I love photography, it is just that plain and simple. Capturing the Motions of Life, preserved, frozen in the moment for all times.
Just like most people my age, I started out taking photos as a child, using a Kodak 110 Instamatic. Around 1982, I moved up to a 35 mm Minolta XG-1 film camera. Woot! That Minolta was great and wonderfully versatile, being able to use 12, 24 or 36 frames on a roll and an ASA range of 50 – 800 Kodachrome.
I used the Minolta with great satisfaction until 1984. I had just spent a lovely week relaxing on the Île du Levant where I had shot six whole rolls of 36 frame film while stalking wildlife and nightlife. One the day that I was to return to Hyères, France via the local ferry, a summer storm came up over the Gulf of Lion.
Needless to say, small ferries on rough water are a little bouncy and not very stable. Suffice to say, the bouncy instability put my wonderful Minolta at the bottom of the bay about 6 kilometers from the port. I miss my Minolta, it was my first ‘real’ camera.
For about a year, life, a lack of time, and military duties kept me away from photography, but I used what free time I had mostly wisely, mostly. I took some of the available military correspondence courses on photography and learned a great deal. Eventually, I fell in to a pretty good deal on a Canon AE-1. I have been a “Canonista” ever since.
While I was stationed in West Germany (yes, it was West Germany at the time), I had the great fortune to find a little side street, no name, camera shop in Erlangen owned by a very understanding and patient elderly gentleman named Heinrich.
I learned more about photography in six months of hanging around his shop then I had ever learned before. I truly believe that Heinrich had forgotten more about photography in his 87 years of life then I will ever know. Rest well Heinrich, and may the light and shadow forever play in your favor.
Since those early years, I have attempted to continually refine my skill in photography and my abilities at perception. With thousands of hours of practice, taking classes, teaching classes, leeching knowledge from other photographers, and attending seminars, my skill set as a photographer has continually improved. So maybe one day, with luck, I will have half as much skill as my old mentor Heinrich.