How did you get started in Photography?

Joined
Nov 19, 2011
Messages
7,288
Location
Central California
If you have a cool story ...........want to share it?

I started when I was 15yrs old 1960, Dad always wanted a family camera so he got an Argus C3, used it a few times and it just sat and collected dust, in High School they had a Photography class, How cool, so I signed up, borrowed Dad's camera and took pictures by assignment by the teacher one was "hands" then "moving objects" etc.,thrilled I told my good buddy whom went to another school, he happened to say something to his Uncle whom worked for Kanda candy corp, that had previously had a promotion, buy this new candy and get a free roll of "Plus X" film, the promotion was over and they had a case of film left over, he asked if I wanted it for free, I accepted and had film coming out of my ears, I took pictures from worms to worm dirt and clouds, I then Dad and Mom let me put a darkroom at home in the basement, the rest is history. Dang 53 years ago:eek:
 
Joined
Mar 15, 2009
Messages
7,500
Location
Los Angeles, CA
When I was about 13, we had a science project where we're supposed to collect photo clippings from magazines that are examples of bad environmental practices. I looked and looked but found nothing. I didn't want to show up in class the following week without a project so I borrowed a film camera from my aunt. I don't know what kind of camera it was - all I remember was that it's black and shaped like a pencil case. It's definitely a point and shoot. I went around the neighborhood snapping stuff that I see everyday and right then I felt that I really love what I'm doing. The pictures were developed and I turned in the project. My teacher loved it and she actually ended up displaying them in the hallway :redface: I wish they returned the pictures to me, but I got a really high grade from it :smile:

I didn't own my first camera until around 2000, and it was a crappy digital P&S. I just couldn't afford one up to that point. I kept buying cheap P&S until I could finally afford a D40 kit in 2008. I haven't looked back since.
 
Joined
Dec 27, 2010
Messages
852
Location
Vermont
My fascination with photography began when I was about 8 years old. My uncle had a Minolta SLR camera with a bunch of lenses, and I was fascinated by it, and that sparked something that remained in the back of my mind for many years before I acted on it only a few short years ago. Back in 2002 I bought my first camera ever an HP point and shoot, and used that for a few years.

Then in 2005 that little spark that got started back when I was young started to burn a bit stronger, and I purchased a Kodak P850 as it had many of the manual controls I wanted to start learning how to use. Well other hobbies, and interest's kind of took over, and I ended up using that camera mostly in automatic mode, and after a few years it seldom got taken out as I just got bored/and frustrated as my pictures just seemed to lack that "pop". Fast forward a few more years to August of 2010, and the bug hit me again. I convinced myself that this time I would put in the effort to learn anything and everything about photography, and with myself fully convinced to give it my all I sold the Kodak to a relative, and purchased a Nikon P100 point and shoot. I went on YouTube, the web, and even the book stores reading books on exposure, composition, lighting, ect.

I quickly outgrew the P100 in a few months, and found myself lusting for a D-SLR camera in the worst way. My fiancee then surprised me Christmas of that same year with my D3100 (which I still own), with the 18-55VR, and 55-200VR lenses. I have since acquired the D7k, and many other lenses, and have not looked back.
 
Joined
Mar 16, 2005
Messages
3,132
Location
Alaska
My Dad, a navy officer was traveling through Asia. I asked him to buy me a new camera, and got a Nikon F. I struggled with it, learning, trying to shoot the things I loved in nature. I was 18. Then I started working for the NPS, as a park naturalist, and worked more at trying to photograph nature. I gradually learned how to shoot photos, and after college, I still worked for the NPS. I moved to Alaska, and met people who made a living shooting photos of nature. I spent every penny I had to buy new lenses. I started trying to sell photos to pay for my gear. Then, I finally started making money, and since 1983, I haven't done anything else but take photos and I've made a fairly good living from it.
 
Joined
Jan 17, 2011
Messages
1,390
Location
SW FL
Many years ago I was looking for a job. I had taken my daughter to a portrait studio for... Portraits and started talking with the photog about her job. It interested me so I applied. Loved the work, hated the job. There was really no creativity with camera settings so I played with lights / background combinations and sold a lot of prints.

After that I had the bug and while its just been a hobby since, I've enjoyed it a great deal.

Ironically, I found out a few years ago that my late father (that I never knew) was also an avid photographer. I never got to see any of his work though.
 
Joined
Dec 11, 2007
Messages
1,329
Location
Janesville, WI
Well, I was into photographing pro wrestling shows when I was a late teenager, but it was with my Mom's 35mm film camera, which wasn't suited at all for the task.

