How did your journey in photography begin?

Updated on March 19, 2018 in Photography
20 on July 9, 2017

Apologies if a topic like this has been started already. But I was curious to find out when, where and what it was that got people interested in photography in the first place.

This is the first roll of film I ever shot. 

About 18 years ago.

My friend’s band were playing in a local community center and I declared myself their ‘official photographer,’ or something just as cheesy.

The camera was a second hand gift from a family friend who shot for newspapers. I don’t recall the brand.

ISO? Aperture? Shutter speed? I had no idea what any of these were or how to use them.

I do remember that I was bitterly disappointed at the time with how the pictures came out, a disappointment which pushed me to want to learn why. Why were they bad? And how could I fix it?

I’m glad I have this contact sheet still. It sits in my desk drawer next to me.

For those days where I feel that things just aren’t going right, or I’m just not happy with my work, it’s good to be able to look back and feel that at least I’ve come this far.

 
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1 on July 9, 2017

Love this thread idea and your avatar Ryan!

on July 9, 2017

Thanks!

I had it commissioned by this super hip, up and coming artist. 

You probably haven’t heard of him yet 😉

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1 on July 10, 2017

It started at age 18, with a point and shoot digital camera from my mom. Not to forget precious memories. 

on July 10, 2017

Oh god why did you have to post that haha. 

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0 on July 10, 2017

My family had in total 1 baby photo of me — the tiny photo of me on my refugee identity card. It was me as an infant in my mom’s arms at the Malaysian refugee camp where I was born. My mom kept that photo of me in a special drawer with her other precious keepsakes. I was only allowed to look at the photo when I asked her permission. I would hold the small identity photo between my nervous fingers and wonder what the world looked like from that baby’s eyes.

When I was 12 years old, I asked to see the photo again and my mom declared that I was now old enough that she could trust me with the photo. She gave it to me, and I kept it in a small wooden drawer in my room. I took out the photo everyday to look at it. And then one day, I went to the drawer and it was not there. I lost the photo. I still remember the feeling of tracing the edges of the photo and the peeling laminate on the identity card.

From then on I started taking photos with whatever camera I had. My family had a new ‘digital’ video camera with a ‘snap’ function and I used to to take photos of my family and everyday life.

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0 on July 11, 2017

When I was young, Life, The Saturday Evening Post and other magazines (including some from Europe) would arrive at my grandparents’ house every week. I would immerse myself in them. Remember, in the late 50s and early 60s in the Great White North there was only one TV station, no cable and your only view of the world was what you got from radio, the CBC News or magazines.

My grandfather had a Rolleiflex TLR that he would use to take family pictures and my father had a Ricoh 500 rangefinder that he’d use to document the bridges he was working on. I would sneek them when no one was looking and pretend to be a hotshot photojournalist. If I was caught I’d catch holy hell. Don’t know where those pictures went, don’t know where the Rollei went, but I still have the Ricoh and use it quite a bit.

It was those images in the magazines that drove me to make images. I wanted to be a writer and a journalist, but when registering at Uni, I didn’t have the bottle to stand up to my parents’ expections and became a geophysicist instead.

But still, that bug is in my soul. Scratch me and you’ll find that writer: always looking for a story, always wanting to tell a story.

And that is how I met my camera…

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0 on July 12, 2017

It first started when my family would go on vacation and they would always bring along a digital kodak camera, I would always pester them about using it. I was so amazed that you could record the world in front of you like that. Later on I enrolled in a digital communications course that was required in school and photography was one of the subjects. Learning about all of the technical details got me so fascinated and I thought to myself “well now I can do anything!” My parents knew I was crazy about photography and so they bought me a canon t3i for xmas in 2013 and so I would just walk around taking photos of landscapes, flowers and stuff. When the time came to enroll in post secondary education I decided to get my ass in gear and try to get into a photography program. I got accepted and through that school I learned about H.C.B. and a bunch of other masters and that’s what really turned me into an ecstatic photography junkie.

