I have been shooting since taking classes in college, in those days, one shot black and white film, and occasionally color slide film. I had a Nikon F that had the light meter sitting on top of the camera in the prism, not TTL. I also had a good friend, Jimmy, and we used go out on the weekend, sometimes borrowing another camera body from a fellow student, so as to have different films / iso. You would come back on Monday, develop the film, and print a contact sheet(s). The professor would look them over with a loupe, and a grease pen. Xs on the bad shots, and circles, on the ones, he wanted you to work on, to print. You submitted your prints, on Friday and he would grade them, again with a grease pen, sometimes you had to correct and resubmit. This went on through different assignments and 3 semesters.
Basically exposure became second nature, you were expected to get it “right “in the camera, if you couldn’t do that, the professor would gently persuade you to take up a different field of study. It was the print that counted.
As time passed and I lost access to a darkroom, and business and family occupied all my time. I still shot, but now mainly color prints, and had them developed, like all good civilians. Then digital Point and Shoots. Around 2005, I was living and working in Shanghai, China, full time, and was really taken with city, I read about digital SLRs, I decided I would do this, I would print as good as National Geographic, and have content as good as what I had been taught and grew up with from Life, and Look magazine. Certainly Shanghai had the content; my challenge was to learn Photoshop and art of printing. I went to Hong Kong, bought a Canon 20D and three L lenses, returning to Shanghai, bought a 2880 Epson printer, which was replaced by an Epson 4800. I was lucky, I had a friend and business associate, that had a degree in commercial art from San Jose State and was working for a packaging company we were doing business with. He helped me hands on with Photoshop and understanding color associations, and along with reading books and following lessons from; Vincent Versace, Joe McNally, Dan Margulis, Jay Maisel, Katrin Eismann, and Lee Varis, Bruce Fraser and Jeff Schewe and many, many others. I even took a refresher course from New York Center of Photography, and read every magazine under the sun.
I would shoot almost every day, many times of the people around our office. then at night practice printing, and next day give the people a couple of prints of themselves (mentally grading myself with X’s and circles as I had learned a long time ago in college), this went on for several years.
As time went on I met several people who helped me beyond any expectations; there is Rod Klukas , who constantly turned me on to the great masters, and the joy of a field camera, and has worked to mentor me, I must also mention Lonna Tucker for the confidence and helpful comments. . The people at Capture Integration, Dave Gallagher, and his great staff of Chris, Brad, Steve, Kristin, and Kyra , helped me transition into medium format and gave me honest answers to my naive questions, and also introduced me to Like Minded American Photographers. And last but not least, I found a shooting buddy in Shanghai, an Australian, Pat. Pat almost always shot film, Graflex, Rolleiflex, and Canon etc. We shot every Sunday and sometimes during the week, rain or shine, we worked on a project over six years called “Park Project”. Some people play golf, we explored Shanghai, and spoke native English.
I had some solo exhibitions in Shanghai and Pat and I had several shows together in China. Also did some printing for Germany Photography shows, for a friend of ours, Michael Ende.
This brings me to the present. That means I have to start blogging…………….