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Thread: What got you started ?

  1. #1

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    What got you started ?

    Hello Everyone,
    Just a quick question, Do you remember what got you started in photography ? was there a moment you can point to or was it a gradual thing ?
    To start off , here is my "moment"
    Last year i was given a fantastic 40th birthday present my ky lovely partner, a trip to Canada. So off i went , at the time i really only took "holiday snaps" i had a fuji bridge camera. Anyway all was going nicely ,when after 2 days my camera decided it did not want to play, most of the settings stopped working, i could only use a couple of f-stops or shutter speeds.So here i was surrounded by beautiful sights and could hardly capture them. So when i returned, the first thing i did was to buy a new camera and started to find out how to make the most of it. Since then the bug has well and truly got to me.
    I look forward to hearing some of your stories.
    Thanks for reading
    p.s
    here is a sample of the shots i did manage to get in Canada

    What got you started ?

  2. #2
    Steaphany's Avatar
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    Re: What got you started ?

    For me it's one word, Science.

    I started in photography back in the 1970's because I was always interested in various fields of science and part of my interest in science is It has to be played with. Photography brought many fields together into one activity. Light, optics, mathematics, chemistry. Plus, photography is a great aid when working in other fields such as astronomy, meteorology, geology, zoology, and nature.

  3. #3

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    Re: What got you started ?

    Good question Steve.
    What STARTED me?
    For me it was when I was on a college course (1980) and had to learn basic camera operations (shutter and aperture) as well as BW processing. It was the fact that I could do it myself that hooked me initially (I'm more of a participant than a spectator).

    What KEPT me going?
    Got myself a Practika MTL 5 and several BW rolls, I then experimented a little and got a little better at composition, people liked my shots so I started doing little jobs, group pics, motorbikes and the like. Never went more than that (until recently). But it was that people liked my work that kept me at it. Made me feel as if I was progressing and improving.
    Graham

  4. #4
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    Re: What got you started ?

    I graduated from drawing pictures on the walls of caves with charcoal to photography as soon as the wetplate was invented Not really, but some mornings I feel like that might be true!

    Actually, I started with a brownie camera in the very early 1950's and graduated to a Mercury as my first real camera when I was about 15.

    What got you started ?

    I graduated from the U.S. Navy Basic School of Photography in 1958 where we shot with these cameras among others...

    What got you started ?

    What got you started ?

    After that it was a long career in Naval and civilian photography.

  5. #5
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    Re: What got you started ?

    My mom had a similar camera shown in Richard's post (last one) that I used to play with as a child. I would "practice" taking pictures with it but I never did take a photo off of it. My mom said it was broken but I think she was just saying that. It took awhile since then that I had my own camera. Growing up poor doesn't help. I wanted to take photography in HS but it was just too expensive so I had to learn on my own. My first camera was a pentax. A non-SLR fixed zoom lens. I don't remember the model but I always remember the first photo's I took at the zoo.
    I moved on to another Pentax SLR followed by a couple of Canon's and now a Canon 60D. It wasn't until the digital age that I started experimenting with the settings beyond the basics. I knew what ISO's to get, flash, shutter speed and that was about it for years in film. Aperture was still a strange thing to me even in my first digital. The web wasn't a main source for learning during the cavemen times. Once I started ordering books, that's when things started getting interesting.

  6. #6

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    Re: What got you started ?

    My father was an amateur photographer who experimented a lot with the technology: I have color slides from 1942, and he built his own machine for processing Cibachrome color prints in the 1960s. He gave me my first camera when I was about seven in the 1950s, and I soon learned to make B&W prints on his enlarger. I kept up the interest until we started a family, then it was family snaps for the next two decades, first color slides and later prints. My interest in photography was rekindled with digital photography - or rather digital image editing. My first digital camera was a Minolta S-404, and I tried a number of early image editing programs until Adobe released Elements. After a successions of "advanced" compacts I graduated to a Nikon D5000 a couple of years ago, and a university course in digital editing allowed me to buy CS4 at the educational discount. I have never pursued photography as an artistic end to itself, it has always been a tool to document other interests: travel, industrial history etc.

  7. #7
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    Re: What got you started ?

    Have to say it was after I join the Army in 1973. I knew I would be traveling around and wanted to be able to look back at all the places I went and yes I still got that box of old photos from way back then

  8. #8
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    Re: What got you started ?