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0 on July 13, 2017

Started when I purchased an Olympus zoom film camera with a real, digital LCD screen (later cracked) for showing the number of shots taken. Zoom gave me close-ups of my son, just as he learned to walk. Moved to digital with the first Apple digital camera. Moved through Sony and Canon point-and-shoots, always shooting sunsets, flowers, and kids. I never got into movies of kids but really got into zooming into their facial and body expressions. The iPhone became my camera of choice when it seemed to compete with my Canon point-and-shoot, especially on long long bike rides. Eventually, who knows…maybe a Ricoh GR or something sharp but weather-sealed because I’m outside when I shoot. I shoot mostly landscapes anyway and sharpness interests me as another visual character, like light and shadow, colors, etc.

 

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0 on July 13, 2017

As a kid I loved looking through boxes of old photographs taken by my parents, and picking my favorites. I guess i started taking photos to sort of continue that. In high school my interest sort of grew into taking pictures that were visually pleasing, instead of just snapshots of things i wanted to remember. I got very over-obsessed with camera settings, gear, etc. and that went on for a while. I never really focused on anything specific, and just photographed the world around me.

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0 on August 25, 2017

It began 3-4 years ago. I was trying to find an online editing service to edit some of my school photos 😀 I found photo editing website fixthephoto.com and began uploading my photos there. While they were uploading i read some tips for amateur photographers and then i thought “why dont i try it on?” Since that moment taking photos has begun my favorite hobby 

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0 on January 8, 2018

I remember that day like if it was yesterday, it was a rainy day  i could hear the wind howling and the rain pounding outside our house it was winter and it was cold, i was bored and didn’t know what to do so i did what any kid of 12 would do i went to the attic to see what i could find, my parents were not home so i had the whole house for myself, i started to open dusty boxes they were mostly books and old stuff, but then i found an old 35mm camera it was a minolta, i opened it and saw it had a roll of film, so i took it and started taking pictures not knowing if the film was any good, i later found out it had been my grandfathers camera, that’s when the photographic bug bit me, i was hooked, the year was 1965, i later took the film to develope and it turned out it still had some good frames and it was black and white. Don’t know what happened to that camera i must have put it in some drawer when i bought another new minolta, i have taken thousands of photos in film and now in digital format, i have lost many of the old photos, but the photos of my kids when they were born and as they grew up and now of my grandkids are the one i most cherish, the other ones i usually lose, but not the ones of my family. 

www.juanortegaphotography.com 

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0 on January 9, 2018

I decided to take up photography as a hobby, following my best friend. I thought it was a good idea at the time—got a Nikon D7000, since he got a Nikon as well.

And then I switched to the Olympus OM-D E-M5, then the Nikon D600, then finally settled on Fujifilm. Whoops—major GAS there.

But then I look back at my childhood and realised that I always loved taking photos—I just didn’t realise it at the time. I used to take photos all the time when I was in primary school with this cheap Kodak Graffiti that uses 110 film. Then by chance, I got employed full-time at Olympus for three years, and left a couple of years before then introduced the m4/3 system.

So right now have this firm belief that I was meant to be taking photographs in the first place, even though I have yet to realise this potential to the fullest.

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0 on February 22, 2018

Excellent thread. I love reading about how everyone got into it. The oldest photos i have that i took are from about 1980. Two in particular are candid ‘potraits’ taken within a few seconds of each other, consecutive frames. Praktica SLR, Pentacon 50mm looks like from the pictures. Fuji film. I don’t remember how i got into it really, but i do recall my M.O. was to pick a sufficiently steady shutter speed and vary the aperture to compensate.  

 

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0 on February 22, 2018

The first cameras i was allowed to borrow were either 110 or 126 instamatics. I remember Polaroid enjoying a resurgence of popularity sometime in the mid-later 1970s, and the Olympus Trip 35 and then XA models being very trendy 🙂

There was something magical and exciting about sending film off in the orange Kodak envelopes by post for development and waiting for it to eventuall arrive in the post (with a fresh cartridge of 126 film included).

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2 on February 23, 2018

Wow, I thought I answered this way back, but no!

