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The beginnings of a journey

Discussion in 'Talking Pictures' started by Mikardo88, Feb 20, 2017.

  1. Mikardo88

    Mikardo88 Active Member

    I've wanted to start this discussion for a while now but not got round to it. I'm interested in how people start photography, what is it that makes them purchase a camera in the first place and why we get drawn into spending litterally thousands of pounds on image making/taking.

    I personally started in February 2016. A work friend on the desk opposite brought in a book by Chelsea and Tony Northrup and I loved it. I hadn't realised the technical aspects of photography (even in the basic begginers book), to be honest I thought the photographer pressed a button and that's it. How wrong I was!

    A year on and photography is my absolute passion. I spend most of my days reading, reasearching and practicing. I'm very much a beginner but I try my best to improve every time I use my camera.

    Looking forward, my main issue is finding new subjects to photograph. My area of interest is family portraiture and there is only so many pictures of family I can take. I'd love some tips on how to meet new people to photograph if anyone could make suggestions.

  2. RovingMike

    RovingMike Crucifixion's a doddle...

    I started because I valued the family pictures my grandmother took with her box camera and that my father took in exotic places he visited like the Nicobar Islands. I saw it as a way of taking all that with you. Anything more "creative" came far later. I had a camera from age of 7.
  3. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    It was my grandfather's passion and he would go nowhere without his Rolleiflex so so photography was always a familiar companion. I had a first camera probably about 8 years of age but it really started seriously when our eldest was born and I was given an SLR, brought back from Japan by my father, suppy of family photos expected in return. My grandfather died shortly after. I acquired his Gnome enlarger and developing tanks. We were very cash-strapped so there was a lot of DIY with FP4. I had to wait a further 25 years before spending thousands on kit became remotely possible.
  4. PhotoEcosse

    PhotoEcosse Well-Known Member

    I started, indirectly, in 1953 when an uncle who had a chemist's shop in Buckhaven gave me a contact printing kit as a Christmas present. I didn't have a camera of my own at that time but loved the "chemistry" of processing prints from negatives taken with my Dad's camera.

    In 1955, the same uncle gave me a Kodak Brownie Cresta as a present and I was, at last, able to take my own pictures. A subsequent present was a Paterson developing tank so that I could develop my own films prior to making contact prints.

    Eventually, in 1958, aged 13, I sold my electric train set and bought a Halina A1 TLR camera and a Gnome Beta II enlarger (got for me at wholesale price by the uncle with the shop). To a large extent, it was still the chemistry of the processes that interested me more than the artistic side of taking photographs.

    For much of my life, photography was mainly a sideline attached to freelance writing - taking photographs to illustrate my books and magazine articles.

    Then, around 2007, I finally "went digital" and joined my local camera club and, a few years later, the RPS. It was club and society "life" that finally inspired me to strive for artistic excellence. How I now wish I had joined a club and had my eyes opened many years earlier. But that has been the story of my life - I was over 50 before I learned to fly an aeroplane, learned to play clarinet and saxophone, started playing bowls and curling and started to travel extensively outside Europe. All things that, once I had started, I wished I had started in my youth. But, like many of my generation, far too much time was taken up by work, sex and, later, family.
    RovingMike and Mikardo88 like this.
  5. El_Sid

    El_Sid Well-Known Member

    I started in 'photography' way back in '68 when I received a Kodak Instamatic for Christmas prior to a school trip to Switzerland the following spring. That camera lasted me on high days and holidays for 10 years or so.

    After leaving college and before starting work we did a cruise down the Rhine and I felt that something rather better than an ageing Instamatic was required so an Olympus OM1n with 50mm lens was purchased and some far better holiday snaps resulted.

    A journey into more serious photography began with a friend who had a Nikon FE. Now I had struggled somewhat with the OM, I didn't entirely get on with the arrangement of the controls so I tried my mate's FE and that felt much better. The net result was the purchase of the FE's all manual cousin the FM (my dislike of automation is long standing plus it was cheaper) which, along with a used Nikkormat FT3 and others, remained the staple of my first serious phase.

    The first phase kind of died the death in the face of shooting kit that made a much more satisfying bang. Nonetheless photography did still happen on holidays and special occasions when called for. The second phase of serious photography was started by two events; selecting a Nikon F65 as my 25 year service award at work and the Government making my main shooting kit illegal in 1997. As a result I rejoined my old camera club and another and started shooting seriously again. I even bought a computer and associated bits which started me in the digital direction.

    I wasn't entirely happy with the F65 (handling mostly) so out out of pure curiosity I bought a Canon EOS 1000 which I found much more comfortable and this led to my buying EOS lenses and other bodies to go with it. Having already bought a computer etc. I had been dabbling with digitising slides and had come to the conclusion that starting with a digital image made more sense. Entirely by very opportune coincidence my local branch of LCE acquired a second-hand EOS D30 which I duly snapped up - this was in 2004 when DSLRs were still pretty rare and use ones more or less nonexistent. I continued to use film alongside the D30 but the increasing cost meant I drifted toward digital until the point arrived where my entire output was digital and has been so more or less totally ever since.
  6. I got into photography in college when we did a photography course and learnt how to process film in dark rooms. I thought it was brilliant and loved being able to create something pretty through a lense. I didn't keep it up though due to funds but often tried phone photography, not as good of course.

    I then went on holiday to Croatia a few years later and borrowed a DSLR which made me determined to save up for my own and start snapping away at all my beautiful surroundings.

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