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  1. #1
    Minolta Warrior #2? MaxPower's Avatar
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    How did you become interested in Photography?

    I really don't like Art.

    Painting, sculpture. I can't get into it. it doesn't seem real to me. But I love photography. So you could say that I like at least one art form.

    I have always had an interest in pictures. To me photography captures real life. A frozen moment in time that depicts real life. I used to buy Life magazine, looking at the photos, wishing that I could capture an image like the one I was looking at.

    I was showing my Aunt some pictures I took with my point and shoot, and she mentioned to me that I had an eye for photography. Shortly after that I bought my first SLR. I've been snapping away as a hobby ever since.

    How did you get into Photography? What sparked your interest? And why do you love it so much?

  2. #2
    They call me Andy... ACArmstrong's Avatar
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    I've always been into art. I've drawn since I can remember. I feel like my photography (especially digital) is a natural extension of my art, with an added bonus: instant gratification.

    I got a Sony F717 for Xmas 2003 - I've been shooting since then. A month ago, I got a Canon 10D. I'm loving it.
    Andy Armstrong
    Please visit my photography site - Andy Armstrong Photography

  3. #3
    don't tase me, bro! Asylum Steve's Avatar
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    Interesting, I feel the opposite...

    Anyone's who's been here a while knows my passion about this topic, but I promise I won't get on the soap box today.

    Ok, maybe just a bit...

    I certainly respect your point of view, but at this point in my "journey" as an artist, I feel photography (and my approach to it) is no different than either painting or sculpture, or any artistic process for that matter.

    The notion that photography captures an "accurate" or "real" moment in time is common to a lot shooters early on in their careers (or lives). In fact it's something that we probably all felt at one time or another.

    At some point, though, we begin to understand that we truely are "painting with light", and EVERY creative choice we make; from camera to lens to time of day to weather conditions to subject adds to our INTERPRETATION of a scene and the formation of a unique image, which then bears as much or as little resemblance to what we originally saw as we want. That's the beauty of the tools and control we are capable of possessing.

    Still, it's an individual journey, and one of the great things about photography is how the way we feel about it changes over the course of time. What's important is that you enjoy it, and get the satisfaction of knowing you have an aptitude and skill for it.

    BTW, I just realized I haven't answered your question. When I was a kid, a relative was visiting and he had a Yashica SLR. Funny, but my fascination wasn't looking through the viewfinder, but rather at the FRONT of the camera. I was really captivated by the beauty of the light refracting through the multi-element lens.

    When I first learned about the various focal length lenses available for a single camera body, my initial thought was how amazing it was that the photographer could alter the way a scene looked by changing the angle of view of an picture. See? INTERPRETIVE... ;)

    This is actually a pretty common subject here, but always fun to discusss...
    "Riding along on a carousel...tryin' to catch up to you..."

    -Steve
    Studio & Lighting - Photography As Art Forum Moderator

    Running the Photo Asylum, Asylum Steve's blogged brain pipes...
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  4. #4
    re-Member shutterman's Avatar
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    I am with MaxPower about art, but I had an uncle who had his own darkroom and I was fascinated by what he could do. When I was in 6th grade my mom got me a Nikon SLR (N8008 I think).

    I love it so much because things just look different in the view finder. All the "noise" of everything else goes away and only the "vision" I have through the viewfinder matters if only for a brief moment.

    it never gets old.

  5. #5
    has-been... another view's Avatar
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    OK, Steve - my turn on the soap box... Nah, we'll keep it easy this time - but I do believe you can learn a lot about photography from any other art form. I've been interested in photography for a long time but my interest in actually taking pictures was on again/off again until about six years ago.

    Boring as it may sound, I wanted to start selling stuff on ebay (leftovers from other interests that just weren't interesting anymore, etc...) and needed to get decent pictures. I remembered how my pictures from my long-gone K1000 were much better than a point and shoot, so I bought a Nikon FE at that point. A few rolls of film later, IT pretty much took ME over!

