About

The question was – “Why do you take pictures”….

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As to the WHY I like to “take” pictures..

After the ideal answer= “Because I cannot draw or paint” – because I can do those things…. I can draw a schematic of an electrical and or electronic circuit and understand them. And I have painted my house (Inside and Out).

I formed an interest in the making of photographs at the age of about fifteen, with only a “box camera” at the time.  I have always had an interest for ‘how things worked’. In public high school a friend said that he was going to be the school photographer for the school newspaper, and ask me if I wanted to do that as well. “The school will let you use a camera that is really good.” He said – so I became one of the three photographers.

I started reading everything I could about the process of making photographs – Cameras – Darkroom chemistry – Lighting, natural and flash (Those #5 blue ones) and had a Double Reflex “Rolli” to use as well as my own Argus C-3 (that old BRICK – I still have it).

That was my junior year – By the time I was a senior, I was entering contests all over the area. I won the Scholastic’ Art Award for “Landscape Photography”.  I found that I could really do something that others could not – well, not like I did at any rate. It made me proud of myself, gave me courage at a time I really needed that. However, it was not to be my “profession”. My father did not think that I would make IT as a photographer – and said that I would enter the Electrical Trade as an electrician.  Thus – Photography became my passionate hobby ’til I retired.

From the time I was in high school, ’til 1974 I kept ALL of my negatives (and slides) in a large steel box. I lost everything in a fire that year. And quit photography, almost, completely.

Then in the year of 1982 I became a father, and that happened again in 1983… I got the old cameras out and rolled film into them and picked up where I had left off. I was in “my element” once again. Making photographs and developing in the basement darkroom. However…. There was a ‘change in the wind’…. Something named “Digital Photography”.

Coming from “chemical photography” into the “Digital Age” was liberating. I bought a point and shoot Kodak I think – model 520 – it was 1.2 megapixel. I read the book before I loaded batteries into the camera (I still do that with every camera I buy) and the next day loaded the batteries and went out into the yard. I made photographs of flowers, one of my favorite subjects at the time, as they did not move very quickly. Liberating because NOW in the digital age, I could “take” as many as I wanted to without the worry about the cost of film. I went NUTZ! The old basics applied to digital and there was something NEW to learn, LOTS to learn again.

Now I shoot with two (2) Canon 5D Mark II – a Canon 7D as my ‘back-up – a Canon Xti converted to infrared – a good assortment of “glass” – And I still have my Argus C-3 “Brick” and yep, I still use it – along with my 645 Mamiya – I have my old View Cameras as well, A Ansco 8″X10″ and two Crown Graphics, 3″X4″ and a 4″X5″.

I am still a Landscape, River – Wildlife, Nature as well as portrait Photographer. Only now I am what is termed a professional as I make my living at my Passion – Photography.

And THAT dear fellow Photographers IS the WHY I do it – – Because I Can.

We, each of us, photographers teach each other to make better photographs – Let us all share and (In the words of a friend, Dewitt Jones) Improve ourselves. We need not prove ourselves, just improve ourselves.

Thank you all of my friends…  I really appreciate your comments and your friendship…

James..

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