Probably an interview with David Bailey and photojournalism in various 80’s trouble-spots or something, and my Physics teacher (who also was mad on Pink Floyd too), so for my 13th birthday my parents got me a Yashica point and shoot auto. A couple of years later I got Ricoh SLR and started doing band photography at various venues (at 16!). I also did work experience for a Police Scene of Crime Photographic unit and regional newspaper. 

on February 23, 2018

Very interesting to read Dickie, to be ‘on assignment’ at 16 (even if just the local pub gig networks) must have been a great thing on the path to here. What you say about the PJ work of the 80s: this is also for me how i judge my own pictures if they are social-documentary images. Difficult for me to describe, but a subjective ‘look’ or ‘approach’ to the depictions. And in colour. With b&w the range is greater; varied styles from 1950s-through-1980s/90s. But for colour the 80s was the high water mark of press photography and perhaps much studio imagery.  Youtube ‘Grace Jones – Slave to The Rythym (Offical video)’ for some epic ‘creativity’ in the studio/light table sense.

 

on March 19, 2018

Yeah, pretty amazing looking back. So much more adventrous in my teens than later on! Having grow up in London my family moved to a small town an hour away, so travelling by myself into London on public transort or begging lifts just had to be done. With regard to the jurno work I have feint memories of a documentary showing photo jurno’s travelling the world at a moments notice, and rushing to get films to a 24 hour lab trying to beat other jurnos to the press buyers for that days evening edition.

I agree with your later comments, I think studio and jurno work reached a style and pre-digital technical peak, wonderful stuff, and yet I have an acceptance that while I shoot digital and am re-discovering film, there’s plenty more to be discovered.

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0 on March 17, 2018

I was in college…in the late 1960’s. I saw some of Ansel Adams LARGE scale prints and was bowled over. I also came across collections of photos from the 1930s documenting life in the South and among displaced farmers from the Dust Bowl era. And some of the photos taken by war correspondent photographers. My first camera was a Nikkormat FTM with. 50 mm f1.4 lens. Everything was manual, which is why I like shooting in manual mode now. We had a wet lab at school, so I did my first developing and printing there ( the magic of seeing your image appear in the print developer…Yikes, I can still feel it.

I am somewhat shy, and I find it hard to approach strangers on the street … But, for me THE most interesting subject to photograph is people. So, it is a struggle. But I also have a son interested in photography. He has a natural talent for drawing, painting and almost anything graphic. So, now I have a buddy to go out and shoot with. I also savor our time looking at photo

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0 on March 17, 2018

I was in college…in the late 1960’s. I saw some of Ansel Adams LARGE scale prints and was bowled over. I also came across collections of photos from the 1930s documenting life in the South and among displaced farmers from the Dust Bowl era. And some of the photos taken by war correspondent photographers. My first camera was a Nikkormat FTM with. 50 mm f1.4 lens. Everything was manual, which is why I like shooting in manual mode now. We had a wet lab at school, so I did my first developing and printing there ( the magic of seeing your image appear in the print developer…Yikes, I can still feel it.

I am somewhat shy, and I find it hard to approach strangers on the street … But, for me THE most interesting subject to photograph is people. So, it is a struggle. But I also have a son interested in photography. He has a natural talent for drawing, painting and almost anything graphic. So, now I have a buddy to go out and shoot with. I also savor our time looking at photo books and discussing photos. When I showed him “The Suffering of Light” by Alex Webb, he was as awe-struck as I was when I first saw Adams work. 

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0 on March 17, 2018

I was in college…in the late 1960’s. I saw some of Ansel Adams LARGE scale prints and was bowled over. I also came across collections of photos from the 1930s documenting life in the South and among displaced farmers from the Dust Bowl era. And some of the photos taken by war correspondent photographers. My first camera was a Nikkormat FTM with. 50 mm f1.4 lens. Everything was manual, which is why I like shooting in manual mode now. We had a wet lab at school, so I did my first developing and printing there ( the magic of seeing your image appear in the print developer…Yikes, I can still feel it.

I am somewhat shy, and I find it hard to approach strangers on the street … But, for me THE most interesting subject to photograph is people. So, it is a struggle. But I also have a son interested in photography. He has a natural talent for drawing, painting and almost anything graphic. So, now I have a buddy to go out and shoot with. I also savor our time looking at photo books and discussing photos. When I showed him “The Suffering of Light” by Alex Webb, he was as awe-struck as I was when I first saw Adams work. 

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