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James Gonzalez

All the lights were off. The only light coming from the glow of the TV while Mom and my siblings watched whatever was on that night. I remember vividly, the images magically appearing on photo paper as Dad submersed them in a tray of developer we had set up in the kitchen. I was about 14 when Dad setup that enlarger on the kitchen table one evening to teach me how to print photographs. I have been photographing ever since.

Dad had an old Ricoh SLR where the lenses attached via screw mounts, not the more convenient bayonet mounts we all use today. I remember him telling me to be careful to not strip the threads as I was changing from one lens to another. He could have been telling me this because of my klutzy age, or maybe it was because he was letting me take them to a circus to take pictures, where it’s dimly lit up in the stands. About a year ago, Dad handed me an old briefcase and said it had old film camera equipment that he would never use. Days later I opened it to find that ole Ricoh SLR and screw mount lenses…the first camera that I learned to take pictures with…now, a prized possession…along with those memories.

I had a camera in hand all through high school and photographed everything from football to basketball to softball to whatever those goofy high school kids would be doing on the way to and from classes. After high school, my college of choice was St. Edward's University in Austin, TX where I received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Photocommunications.

A lot has changed since those days of using film and chemicals to make pictures. We've traded darkrooms and chemically stained fingers for computers with software like Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop.

Although my first digital SLR was an 8 megapixel Canon 20d, I now use Nikon equipment, a D3, D800, D7100, and D7200; 12, 36 and 24 megapixels respectively...with a variety of lenses that range from 16mm fisheye to 600mm telephoto. I like to work in the studio, but I also like to photograph wildlife and anything that catches my eye, as you will notice from my portfolio you see here.