This week, Amy has asked us to recount our Photography Journey. Mine has been a long and varied one. Starting in England, it probably began in the late 1950’s when I appropriated my parents’ Kodak Brownie camera. My subjects were usually my dear Mum and Dad but when they weren’t available, I’d sneak up on the dog.
Although I liked the results that I got from the Brownie, there were so few pictures on a roll of film and I later switched to the smaller format of the Kodak Instamatic, only using the Brownie on the odd occasion. The pictures weren’t anywhere near as satisfactory but evidently quantity took precedence over quality in those days. Black and white eventually gave way to glorious color and in the late 1960’s the lens was focused mainly on my eldest daughter and my parents’ garden, with occasional visits to Whipsnade Zoo.
I brought both the Brownie and the Instamatic with me when we came to live in the US in 1973 and continued to use them to capture our family’s early days in Chicago. But I wanted more! I longed for a camera where I could change the lenses and add filters and swagger about in a photographer’s vest, pretending to know what I was doing. Then in 1987, my husband bought me a Minolta X-370 and, so that I might give it a good test run, we took a trip to Niagara Falls and, later that summer, to the Badlands in South Dakota. During subsequent years it accompanied us to Virginia Beach, Wisconsin, Iowa and Florida amongst other places.
I experimented for a while with a Polaroid camera but, although it was useful for those situations when you needed the picture right then and there, the results were disappointing to say the least and the novelty soon wore off. I even branched out with a Super 8 movie camera but the short duration of the film, the high cost of processing and the fact that it had no sound were not in its favor.
My first foray into digital photography was in 2002 with a Canon Elph. Wow! What a revelation! No more eking out pictures on a roll of film and saving what I could spare from the housekeeping to get them developed, only to find that half of them were duds. Digital photography was here to stay, thank goodness!
Later I received the gift of a Canon EOS Rebel. Since then, I’ve upgraded to a newer model and rarely go anywhere without it. I’ve tried to vary the content of my pictures but I suppose nature is my preferred subject, although the family photo files take up quite a bit of space on the hard drive. Over the years I’ve belonged to a couple of camera clubs and learned quite a lot about composition and presentation from my time there, but I never could get the hang of f-stops and metering and technical stuff like that. These days I usually set the camera on automatic and hope for the best.
The last two images were, I thought, especially appropriate for this challenge, the first picture being of our youngest granddaughter taken just days after she was born in 2019 and the second of my dear mother taken two years before she passed away in 2011, at the age of 96, both the focus of much of my photographic journey.