my dear (present) wife. Colleen weaves. She reads (weaving), takes classes, and watches video at every opportunity. I have often wondered why? You know it, already? And then, I look at what I know and how it evolved. She’s always right. And, I can hear, “I told you so,” coming right around the corner at me!
… and counting, since 2003, when I started using a digital camera until now. Oops! Database miscalculation – make it 526,183 images not counting my iPhone pics. Aren’t you impressed I have kept track thru a database? This image is nearly the last to date (as of a month ago). It’s all cataloged (very roughly) in a database, and, in Lightroom. It would be a monumental task to look thru the Lightroom catalog too. I’m not bragging. And, you might well shake your head. Too many, too many pics. And what for? Throw away the duds. (I did, a few) That’s just digital. There are more than 100k of slides too. I did not count print negatives. Those were too hard for me to track. (Read: lazy) … I like the symmetry – the roof, the sky (who sees such a clear demarcation), and the sun poking thru the clouds. … I ‘ve been thru at least 15 different digital cameras. Favorites come and go as the model changes and the technology improves. Would I, should I, upgrade? Of course! I don’t drive/lust fast cars. (thank $$$ goodness) Cameras have been my weak spot though my camera envy has been well controlled. I have held a Leica but never shot one. I am permitted my passion. There are far worse things… Some days, it’s good to glance back at the legacy I have made. And, I shall keep shooting. Why go thru all of this? I am able to locate an image – in not too much time – upon request. Organization in the midst of chaos, imagine that!
I thought I was a pretty good photographer till my eyes were opened in 2007. I had met a Sports Illustrated photographer Manny Milan. He was impressed by my indexing and storage of over 100,000 slides in my collection. Nuts! Me. Nonetheless, he remembered me and invited me to the US Open (tennis) and I learned what a difference in work from myself to real professionals. Nope. I’m strictly amateur. Anyone can take a picture. It’s not anyone who can capture action. No, motor drive will not help you. We take it for granted because impossible images are all around us. Professional photographers get it done every day. There were scores of photographers from all different agencies. My lesson and goal for the several days I was present, get the ball. The image should have the player and the ball in the same frame. That would be the “money shot.” Do it! It ain’t easy. My poor Nikon D70 was woefully inadequate. I got the “shot.” And I realized that there is a better way. I learned. Anytime you learn a new trick, it’s great!
Digital single lens reflex. If you don’t know cameras the initials stand for big serious camera with interchangeable lenses. …if you care. Go on. Use that iPhone… I always considered myself to be a serious amateur photographer. May 25, 2004, I received my Nikon D70. I opened the package near midnight. Yes, I worked late in those days. I like to say it was the last time I shot slide film from that day forward. It pretty much was the case. Digital was seductive and in my head I had a quality camera capturing the images that would be comparable to slide film with way less processing. Of course, the rest is history. I have been through several iterations of DSLR and now am using advance point and shoot cameras. The iPhone remains a distant (second) device though for many it is the camera of today. iPhone is $1000 as are advanced point and shoot cameras like the Sony RX100. Each has a purpose. I believe a camera dedicated to a single purpose is better than a smart phone.
I was gifted a Canon G3 on my birthday in 2003. It would still be a year later I would get my Nikon D70. Too technical? One of the first serviceable shots was a selfie. A few days later I visited Jules at her college track meet. Some of the images were lost and never archived. The metadata was corrupted though my filing method kept track of the date I took the images. The biggest event I did was Amy’s (Susan’s daughter) wedding. I shot film and digital. The camera was highly rated at the time. I just did not utilize it fully. I was still committed to film. In a way I’m impressed at my ability to keep a database and to keep my photos organized.
This is the last slide I shot. My memory is/was correct. June,2004, I bit the bullet and got my first DSLR digital, the Nikon D70. The price was finally within reach of my budget. Early digital DSLR cameras exceeded $1000 considerably. David graduated and this last shot on the last roll of film is it.
After that the rest is history. Ha ha. I went digital. It was too seductive. No more home processing. I’d stopped that a while before. (I had a neighbor – since moved – who hated the running water in my darkroom at 3AM. Gee! I wonder why?) No more need for storage space. Too funny. I’d just built a cabinet of 28 drawers with excess capacity to store future slides. I had photo paper, chemicals, and film. Slide film would remain stored in the freezer for more than a decade (till I threw it out).
Yes, it was that abrupt. I have gone through a series of camera upgrades. David taught me that the Canon Power Shot series was excellent for detail. Currently my kids primarily use their iPhone as their image maker/saver.
Yes, indeed, David graduated on this day way back then. I just now put it together that we both graduated on that day. I estimate I shot 113,600 slides since 1975. By my count I have shot more than 367,000 digital images since 2004. That would be double the number in half the time. I’ve gotten exponentially better as I honed my craft through trial and error. There are about the same proportion of “keepers” and disappointments. I have immediate feedback but am often in too much of a hurry to check immediately. I shoot frequently in a fast-moving platform (our car). I shoot the same subjects (but better, I hope). I still shoot fewer people (shy). I could never have been proficient nor shot the fish in the Red Sea without digital.
Of all the things I do/did, I’m still learning photography after graduation.
Digital frame #0016. It’s an inauspicious start to digital photography. It’s not the very first image out of the camera. Number 0001 was discarded. Ha! And, number 0002 was blurred out of focus. I must have arrived home late after work to open and play with the new digital D70. It was a Tuesday after my office hours. One would not expect my family to be up on a weeknight school/work night.
It might be of interest how/when I began (photography). It started from a need to preserve family history? I was photographically naïve until 8th grade in West Virginia. I took Mom’s Argus C3 (the “Brick”) to Charleston and the Golden Horseshoe Award ceremony. I was dismal. Not an image came out. I had no lesson and no clue about exposure. A year later (1966, 9th grade) we moved to New York City and I got my first Kodak Instamatic 100. My first real SLR camera was an Exakta in 1970 (college freshman). I was now doing black and white. I loaded my own film from 100 ft bulk rolls. I developed my own film. After that the history of my serial documentation begins in 1975. That was the year I began to keep my slides. The collection began in storage boxes in the closet and progressed to custom made drawers. Along the way I became a furniture maker too. My frugality prevents me from upgrading infinitely. It’s all about value for your effort. In a way it’s good to lust for betterment (skill and equipment). I try to be critically aware of my failures.
“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” Santayana
I got a lot to remember.