    I started with a Brownie box camera in 1962 (approximate date). My dad was in charge of the family photos and was interested in photography. Unfortunately money was very tight so he never got to do much. He did process his own film, so I grew up in a house with photography books,magazines, an assortment of cameras (all second hand) varying from Speed Graphic, Rolliflex, Mamiya, a number of SLR cameras of multiple brands and a mysterious room tacked onto the bathroom full of weird smelling chemicals and strange machines on rails.

    I just continued the tradition, but not with the processing side. I did continue with the reduced income side of things however. I was equipped with a Nikon and multiple lenses, acquired by scrimping over many years, until one fateful day in 1978 when I rolled my canoe in some rapids and lost everything. The pressures of school,then a family and a busy vet practice meant I could never replace that gear. So a cheap Nikon and one 50 mm lens was my kit until 2008. The change to digital, and no more film expense, freed me and I started to actually learn how to use the camera and lenses. Still learning.

  9. #9
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    Re: What got you started ?

    I have always been a little on the artistic side. In junior high I was told my art could well be my way to a scholarship. This was more pressure than I wanted from my artistic indeavors. I quit drawing for a couple years. Come 11th grade highschool {1985}.....I was missing my outlet. There was a photography class offered and since I had always liked to snap away....I signed up. I recieved a hand me down Pentax K1000 which I used through the school year. I was hooked.

    In 1987 I went into the Navy. When I got through boot and on to A school {steam engineering} I fell pray to a Kiosk in the mall and bought a New Canon AE-1 program along with 3 lenses I believe. That camera disapeared long before it was paid off.

    Then, like many others....along came a family and bills. I used a P&S for many years and always longed for the another SLR. Finally, little more than two years ago I lucked into a deal I could not refuse. My artistic outlet was returned. Although it was a great deal, and good starter it was just the start to the displacement of any wallet contents.

  10. #10
    CP140's Avatar
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    Re: What got you started ?

    It was a gradual thing... I got my hands on a range-finder with a bellows style folding lens as a kid in the mid 70's. I guestimated exposure by holding my hand out, looking at the shadow and comparing that to the printed table inside the film box.

    By the late 70's/early 80's I had saved enough allowance and odd job money to buy my first real camera... a Pentax MV SLR.

    University, a few years on, a new wife and the Pentax was traded for a Minolta as we consolidated our respective households and agreed on a common body/lens.

    A few too many frames at airshows, too many shots of "thumbs and sky", and I drifted away from it all.

    The digital P+S of the 90's and early turn of the century (God, does that make feel old) tried to lure me back, but the image quality just wasn't there and SLRs were out of my range as children devoured any "disposable" income.

    A bit over a year ago, I realized DSLRs were much more affordable, the image quality was good and a bit of "extra" cash came to hand... and I once again had a Pentax (K-r) in my hands.

    Now... the K-r is in my son's hands and I have a K-30... but I'm still back in the 80's trying to figure out what all these knobs and buttons do.

  11. #11
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    Re: What got you started ?

    For a few years in the 60's I used to take snapshots on a Kodak Brownie and even had a go at processing. B & W contact prints only. Then when I started my first job, with the local council's Architects Department, in 1970, I thought about buying a better camera. An Halina I think.

    A few of the older guys were keen and had decent cameras ( Nikon, Topcon, Minolta, etc ) and my boss in particular was very enthusiastic and helpful. After some advice I settled on a Zorki 4. A Soviet copy of a Leica that I still have hanging around somewhere.

    There was also a darkroom in the office which I was encouraged by my boss to use and within a few months I was doing most of the photography for the department.

    Within a year I'd got a Pentax Spotmatic II and a few years later a couple of MX's and a few decent lenses which I also still have.

    The council's official photographer retired in 1972, wasn't replaced and I found myself being asked to cover all sorts of things: PR events, official records, calenders, publicity info, etc.

    Following their wedding, Charles and Diana paid an official visit as part of their tour of Wales. During the reception where they were introduced to the Mayor, MP, Chief Contstable, etc. I was the only photographer allowed in. A very nerve racking experience as I had my hand in a cast. I'd broken it playing rugby 3 days earlier.

