I loved art class in high school. Where else could you make a mess, display your feelings and thoughts on a piece of paper or canvas? Art was a release. I began liking realism, drawing buildings with landscaping, scenic art and farm landscapes. My instructor thought my abstract art was much better than my realistic drawings and seemed to grade my work accordingly. What? So, in art, expression of one’s self, someone can dictate what your supposed to be thinking, what you feel and what you should put on paper under their direction?
I had started noticing photographer’s works and still life photos. I wondered again, as mentioned in my first post, how was the photograph taken, what lighting, why the direction of the lighting and quality of the light? Then the posing of the subject or product came into question. I didn’t dwell long on those questions; it was just the curiosity of a 15-year-old. I wanted to recreate those still life photos and test my abilities.
I bought a twelve-exposure roll of black and white film, borrowed my parents’ camera and photographed still life objects using a desk lamp and a flash for lighting. I peddled my bike down to the pharmacy and sent in the film. Three days later I peddled back downtown to the pharmacy and picked up the film.
As you see by the samples, they were horrible! What happened? Do I tell mom and dad I wasted $6.00 on film, processing and printing? They’d kill me!
(Yes, I still have my first roll of film and prints.)
After the frustration in art class, and my unsuccessful attempts at home with photos, I headed to the journalism class to see Mr. Simpson. He had cameras! He had cameras to check out and use for the yearbook. Over the next few weeks Mr. Simpson showed me how to develop film and make black and white prints. I was hooked! Heavy, somewhat expensive equipment and chemicals! The smell of developer, stop bath and fixer was a floral aroma only understood by photographers.
I started shooting for the high school yearbook. A lot of portraits, sports, friends together, class projects and classmates working together. It was a blast. There are many great memories of those beginning days of my photography career.
I wasted $6.00 on my first attempt of photos. Maybe it would be around $45.00 by today’s standards. It felt like $100.00 to me with my first attempt! With digital photography, click and click and click away with the camera and I have an immediate return on how the photo appears. If it doesn’t come out, there’s a little trash can logo/button to push and the image is erased. It doesn’t cost a cent to take a photo with digital. I don’t take 100’s of images to get one good image. I have an idea in mind of what I want to achieve. I’ll address that in an upcoming issue.
The next issue, the real reason I got into photography.
Thanks for checking in!