My father liked photography and developed his own negatives and prints. At an early age, I was fascinated watching the picture appear in the developer when he made our Christmas cards. He never owned a very fancy camera, just box cameras. The first camera of my very own (at about age 12) was a Kodak Brownie Starflash (left, courtesy Hillary Stein). I loaded it up with Ektachrome 127 film but was quite disappointed with the quality of the results: not even as good as my dad's old 620 Brownie.
As soon as I had earned some of my own money (about age 15), I bought a Tower 51 for $50. It was a German 35mm rangefinder with a f/2.8 lens. It was not a great camera, but it was capable of making reasonable images. I still have the camera and it still works, 50 years later. I began to read Popular Photography and Modern Photography, including the back issues, as well as almost every photography book in the Albuquerque Public Library. My high school friend, Bill Mashburn, and I, with the help of my father, built an enlarger and would set up a darkroom in the kitchen at night to develop our prints.
Soon I wanted a single lens reflex (SLR). I found a used Yashica Pentamatic for $100, and used that for some time, but it turned out to be somewhat mechanically unreliable. I did get a very nice image at Jackson Lake with it, however. By the time I was in college, I was able to afford what I really wanted, a Nikon F.
From that time on, I had the equipment to make excellent images, and was limited only by my humble photographic talent. How much photography I did year to year fluctuated, largely being done on trips, hikes, and other outings.
I went through a camera collecting phase in the 1980s. I accumulated quite a collection, but after getting married, my wife convinced me that they would just deteriorate with disuse, and that I should sell them, and so I sold most of them on eBay before the turn of the century. I kept the eBay photographs and they are displayed here in the form of a virtual collection.
My first foray into digital cameras came in 1999, with the 1.5 MB Minolta Dimage EX. Eventually, I progressed through a Nikon Coolpix 5200 and a Canon A750 IS, before getting my first DSLR, the Nikon D70. My current DSLR is the Nikon D90.
I hope you will visit my galleries here and also my flickr photostream.
Photographic Website Bookmarks
- dpreview.com: best review site for digital cameras.
- Steve's Digicams: another good review site.
- slrgear.com: yet another review site.
- Imaging Resource: yet another.
- The Classic Camera: online collection of old cameras.
- Antique and Classic Cameras: another online collection.
- Norman Koren Photography: a collection of good information on cameras, printing, color management, and more.
- Digitial Dog: tips and tricks for scanning, printing, color management.
- The Light's Right: mostly digital darkroom and Photoshop tips and plugins.
- Ken Rockwell: mostly an equipment blog. Rockwell is opinionated, but quite often he is right on.
- Thom Hogan: Reviews Nikon equipment, mostly.
- Scott Kelby: Photoshop expert's blog.
- KEH.com: good place to look for used camera equipment.
- Adorama: New York photographic online retailer.
- B&H: Another good New York online retailer.
- DXOMark: Image quality testing lab. Check out specs on equipment before you buy.
- ClarkVision.com: Interesting photographer's site.
- diglloyd.com: opinionated, but interesting reviews and tips.
- PluginsWorld.com: source for plugins (free and otherwise) for Adobe and Apple.
- Luminous Landscape: Interesting photography site.
- Fred Miranda: another opinionated photography blog with some good information.
- Digital Outback Photo: interesting articles on cameras and workflow.
- Nikonians: Nikon user community. Has podcasts as well.
Tips from the Top Floor: Chris Marquardt is a "German man who understands digital photography and more."
Martin Bailey: an Englishman who now lives in Japan and is an excellent photographer.
LensWork: Brooks Jensen, editor of Lenswork Magazine makes short, pithy podcasts.
Jeff Curto: has a couple of different podcasts, including a course he teaches on the history of photography.
The Candid Frame: Ibarionex Perello interviews various photographers.
There are also several good podcasts on Photoshop and Lightroom.