    In 1988 I moved to a different Architect's Practice and photography started to take more of a back seat. With two young kids I decided to buy a Sony Hi-8 video camera and used that for them. The kids grew up. It eventually packed in and my wifes Fuji P&S was all we used for a few years.

    My son got married in June 2011 so I thought I'd get a decent camera to use at the wedding. As I still had my Pentax gear and was used to manual focussing I bought a K5 so I can still use the lenses. I've also got a 12-24, 16-45, 55-300 and a 100 macro so virtually everything is covered.

    My son and daughter-in-law have just given us our first grandchild ( boy ) and my daughter is getting married in August so no end of potential subjects. It looks like I'm starting all over again.

    All I've got to do is get to grips with the processing. Sitting in front of a computer isn't anywhere near as much fun as a darkroom

  12. #12

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    Re: What got you started ?

    I guess my late father's old Box Brownie got me first interested although I would not say that I was hooked at that stage. My army career, I suppose got me into photography where I used MPP TLR's and struck up a friendship with the late Terence Donovan. Back in civilian life and work my involvement with photography was more of an industrial nature were I learned to handle 5X4 technical cameras, MPP again and Sinar. But socially I had an Ilford Sportsman that was always loaded with Kodachrome to shoot landscapes and architectural subjects. Not very exciting perhaps with zone focussing and limited aperture and shutter facilities, yet it was capable of some surprisingly sharp pictures. I think I could say at this stage I had definitely got the bug. Graduating on to a larger format I acquired a Weltaflex TLR and although it's build quality was somewhat suspect it did have a good lens(es). Having then acquired the poor man's Rollei, a YashicaMat, I was to start earning some money working part time for a local professional when on Saturday's I was shooting weddings. After this my industrial involvement became more serious and eventually I was to go on to shoot heavy plant machinery and tunnel boring applications. By this time using a Bronica, Nikon F3 and Nikkormat cameras I found myself being called on for PR and scientific/medical pictures.

    Phew! I realise I've perhaps done rather a bit of name dropping, but now retired and having emerged into the digital world via several P&S cameras, I'm finally grappling with the complexities and challenges of the Nikon D7000 which I generally use for landscape and wildlife shots.

  13. #13
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    Re: What got you started ?

    I started in 1951 after a School trip to the London Festival of Britain where a friend showed us his Kodak Brownie Reflex camera and told me to come to the School Photo-Soc where i saw 'Contact Printing' and the Chemistry Master showed us how to make up our own Developer from Chemicals ( which I still do now ! )
    in 1955 I left school for the British Army -- 3 years in the RAMC doing Pathology -- by that time I had an Ensign Selfix 16/20 Model II with the 75mm f3.5 Ross Xpres lens after using my Mum's Kodak Brownie 'Hawkeye' box camera with outdated films - in BERLIN I bought a pre-war CONTAX III with un-coated 50mm f1.5 Sonnar lens fior 35mm photos and did some processing there -- in Iserlohn ( British Zone) I got a new Carl Zeiss 'Ikoflex' with a Zeiss Opton-Tessar lens -- not very good ! I also got a Braun Hobby electronic flash cheaply. Here is me in the Army in 1958 at BMH Iserlohn age 21 --
    What got you started ?
    Cpl Elgar RAMC 1958 by pentaxpete, on Flickr

    After the Army I Pathology Research for a while but always wanted a job in Photography - no luck with 'Medical Photography' so after taking some exams got a job in the Ministry of Aviation where I helped out with 4x5 MPP cameras and printing.
    Then I managed to get in with a local Partnership who supplied photos for the local Press -- there was a Partner who had been in the RAF in Singapore and brough over a 'weird-sounding 'camera called and 'ASAHI PENTAX' with funny lenses called 'TAKUMARS' but the results were much better than my CONTAX with it's small viewfinder --- one day an ASAHI PENTAX S3 appeared in the window of a local Camera Dealer with a small crowd of 'camera-starved Brits' pressing their noses to the glass -- I rushed in gave a CONTAX in exchange and rushed out the proud owner of an 'ASAHI PENTAX' -- and THAT ( so the saying goes) is where the story really begins ------
    What got you started ?
    Pentax SV by pentaxpete, on Flickr

  14. #14

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    Re: What got you started ?

    For me it was pretty simple.

