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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk 
Thread started 06 Jun 2019 (Thursday) 12:10
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Where photography started for you..

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Location: Saint Augustine
Jun 06, 2019 12:10 |  #1

Photography started for me in high school. They offered photography as an elective. It was Black and white with development in a dark room. Sadly the school has all my shots, but it got the fire started. It was also neet to use my fathers gear. My father died in 1993 and at the time I took the class it had been ten+ years since his gear was used. I got my first digital camera just a few years before that class it is a kodak 3mp. I still have it. Below is the gear that was my fathers. I have a lens adapter for my sony a6300 but sadly one of the 35mm bodies don't work. The muppet animal was my fathers from his show van.

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God created the beauty. My camera and I are a witness..

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Tom ­ Reichner
"I am a little creepy"
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Location: Omak, in north-central Washington state, USA
Jun 06, 2019 12:56 |  #2

Photography started for me when I was in Junior High - at around the age of 14. . I got a Nikon FE camera and a few lenses, the longest of which was 400mm.

I loved wildlife and hunting and wanted to take pictures of wild animals. . I started out trying to take photos of the rabbits and pheasants and doves and deer that lived around me. . Unfortunately, I was never very happy with the results. . In "real life", when I looked at an animal, I would see all of this beautiful feather and hair detail, even when it was gloomy and overcast outside. . But the pictures I took (film, of course) never showed the degree of detail that I would see with my own eyes.

The animals never looked as good in my photos as they did in real life. . So I didn't really pursue photography all that much, and instead spent my time hunting and fishing and canoeing and exploring the outdoors, without a camera.

Fast forward to the 1990s when I was in my mid 20's. . I tried to get into photography again when I was taking some vacations out west and wanted to get great pics of all the wildlife I hoped to see. . So I bought some newer lenses for my Nikon FE, a bunch of rolls of film, and took a bunch of pictures of wild animals when I was out west. . When I came back from that vacation, I took my film to the camera place and had them develop and print it. . When I got the pictures back a week later, I was disappointed. . If I had taken a pic of a moving animal on a dark cloudy day, forget it - there was a soft, blurry subject with no perfectly resolved hair detail like what my eyes had seen. . It was the same as my teenage experience - the pictures didn't look as good, or as sharply detailed, as what I had seen with my naked eyes. . So I didn't bother with photography again for a long time.

Now fast forward again to the mid-2000s. . I had to get a digital camera for my job as a landscape designer, to take reference pictures of the sites that I would be designing landscapes for, and also to take photos of completed jobs for the company's portfolio.

This was my first experience with a digital camera, and I was very impressed with the results! . Even on cloudy, dark days, the photos looked just as good as the scenes looked to my naked eye. . So I bought another digital camera for personal use and started taking pictures of nature with it. Wow! . These images were better than anything I had ever taken with film ..... I actually liked how they looked, instead of being so disappointed with the results.

And so I eventually got a DSLR and some modern autofocus lenses and quickly became obsessed with photographing wildlife.

My story is an example of how modern technology enables me to capture images the way I envision them, in poor conditions, where the old film technology completely failed me.


"Your" and "you're" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one.
"They're", "their", and "there" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one.
"Fare" and "fair" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one. The proper expression is "moot point", NOT "mute point".

Admin (type T-2000)
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Jun 06, 2019 13:14 |  #3

Nice thread!

I had played around with film since grade school, little instamatics,. in high school had a few goes with Dad's 35mm Pentax,. but it really didn't start until digital.

Here's a paraphrased excerpt from my first gallery show material;

Wings Over Providence

Early spring 1970, several avian species had been all but wiped out by the DDT
spraying. They said it destroyed eggshells so that birds could not reproduce.
Particularly susceptable were the raptors, top of the food chain, were the DDT levels were most concentrated. Predators. Hawks, falcons, osprey, eagles.

Right in my own backyard, I was no more than 4 years old, in Newport RI. my Father whom I had been "helping" with some odd yard work grabbed me by the arm and sharply turned me around. Forcibly. Shockingly.
...but for the love between us there was no fear.

He held me with that hand firmly on my shoulder, crouched behind me to achieve me level while his other hand was thrust past my small face pointing quietly before me into space, into a tree that in the memory scaled to a child must have been a thousand feet tall.

