Ever since I gave serious thought about my life’s work, I had always dreamed of being a photographer for the National Geographic Society. Not having the fortitude or wherewithall to follow my dreams, I relegated to occupations that my parents thought more realistic. Today I signed a contract with the aforementioned, but more about that in a bit.
I began taking snapshots on a Kodak Instamatic, when I was nine. These were the days of yore when a square, blue, plastic cube provided all the flash your lens might need. In fact, they went by the name, Flash Cube. I toyed with this model until I had returned enough ‘pop’ bottles and washed enough cars to buy my first 35mm camera…..a Minolta Rangefinder.
It was used but I was in heaven. This one introduced me to world of “f-stops” and shutter speeds. I had never heard anything of aperatures or depth of field, let alone know much about them. With each passing camera, I began to process the information behind the concepts. By 1970, I had made a significant trade for my first single lens reflex. Again Minolta, but this time the SRT 101.
I traded it for my football jersey. I was a freshman and it was the 100th anniversary of NCAA football. Every jersey in the country that year was emblazoned with “100”. They were collectors items but at the time I thought I’d have many more jerseys over the years. At that time, the camera meant more to me than the jersey. How shallow and elementary of me to think that way. But it introduced me to interchangeable lenses and a vast array of teminology and experimentation. There have been dozens of little black boxes over the years, culminating at this point in digital and all things Canon. The microprocessor has changed the world as we know it. Minolta no longer exists, being gobbled by Konica at some time. The changes are perpetual. And today ,after fifty-one years that has taken me from snapping to composing, I signed a contract with National Geographic.
It’s only for a year. But I got a great deal. They’re giving me twelve full issues for a low price of $15. My first copy will be mailed next month. Have a great April Fool’s day.