I didn't get serious with it until after I met my future wife in 2003. Her favorite uncle was dying of pancreatic cancer(which had spread aggressively after previously been in remission), and he had an old Pentax K1000 with a Zeiss 50mm lens and a 70-300 zoom, which he gave to me. He had been fond of taking photographs and thought I would make good use of it.

A few months later, in June of that year, he succumbed. We went on a trip up to the Wisconsin North Woods, with the Pentax kit and 12 rolls of Kodak ISO400 film in tow.
Needless to say, I shot through all the rolls, and blew through a sizable bill to get them processed, and most were not good, but I had been bitten by the photography bug, and I was hooked.

Later, in early 2005, I went about researching my first digital camera, as I didn't really favor the cost of film development, and I saw digital as the way of the future.
Anyway, I narrowed my choices of equipment to Canon or Nikon. After hard deliberation of over a month, I opted to go with a Nikon D70 kit. I had thought of going with Canon, but I liked Nikon's superior color support in their images. Since I had(at the time) not thought about going into Sports' photography, I believed that this was the best choice, given what I wanted to shoot, which was landscape and animals, I selected a Tamron 70-300mm AF lens to back up the kit.

Things went well, with this being one of the very first photos I took, no joke:
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Then, I went to my first Brewers game with a camera, shot this:
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which won a Blue Ribbon at the 2006 Wisconsin State Fair; I knew I had found my calling.
 
Joined
Jun 15, 2008
Messages
4,069
Location
Bellingham, WA
I always had a camera as a kid, but I didn't know what an SLR was until I went to college. I took an astronomy course and we were up on the roof of the science building at night shooting through a Celestron 8. Back then, it was slide film. My teacher let me borrow the camera on weekends and I learned how to use a light meter. My first SLR was a Yashica TL Electro, and I guess at that time I started to get into it more.

With the job I had in NYC, I had very little time for anything. When I decided to move to the state of Washington, I made the decision that I'd make more time for my photography. With the parting gift I got from my job and the school district, I bought a Nikon N80, 24-85, and 70-300 lens. I also bought a lot of film so I could shoot my way across the country. I signed up for a photography course at North Seattle Community College before I left NYC, arrived in Washington on a Friday, and started the course on Monday. I was still living at the hotel :)

When digital came out, I fought it for a while, but then I got into whale photography and bought my D50. With that purchase, and a number of other photography courses, I was into it hook, line and sinker. I eventually bought my D300 which I still have and still love.

Now I'll be attending a 4 day photography workshop in October with David M. Cobb (photographer of the book, "Quiet Places") after winning a scholarship, and I just won a local photography contest and my photo will be featured in their 2014 calendar.

Life is good :)

Carole
 
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Joined
Apr 30, 2005
Messages
2,394
Location
Nebraska
Argus C3

I was a young airman in Russsian Language School at Monterrey, CA and they had a sale on the Argus C3 at the PX. We had just had our first child and wanted to take photos of her and of the places we visited. Fast forward to a much later assignment to Merced, CA. On one of the many trips to Yosemite I became acquainted with Ansel Adams work and the "rest is history." Created a darkroom in the home, taught myself to print. Much later, added a color darkroom and taught myself to print some horrible color photos. Went through the twin-lens reflex stage, the 4X5 view camera stage and finally settled on 35mm. Career became too busy for photography. Came time to retire from industry and I gave myself a retirement gift of a photo safari to Kenya. That was a trip of a lifetime and an introduction to digital photography. 58 years later it is still my favorite means of creative expression.
 
Joined
Aug 12, 2005
Messages
1,547
Location
Famington Hills, MI
Massive frustration.

I dabbled in film photography as a young teenager and gave it up because it was way to expensive for a youngster like me to handle. A solid two decades and the first of two children came along and I decided to get a simple point and shoot. Expensive at the time, a little 3.2 mpix kodak. It did what it was supposed to until things like ebay and discussion forums like this came along where I could buy and sell things and showcase things I collected.

I was trying to take pictures and couldn't get what I wanted and knew how simple it would be if I had direct control over the pic with PSAM. Would have taken me seconds to accomplish with a dSlr where it took hours of manipulating the light to get the product shoots I wanted. So I researched the crap out of the available at the time and landed on a D70.

Downhill ever since.
 