".. you see that?"
His voice is low in my ear, angry, very angry.
" you see that?"

I did.

".. kid take a long look,. because this is the last time you will ever
see one of those..."
he said,. anger and sorrow in his voice. I had no idea.

It was a Peregrine Falcon.

I will not now go into the details of the damage that was done to the magnificent hunters of the sky in those times. Suffice it to say that my father was unfortunately right,. for a while, and fortunately wrong in the long term.

The devastation was so complete that among many other parts of the United States, Rhode Island did not see another Peregrine Falcon for most of my lifetime, nor an Osprey, or an Eagle.

Indeed I did not see another for nearly 30 years.

{insert terrible image of a peregrine high in the air}

Taken on a Wednesday late afternoon. Too high overhead for the short Lens of the little pocket camera I had recently fallen in obsessive materialistic love with.
....but there it was.

In my own back yard

Wings Over Providence
The beauty of the natural world, the wonders of Avian life.
Unique among the wild things, their enjoyment does not require a far flung expedition. We can once again find these treasures in our backyards, in the city itself. Around us as we bustle to work in our daily routines, a separate yet connected ecology is happening right in front of our eyes every day. We need only look up from the pavement to glimpse it.

Urban avian photography will make make up the most of the exhibit, accompanied by several infra red photos and a selection of other nature and wildlife photos.

Jake Hegnauer Photography (external link)

digital ­ paradise
I still have 8 digits left
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Post edited 10 months ago by digital paradise.
Jun 06, 2019 23:52 |  #4

I took an interest in photography when I was about 12. I loved shooting B&W using my Kodak Instamatic. The spinning flash cube - that was so cool. Eventually cars, etc took over.

When I was about 21 I met a fellow from work who was into photography. He had a Pentax SLR and shot a lot of slides. I loved the quality so I got a Minolta X700.

Several years later I really got into B&W. Ansel Adams was my inspiration and still is. I read all of his books and built a 4 by 5 field camera kit by Bender. I built my own vacuum tables, large aquarium style circulating print washing containers, etc. A few years ago my wife and I found the spot where he took the famed Moonrise Over Hernandez.

I started to get out of it again in the mid 90's. I just got tired of the darkroom and unless you were in a club or submitted to local photo contests there wasn't much else.

Well the internet changed that. I picked up a 20D in 2005 and things took off. More info and you could share. One of my highlights was a site called Digital Image Cafe. A photo of the day site with no major advertising, etc. Members volunteered to vote for one month a year. Every day you had a different category, B&W, scenic, still life, animals, etc. You got up in the morning to see if you were on the front page. It was humbling to have to view about 300 photos a day and select a winner. This also got my B&W going again. It folded n 2009.

I started taking lessons for composition, etc after I got my first DSLR. A world famous birder called Romy Ocon who is a member here (Liquidstone but hasn't posted in a while) really inspired me early on so I really worked hard on that. My motto was if he can do it so can I which kept me at it. He still posts at FM.

In about 2014 a younger fellow at work was also into photography. He asked me several times to shoot his wedding which I turned down. I eventually broke down and prepared for about 6 months, mostly for flash. I took lighting classes and had lots of help here from members like Wilt, etc. I hated flash because I didn't understand it and while Auto worked I wanted to be able control it. Best thing I ever did. Opened a whole new world.

After he got married we became shooting partners and did weddings for several years. Eventually my knees got too cooked, had them replaced but I found weddings to stressful on a part time basis so I never went back. You are shooting a persons most important event and like any job, you gain experience by repetition. We never had a complaint but the more I did the more I worried that one day some event may go south.

I did a part time real estate gig for about a month but those companies don't pay well. Time, gas, where and tear on gear I figured I was making about $5 an hr. They didn't cover software which I needed for 360 degree panos and PS just didn't do it for me. I was lucky to modify a macro rail for parallax. Those rigs can cost $500. I asked for a big raise because they liked my work. Too bad because I liked.

I'm still friends with the first fellow from work. When get a chance we travel around the world somewhere using buddy passes just to shoot for fun. I call them road trips. We traveled to Hong Kong twice for 3 days and went to Sydney Australia for 4 days just to mention a few. The rooms we stay are smaller than a broom closet :-) As long as they are clean.

