It all started innocently enough in the Swingin' Sixties -- I can't remember the exact year -- when my parents bought a Polaroid Swinger. I can still hear that rockin' TV commercial jingle in my head:
Hey, meet the Swinger...
"It's more than a camera,
it's almost alive,
it's only nineteen dollars and ninety five..."
The Swinger led to the harder stuff, starting with a Kodak Instamatic complete with flashcube. As my appetite for picture taking grew, I stashed away what little money I got from my after school job and a few months later I was able to buy my very first 35mm camera, a used fixed lens Minolta that I bought from Kurt's Camera Corral in Albuquerque.
When my best friend's dad got a Honeywell Pentax SLR, I knew I was hooked -- I started jonesing for an SLR of my very own. I got my fix with a Fujica -- I think it was an AX-1, and started shooting mostly slides and black and white.
Ironically, it was that camera that almost made me kick the habit of photography all together.
In 1980, I started working at a local independent TV station and put the Fujica to use taking slides for cheesy local TV commercials. Going into mom and pop shops every day to shoot boring crap got old, and what had once been a passion became drudgery.
Thankfully, a few years later, our station got a minicam, and we started shooting spots on video. But the damage had been done; I was burned out on photography and turned away from it, even hating to take the obligatory family vacation and gathering pictures.
When digital came on the scene, I resisted as long as I could -- especially because of the horrid shutter lag that's inherent in p&s cameras.
But about 2004, I got sucked into the world of Megapixels when my son talked me into a spur of the moment purchase of a Sony DSC-P100 to take on a trip to New York.
Gradually, those old urges to shoot that I had suppressed so successfully for so long returned; albeit slowly at first, but then roaring back with a vengeance. Suddenly 5 megapixels and a 3x zoom weren't enough.
So finally in 2007, I started looking into DSLR's and finally bought a Nikon D80 based on the recommendation of several friends who swear by the brand.
After nearly five years of fine service, I've handed down the D80 to my daughter, who has developed quite an eye, and picked up a D7000 for the old man.