Sunday, June 28, 2009

Papa wants a new camera!

This was my graduation present, from my parents, upon getting a High School Diploma. I was thrilled, not about the Diploma but about the camera as it was a single lens reflex and a Pentax H1.

I was very involved in photograph from about the age of 10 when I made my first contact print in our basement. My brother had received a contact printer and didn't
really use it so I just made it mine. There was a red light bulb with it and I set up a dark area and followed the directions. The chemicals weren't any good but I got new ones from the Rexall Drug Store downtown
along with some good advice on how to use the contact printer. I chose a negative I had of my Mother and Father; put the negative on the glass; put the paper on top of the negative; cycled the light on for a couple of seconds. I sliped the paper out of the contact light box and slid it into the developer. As the photo was in the developer, I could see the image form under the developer because the red light was on and cast an erie glow over everything. My heart felt like it was racing 90 miles an hour, and with trembling hands I put the paper, which was now a picture, into the stop bath for a few seconds and then into the fixer and then I could turn on the white light. I was hooked. I printed every negative I could find until I ran out of paper. As soon as I could come up with the money, I bought an enlarger and more darkroom supplies and started looking for a camera upgrade. I found it with the Kodak Pony 135 and I paid about $65 for it. A lot of money for a kid w/o a paper route. My Pony 135 lasted to High School where I soon became the school photographer and they had great cameras and a brand new darkroom. At this time I started taking photos for our local paper The Sturgis Tribune where the editor Bob Lee took me under his wing and taught me the ins and outs of press photography. I loved it. I was constantly getting my photo's published in The Sturgis Tribune , The school newspaper and yearbook and some real freelance assignments. Sturgis is home to the Sturgis Motor Classics every year which got lots of national exposure and I got some assignments from a couple of national motorcycle magazines, one I remember was "Cycle World". Getting paid was really exciting. I spent one year at the University of Montana where I worked as a yearbook photographer. 6 years in the Navy and I traveled the world with my trusty Pentax H-1. That was then and now I think it is time for me to upgrade my H-1.

I now have thousands of slides and 4x6 prints which are so numerous I can't even sort them. A few years ago my wife bought me a Kodak DX6340 zoom digital to get me into the digital world but I needed something bigger, faster with more battery life. I have put thousand of pictures through the 6340 but I am looking forward to the new upgrade. stay tuned

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