My tribute to Ansel Adams and his teachings. Swiss Alps.

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Dan ­ Marchant
Do people actually believe in the Title Fairy?
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Jun 07, 2019 00:12 |  #5

ThomasDidymus wrote in post #18873493 (external link)
Photography started for me in high school....

.....The muppet animal was my fathers from his show van.
Hosted photo: posted by ThomasDidymus in
forum: General Photography Talk

Somewhat different but somewhat the same...

I didn't develop an interest in photography until I was in my late 40s (2011) and I have never shot film (well except for the kodak snaps I took as a kid).

After several years I wanted more from my photography. I wanted to take photos that had meaning to me. For a while (and still today) that was street photos related to specific themes. After a while that wasn't enough and this year I decided to stop thinking about and actually start doing my first full project. For this I am using my late fathers dressing gown (bath robe), a 48 year old Dear John letter, a 50 year old Teddy Bear.....

It seems that starting a project triggered something as I have since started a second major project and have a third waiting in the wings. Due to the nature of the second project I am actually doing it first. I have a deadline of November to get it to a point where it can be shown but also hope to continue the first project in parallel and show that next year. Then onto project three and four....

Dan Marchant
Website/blog: (external link)
Instagram: @dan_marchant (external link)
Gear Canon 5DIII + Fuji X-T2 + lenses + a plastic widget I found in the camera box.

Tom ­ Reichner
"I am a little creepy"
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Location: Omak, in north-central Washington state, USA
Post edited 10 months ago by Tom Reichner.
Jun 07, 2019 00:13 as a reply to  @ digital paradise's post |  #6

What a great post! . I am glad you took the time to share all of that.

Like you, the transition to digital is what finally got me really, really into photography, but for different reasons.


"Your" and "you're" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one.
"They're", "their", and "there" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one.
"Fare" and "fair" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one. The proper expression is "moot point", NOT "mute point".

Left ­ Handed ­ Brisket
Combating camera shame since 1977...
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Location: The Uwharrie Mts, NC
Jun 07, 2019 01:51 |  #7

My uncle was a studio portrait photog. He had polio as a child in the 1940s and was unable to live on his own. He taught himself photography and darkroom work. Despite being unable to button his shirt he could handle most of the necessary work and gear of the time. My mom helped him build his business that was very successful. Everyone in their town knew him.

Mom bought a Minolta in 1977 when I was 7 yerars old. I picked it up pretty quickly. Had a 50mm and a 135. Despite buying me various point and shoots over the years I pretty much kept my mom's Minolta through high school and college. Had access to a darkroom and free chemicals in high school and there were a couple of us who nerded out on B/W photography regularly. I have a bunch of old film sitting in the basement from those days.

Tried college for a "real" career but it didn't stick. Then went to a trade school for "desktop publishing" and photography in the early 1990s. Worked for a couple of pro 'togs as a grunt and learned a lot about the business. Stuck with design though and hired the guys I had worked with for the shots I needed done. My position allowed me to be creative director so I was in the studio regularly working closely with the pros.

Had the company I worked for buy a Nikon CoolPix 990 and SB-28 in 1999 or so. 3.3MP small fixed lens camera that is still working today. We had some other uses for it but I ended up bringing that camera into one of my buddies studios and told him we needed to move to using it for all our product shots. Previously we were shooting film and making glossy color prints that I scanned and color corrected for print catalogs. To say he was skeptical of that funky looking camera would be an understatement. I was just 29 years old and convinced it would be a game changer. It was, even though we continued with film for the rest of our work.

That camera reignited my enjoyment of photography even though it was still just a hobby. Bought an xSi 10 years ago and started taking it a little more seriously. Currently doing a lot of boring studio work, but it suits my lifestyle and personality. Get the opportunity to do some location shots from time to time or an occasional corporate event or live music show for fun. Currently working on becoming a better portrait photog but that means dealing with people. Ugh. :D

PSA: The above post may contain sarcasm, reply at your own risk | Not in gear database: Auto Sears 50mm 2.0 / 3x CL-360, Nikon SB-28, SunPak auto 322 D, Minolta 20

thanks for whoever started this
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Post edited 10 months ago by avondale87. (2 edits in all)
Jun 07, 2019 02:56 |  #8

I was born into a photographic family.
Great, great grandfathers glass slides of country England are still tucked away in a box.
Mum would take photos on something as a young lady and hand tint them.