    I used to do 5-6k on a treadmill in a gym every weekday. After some months it started getting really boring. So decided to take long brisk walks instead. That got boring as well. Then started to go to different places for the walks instead of around the neighbourhood. Returning home would tell the wife about all the interesting things I saw and she suggested why not carry a camera.

    Exactly 2 years + 3 weeks now that I have always carried a camera on the walks.

  15. #15
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    Re: What got you started ?

    I got started at age 6 with with a Kodak Brownie camera for my birthday. That was followed by a Kodak Hawkeye about 4 years later and a Brand X camera about 4 years after that. Then, when I was a sophomore in college I learned to develop film and print pictures followed two years later by getting my first 35mm camera, a Mamiya fixed lens and then by a pair of Minolta Maxxums in the late 1980s with the same lenses I'm using today with my Sony alpha700 with some additional lenses (I bought a 300mm for long-distance critter shooting and a macro zoom for wildflowers) since I already had a pair of primes that came with the Maxxums. Things have been progressing ever since. By far, the bulk of my images are two things: travel pictures (I'm an academic geographer by training and always used my own photographs to illustrate my lectures) and slides of computer graphics (before there was a really good way to make 35mm slides other than shooting the computer screen and also used to illustrate my computational geography lectures).

    virginia
    Last edited by drjuice; 21st December 2012 at 08:45 PM.

  16. #16
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    Re: What got you started ?

    What got me started was I was doing various art projects and gave away a lot as presents but had no photos of them, so I bought a camera and thought it would be easy . Well it was anything but however it did consume me and I haven't created a piece of art (other than photos) for a few years now. Here's a couple of pictures of the art projects.
    What got you started ?
    What got you started ?
    What got you started ?

  17. #17
    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    Re: What got you started ?

    Hmm Steve - I think I might know where you took that picture....

    What got you started ?

    I got started into photography and the one thing that has been constant throughout the decades behind a camera, I could never afford all the tools I wanted. These are the film cameras I have owned.

    What got you started ?

    I got a Kodak Hawkeye Flashfun when I was in early grade school and that was upgraded to an Agfa Agfamatic 1a in my early teens. Once I was able to scrape up a bit of money, I got myself an inexpensive Praktica LLC; it was all I could afford, but the high school camera club had a Pentax Spotmatic 2 and some lenses, and of course the M42 screw mount was common to both cameras, so I could borrow the school's lenses. This is where I got seriously into photography. I joined the school camera club one year and I was running it the next.

    I got incredibly lucky as the school had hired a commercial photographer to run the audio-visual department and he was the main technical resource for the camera club, so I got hands on experience in shooting sporting events, music and theatre, as well as getting full training in B&W and colour darkroom work; colour and reversal film processing, as well colour printing of negatives and slides, etc, etc. I was hooked and wanted to become a commercial photographer. My father disagreed and insisted I head off to university to study engineering. The fourth camera is what I gave myself when I graduated, a Leica R3, which is the only one of my film cameras that I still own and still use.

    I combined film and point & shoot cameras and started shooting video along the way. I bought my first DSLR about four years ago and I don't think I shot more than a few hundred frames of film over the past year. The transition to the digital darkroom was easy and its a lot more powerful and less messy than using a chemical darkroom.

    So photography is just one of several hobbies. It's a good match with the video work I do and is something easy to combine with one of my other loves; travel (I've been to over forty different countries) over the past few decades. While I do dive, I've never had the urge to get into underwater photography. Most of my diving has been in the cold, dark northern waters, where visibility is very limited, so photographic opportunities are downright terrible most of the time.
    Last edited by GrumpyDiver; 19th December 2012 at 01:37 AM.

  18. #18

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    Re: What got you started ?

    Hi everyone,
    Thanks for sharing your start up stories, very intersting . The one that stands out for me is that it does appear photography stays with paople a VERY long time :-) . So here's to many years of capturing moments. I look foward to seeing many of said moments .

  19. #19
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    Re: What got you started ?

    A bit late to the party, but it was the watch hobby. The Kodak point-and-shoot was not real good at close-up shots of watches, so I splurged on a Nikon D50 and a micro-Nikkor 60mm. Now using a Sigma for close-ups and the D50 is my point-and-shoot.

    What got you started ?

    1913 Elgin pocket watch movement re-cased into a later body, hence "12 at 3" - good for computer work
    Last edited by xpatUSA; 19th December 2012 at 03:57 PM.

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