Joined
Jan 28, 2011
Messages
1,277
Location
canada
High school art class teacher always gave us disposable cameras to record the progress of our projects (i.e. head busts out of clay, painting, etc.)
She would then develop the film through a lab, grade our photos and give them to us.
Sadly, I lost all those photos when I found out the box I had them in was soaked in soda pop for who knows how long.
Had a Kodak Advantix after high school for everyday pictures with the girlfriend (wife now), an Olympus P&S after they cancelled production of Advantix film and now...DSLR.
 
Joined
Feb 2, 2005
Messages
35,259
Location
Arizona
Real Name
Chris
I was 8 or so, and it was summer break from school. My parents bought me a 'film developing kit' that was actually a print making kit - it had three little trays, chemicals and 4x5 paper. They assumed everybody had large (ish) negatives back then (it was the late 1950s) which we did. So I contact printed them, AND WAS AMAZED as I watched the pictures appear. The basement was just dark enough to be able to see it happen.

I didn't get a camera until I was 14, but I already loved the darkroom.
 
Joined
Mar 2, 2013
Messages
755
Location
Sydney
I won a Kodak camera in a raffle the early 1970s in school. Then I bought my first SLR Canon AE1 . Then a Nikon FM. Finally got into mini-lab photographic business in the early 1989.
 
Joined
Jun 3, 2008
Messages
1,255
Location
London, England
I was 18, first week of university and went to the 'freshers fair' which is the day when new students can sign up for the different societies run on campus by other students. A very pretty girl at the stall asked if I wanted to join the photography society. I didn't give the whole photography thing much thought, but did give thought to the pretty girl though.
Suffice to say, once I got hands on the no name film slr and 50 and unlimited access to the darkroom, I forgot about the pretty girl and was 'in' to photography
 
Joined
Jun 6, 2007
Messages
89
Location
Lexington, KY
Required to

In plastic surgery training programs every resident is required to have a camera with him or her. In June 1990 I purchased a Nikon N8008 along with a 60 mm. Micro lens. The recommendations were to also have a portrait lens (90-105 mm) for faces, but I just didn't have the cash at that time so I managed to get by with the 60mm. Since the majority of my life was spent in the hospital I always had a camera with me. I found myself using the camera for more than just patient pictures. Some of my favorite subjects were the helicopters that brought us patients. When you finish training as a Plastic Surgeon you must continue this practice until you pass the boards. The board examiners look at the case list you submit ( which includes every case you do over a 1 yr. period) and then pick out 5 of your cases. You must then submit pre-op, intra- op, and post-op pictures of those cases. If you don't have them you can't sit or the exam. I just got in the habit of always having my camera with me and started to enjoy photography more and more as the years have passed. I am a much better surgeon than I am a photographer, but I do enjoy it.
 
Joined
Feb 19, 2006
Messages
8,397
Location
LA (Lower Arkansas)
As a kid, my family didn't have enough money to buy a nice camera, so we had some off-brand camera that used the flash cubes that rotated when fired. Eventually, we got a Polaroid, and I went through tons of film with it.

I got an Olympus SuperZoom 330 for Christmas, 1988, and really started shooting a lot. When I graduated college in '94, I was still using it. I returned to college in '96 to pursue a career in journalism, and was required to use a manual camera and lens in my photojournalism class. I started with a manual Canon AE-1, but started looking around for a Nikon when my instructor put his F4 and collection of lenses on display. I was hooked. I bought an old F3 that had more paint missing than on the body and a 50 1.8 and began to shoot. I dropped out of college after my divorce, but stuck with the Nikon system - kinda (as I had to sell everything to pay off my divorce debts). I eventually bought a used N90, N90s, and a really nice F3 before venturing into the digital world with a D70 and 18-70. I found photo.net, and from there I found a post that introduced me to the Nikon Cafe. The rest is history.
 
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Joined
Feb 14, 2009
Messages
1,153
Location
Southern Indiana
Anyone remember the midwest blizzards of '77/'78? I was freshman in high school and we were out of school for WEEKS at a time. I had cheapo Kodak instamatic and passed the time by trying to take photos of birds by placing feed on our air conditioner unit which was located just below our kitchen window. I would wait for the spatsies to come to the feed and snap their picture through the window. The pics were horrible, but for me, it was like I was working for National Geographic. The photo bug hit me big time. My first proper SLR was a Canon AE-1 Program I purchased in college. Used it for years afterwards until digital hit. Then went with p/s digital cameras until I couldn't take their lackluster performance anymore. Next came a Nikon D80 and then NAS kicked in! Haven't looked back and now, my love of bird photography, is only eclipsed by taking pics of my kids.

-Bill
 

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