A trip to the big smoke was most often accompanied by a visit to the camera store. That was an enthusiastic chemist who had a taste for quality gear and the ability to put image to print. , none of the variety stores of today!
Brother acquired the taste and I followed, with him passing down a Zeiss Contaflex to me at an early age.
Loved that camera, and it's lenses, and the wife enjoyed using it too.
Developed my own B&W's, but then ventured to Ektachrome slides.
Then the evening slide shows from my foray into the wilds of Tasmania. "not that again" from the kids :p

Then Pentax SLR, no idea why I changed from Zeiss, probably youthful impetuousness! Or stupidity.

Too mingy to buy digital when they came on the scene I hung on for ages eventually going upmarket point and shoot. (still too mingy)
I'd prefer to buy a new BMW :-P

Still no DSLR, but ventured past Canon G12 to Olympus EM5 then another last Christmas.

Still got the Zeiss sitting idle in the cupboard and the Pentax!

Photography very much ingrained in my sole I'd say. Find it fascinating.

Ramble over.


Adrift on a lonely vast sea
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Location: Tallgrass prairies of northwest Minnesota
Jun 07, 2019 05:50 |  #9

Photography for me started back in the mid-1960's with a Kodak Brownie Fiesta camera using roll film when I was 7 years old. By the mid-1970's I was shooting my Dad's Mamiyaflex then evolved to a Konica C35 rangefinder before settling on a Nikon F. I worked the B&W darkroom and later shot transparencies for the publishing industries. Around 2001, I started shooting digital and still use the B&W for fun once in a blue moon.

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Entered: 2-16-84 Passed: 5-22-84 Raised: 6-19-84

Canon ­ Amateur
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Location: The Netherlands
Jun 07, 2019 13:49 |  #10

How it started for me....
About 20 years ago my sister went on a holiday and gave her instant camera to me because she would not use it during the trip.
I went to the shop and bought a canister. Probably Kodak 400ASA 24 exposures.
Something like this:

IMAGE: …--mm-film-film-camera.jpg (external link)

Went into the garden and sat quitely before a plant full of butterflies.
Took some great pictures, went to the photographers shop and gave the roll to develop.
The next week I looked at them and saw a sharp line of trees with a black fuzzy blob in the front.
Realised that the black fuzzy blob were in fact the butterflies.
The photographer behind the counter saw my disbelieve and replied: You are ready for a DSLR.
Me: A what ?
He: A camera that doesn't do anything automatically. You have to do everything manually.
Look through this square and make sure that the needle on the right side is at zero in the middle.
Turn this wheel to set the shutter speed and turn this ring to adjust the aperture.
Me: Aperture ?
He: Never mind, just make sure the needle is at zero and then press that metal pin.
- - - -

Off I went, and what a trip it was.
(at this point the shutterbug got me without me knowing it)
The next situation appeared:
Go to the shop and give three canisters of 400ASA 36 exp. to develop, buy three new ones and look through the pictures from the three canisters from last week.
This repeated for a few months in a row.

I learned a lot this way. After a few weeks the photographer behind the counter started to give me advise.
Then disaster struck and the needle wouldn't move up anymore.
The photographer behind the counter told me that the meter was broke and fixing it would be as expensive as buying another 2nd hand camera. At that time I was a student and had nothing to spare.
The Canon AE-1 went to the attic.
A few years later the shutterbug woke up and I had some money to spend and went back to the shop.
At that time digital photography became affordable and I bought a Nikon Coolpix 995.
This brought me to the digital era.
Imagine that: taking a picture and being able to see it immediately. What a luxury.
After a few years I wanted more than the 995 could do, so i went to ebay ( and looked for a better digital camera.
I came across a cheap enough Canon EOS 400D (Rebel XTi) with an 18-55 lens.
Then the photography journey really took off.
The 15 year trip that followed went something like this:
Body: nikon 995 --> 400D --> 650D --> 1000D -->50D --> 7D --> 1D3 --> 1D4 and EOS M3.
Lens: 18-55 EFS --> 55-210 EFS USM --> 70-200 f/4 L USM --> 70-200 f/2.8 L USM and 50 f/1.8 and 100-400 f/4.5-5.6 L IS USM and Sigma 24-105 f/4 OS HSM.

