My journey in photography started off somewhere around 1992 when I was planning a trip to Australia to visit a pen pal there and spend 3 weeks touring part of the country. I was living in a basement apartment at the time. I was talking to my landlord one day and mentioned I was heading there. He asked me what I was taking for a camera. All I had at the time was a Kodak Disc camera! He was shocked to say the least! He went inside and came out with a Pentax 35mm camera body, 2 lens and some other stuff all in a bag. He offered it to me to take. While being very grateful, I was also concerned as this looked to be very expensive gear. He told me if I broke it, I owned it! Sounded like a fair deal to me.
So off I went to Australia. I managed to royally screw up the first roll of film loaded into the camera. Someone there showed me how to do it properly and I was good to go. When I got back from my trip I took the film to a local camera store and got back 7 rolls of prints. I had taken some great photo's! I was shocked! I went back to the store and spoke with the people there about 35mm cameras. They pointed me at Canon and told me it was great stuff. So I bought a body and a couple of lens and began playing around.
I took a few weekend courses and did a couple of workshops over the next couple of years, along with getting married, starting a new job and buying a house! I continued to buy photography gear and one day my wife mentioned to me that if I really wanted to continue on my quest I should make an effort to make money at photography. She suggested people photography. I was appalled! People? They are a pain in the butt I said! A short time after that a neighbor on our street who knew I did photography came to me and asked me if I would photograph their wedding. oh gawd! They had very little money and could not afford a pro. After weeks of sweating, and gaining more grey hair the day finally arrived. I had done a bunch of reading but I was still stressed to the max. The day went okay and I waited nervously to get the prints back from the lab. They were wonderful and the bride and groom were very happy!
So this started 10 years of wedding and portrait photography. I started my own business, took night school courses for years and obtained my Commercial Photographer certificate. I bought and constantly upgraded equipment. And then the digital age arrived.
At first I was reluctant to dive into the digital realam. As the next couple of years passed and the technology improved I could almost for see what was going to happen in the smaller wedding market. Everyone was buying P & S cameras and everyone was becoming a photographer. Couples started asking for a CD of their images and wanting their weddings photographed for almost free. Along with working full time and traveling a lot, I finally made the decision to shut the business down and spend more time with friends and family.
In the past several years I have kept up with what is happening in the world of photography and I have done some fabulous workshops in the Nature, Landscape and Wildlife areas of photography. I have not done much in the post processing side and virtually nothing in the printing side.
During my trip to Glacier National Park in Montana I made a decision to dive back into photography with more seriousness than in the past several years. I am not going to go back to photographing people. I am however going to spend more time working on my images, learning the workflow and printing side and the safe storage of my images. I am going to take more trips when I have the time and spend more time at photography.
I am now teaching courses out of my home and having a blast!
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- Hamilton, Ontario, Canada