Took a sidestep with the Lytro Illum, but because there is no support whatsoever it mostly stays in the bag.

The last few years more and more people ask me to take pictures for them because "your pictures look so much better than my cellphone pictures".

I guess the journey isn't over yet........

Canon EOS 1D Mark IV / Canon EOS 760D / Canon EOS 7D / Lytro illum

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Jun 07, 2019 14:41 |  #11

I started taking picture about 5 years ago, when my daughter started an interest in track & field. Before that, my wife was the family photographer, to document family events and holidays and such. We had a Canon T3i with a set of kit lenses. 18-55 and 55-250. I had tried a P&S for track and the photos were terrible. So, I thought I would try the family DSLR. The photos were much better than before, but looking back, still not very good. I kept taking photos of track meets and cross country, did some reading, watched some YouTube videos and they slowly improved a little. Then, a friend who was much more into photography than me offered to sell me his used 7D as he was going to get the 7D2. It came with a kit lens, 18-135 STM. Now, no auto "sports's setting. Started to work on AV or TV. And the 18-135 seemed to take better photos than the older kit lenses. Started to rent a few nicer lenses. Photos continued to improve slowly. I thought, "hey, this is kind of fun" so started to take photos of other things, looking for shots on my commute or on the weekend. Mostly landscape, old farmsteads, some wildlife. Continued to read and talk to other folks with more experience than me. Upgraded my own gear somewhat. Still learning and trying to get better.

it looks like im post #19,016
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Jun 08, 2019 07:53 |  #12

our neighbor was the chief photographer of the local newspaper. i always saw these great images when i was young (grade school) because his kids and i and played together.

i shot a couple of rolls with my parents Kodak Instamatic 404 (wind up spring that advanced the film and spun the flash cube so you didnt need to manually advance the film) probably in 4th or 5th grade.

in 6th grade worked for my Jr High yearbook and the instructor/advisor would lend me her Canon EX-Auto. this SLR (for those who dont know) had a proprietary screw mount lens system with 3 lenses. my mom would always freak out when i brought the kit home after shooting a school basketball game or a dance or whatever they wanted for the yearbook. we went to a yearbook workshop and i remember sitting in a seminar on exposure and the presenter had drawn on the chalk board representative apertures and the f-values, and the shutter speeds. first real "training" i ever got.

fast foward to high school. my mom found a Koday 35mm camera at a garage sale that had a flash bulb attachment and i used it through my 9th and 10th grades before i took a 1 semester photography class in 11th grade. it was based around using 126 film instamatics and black and white. but i used my Kodak. we learned how to process film and make prints. i found a spare key to the darkroom, pocketed it and then would go into school an hour or more early, use the darkroom and always have my work finished and i could use the class time to wander the halls looking for more things to shoot. the teacher had also done the school newspaper in the day, and since my mom was a teacher and we knew all the OTHER teachers and adminstrators, i got to borrow (and keep at home) a Canon FTb and a couple of lenses. a 50mm f1.8 and i THINK a 135mm.

my parents had bought my sister an electric typewriter for her graduation present a few years earlier so i got them to buy my my OWN SLR for graduation, the summer before my senior year so i could shoot everything that went on. an AE-1 with 50mm f1.8 was mine. I added an 85 f1.8, 35 f2 and then a 200 f2.8 and a 24 f2 out of my own pocket (used except for the 200) from paper route and birthday money. i used this kit on my college newspaper days and into the Air Force. the Air Force uses Nikon but i already had kit i was familiar with so i wasnt going to try and change. my first wife added an F1n to my gear list on our 2nd Christmas married. ive got it all still...

so, long drawn out story but its where i started and where im at...

Cream of the Crop
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Location: Long Island, NY, N. America, Sol III, Orion Spur, Milky Way, Local Group, Virgo Cluster, Laniakea.
Jun 08, 2019 09:36 |  #13

My earliest memory was receiving a build-it-yourself camera kit as a Christmas present from Santa Claus. I was maybe around fourth or fifth grade. I had an early curiosity in finding out how things worked. My parents were encouraging about it. I flubbed the build a llittle, but the result was good enough to take some pictures. Photography struck me as magical. Been doing it ever since.

Another "how does it work?" adventure was taking apart a wrist watch. I couldn't put it back together, of course. But I got an idea of how it worked.

Gear: Kodak Instamatic, Polaroid Swinger. Oh you meant gear now. :rolleyes:​t (external link)
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Location: Forsyth, Missouri
Jun 10, 2019 17:47 |  #14

I got married in 1983, 1984 we got pregnant. One of the things we thought we needed in preparation for our first child was a camera. There was a family-owned camera store that my wife knew about, where they tried to sell me a Minolta X570, 45MM 1:2 and a Vivitar 75-205 3.5-4.5 Macro focusing zoom and camera bag for $520.00. Well, I balked and wanted to look at something cheaper. All it took was one look at my new wife :love: and it was over, we went home with a brand new X570. Fumbled my way around with it and read everything I could including Petersons Photography Magazine and, actually got fairly decent with it. Soon after that, we had a family member getting married on a very low budget so I volunteered to shoot the wedding as a wedding present including film and developing. Well, that lead to several more family weddings and some high school senior pictures. Right around the time that my daughter turned six video cameras became the rage, so back to the camera store we went. Fast forward to Christmas 2014 my wife bought me a Canon Rebel T5 with two kit lenses on QVC of all places. I used that set-up until earlier this year when I bought a Canon 7D Mark II. The rest as they say, (whoever they are?) is history, Right here on POTN because that's when I joined Dec. 29th 2014. Great thread by the way!

Thank you,


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Location: Northeast Missouri
Jun 16, 2019 00:20 |  #15

Started getting interested in photography as a Junior in HS. Our family all went hunting and fishing together if there was a season open and I became addicted to hunting with Archery gear, still am. When hunting season closed for the year the following months were depressing to me. When I entered HS my older Sister married and her husband was using a 35mm camera for his studies at Architecture school. When they came home to visit he would go hunting with me to take photos, then he would let me use his camera for the weekend. After graduation my bro in law got his pilots license for his work which allowed him to zip back home more often and he would fly me around the country side while I took photos. This is when I really got hooked and started buying my own gear. My bro in law found a 35 mm Petri and a bag full of lenses that a college student wanted to sell for 100 dollars, I was in!
Used the Petri for a couple years then got a deal on a Nikon F2 and a bunch of lenses from a guy that had started a family and needed money. The Nikon served me well and took a beating in back packs, trucks and horse back riding, had it with me all the time. Didn't know that a person should treat their camera gear nice, dry and clean, I just went full steam ahead. No one else in my family became interested in photography, they would call me to take photos if they wanted some taken.
My younger brother got his pilots license so for awhile he was flying with our bro-in-law between job sites. I could get a free ride in the back seat and see a lot of territory, taking photos of whatever interested me.
Then as most of us do, I too got married, life changed and hobbies that rank #2 seem to fall by the wayside. I became a farm manager of a large cattle farm near where I've always lived, bought a farm of my own, stocked it with cattle, raised a family, worked 75 hours a week for 20 years and probably didn't take 30 photos in those years.
By 2008, I had quit working as much and decided to take our first vacation. Found out that cameras had sure changed in the last 25 years, bought my first digital 60D, a computer and headed to Alaska.
Alaska will get about anyone hooked on wanting more gear and I was not wanting to come home, just stay and take photos.
Still only an amateur but I've worn out my first digital, bought another 60D, 70D and a 7DMKll, been back to Alaska, drove to 38 states, Mexico,and Canada x 2. Taking photos now of Grandchildren graduating from HS, College, playing football, baseball and one is getting married July 13th. My Grandson and his fiance both like shooting with my cameras, they both love to go hunting and fishing so I'm hoping to pass the passion on to them.
The last several years I've been working 40 to 65 hour weeks but take off 30 to 40 days for deer hunting then I spend the winter time playing with my cameras. Actually get much enjoyment just being alone on one of my farms in the winter photographing birds and wildlife. It has became my favorite pass time to get through the long winter months.

2 Canon 60D's, 70D 18-135,-55-250, Sigma 150-500 OS,Sigma 50mm 1.4 ,Sigma 120-300 Sport,Sigma 10-20. 580EXII

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