  6. #6
    Be serious Franglais's Avatar
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    My father started it

    Quote Originally Posted by MaxPower
    I really don't like Art.

    Painting, sculpture. I can't get into it. it doesn't seem real to me. But I love photography. So you could say that I like at least one art form.

    I have always had an interest in pictures. To me photography captures real life. A frozen moment in time that depicts real life. I used to buy Life magazine, looking at the photos, wishing that I could capture an image like the one I was looking at.

    I was showing my Aunt some pictures I took with my point and shoot, and she mentioned to me that I had an eye for photography. Shortly after that I bought my first SLR. I've been snapping away as a hobby ever since.

    How did you get into Photography? What sparked your interest? And why do you love it so much?
    My father always took pictures. He even wrote a book on it. I've had a camera for as long as I can remember. When I started my first job and I started to have some money, I had the choice between buying a car and buying my first good camera. Bought the camera. Seems daft now.

    I don't know if I actually love photography. I just like creating images. When I see things around me I just feel like reaching out and keeping some of it.

    What's fun is that photography is quite different from my job (computer consultant). Sure there's all the technical stuff but when you really get down to it you have to use your eye not your mind when you make a picture.

    Charles

  7. #7
    Beware: Mom With Camera
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    ...

    My children inspired my photography.

    I think it started when I would take my oldest to get her portraits done, and hate everything that came back to me. I hated the posed...KID ON BENCH shots. I looked everywhere for someone that could capture... HER.

    I never thought that maybe *I* could capture "her". :lol:

    Then about a year and a half ago, I was on the hunt to find a photographer to capture my second daughter. Charlotte. I have pictures of her posted in the critique. ;) She was impossible to photograph by your conventional "sears" methods, so I looked at individuals. That is when I found Max Truell here in NC.

    He was able to capture the essence that is my daughter. Took her in, played with her, and caught her being HER. I was impressed. I loved the results. And that is really what made me pursue learning photography.... I never thought I could get such incredible results playing with a child until I met him!

    He took another portrait of my Madison earlier this year. Yeah, I paid out the nose for it. But it is her. Frozen in time. And everything about the picture tells who she is. I LOVE THAT.

    That is truly what I try to accomplish with my photographs... to capture a story on film. And no one tells a better story than a child. I honestly believe that there is nothing more beautiful anywhere on the planet than children, and the play of children.

    So he inspired me. And now, one day, I hope I can be as good as he was!!!!!
    Kate


  8. #8
    News & Rum-or-ator opus's Avatar
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    I think I've told this story before. It's long. I can't help it, because my passion for photography goes back a long way.

    I've always been an "artist" since I was a toddler putting crayon to paper, but I never really found a medium that I loved, except maybe sculpture (lost-wax casting was my favorite) which was much too expensive for a young girl to truly pursue. I think I always felt my imagination was limited, too, as I could never quite master the concept of "abstract". I was always wanting to draw or paint exactly what I saw, which was frustrating when my skills didn't quite match my standards. I was too impatient to just sit and work, alone, on perfecting my art.

    At the same time, when I was growing up my dad was an amateur photographer. He always shot slides of our vacations and then would have a "slide show party" when we got home. Our friends loved it (they said), and pretty soon a lot of them were asking him to take their wedding pictures. My dad would do it for friends who didn't have a lot of money. So I grew up around it, although I never took to it myself until I had a class in high school.

    With that class I *immediately* fell in love with photography, although the darkroom intimidated me, but I just loved finding patterns and symmetry in the world around me and seeing how they looked in black and white. It was an art form that actually lived up to my expectations. Then, because I had this photography class, I started carrying my camera around to my other classes, and so my English teacher asked if I wanted to help take pictures for the yearbook, which at that time was limited to Seniors. I was thrilled to be included! So that year some of my pictures got published in the yearbook, and the next year I was a shoo-in for Photo Editor of the newspaper, and Chief Photographer for the yearbook. (My teacher didn't want me to be Photo Editor for the yearbook because she wanted me to be out taking the pictures instead. I figured out later that I took about 90% of the candids in the yearbook.)

    I absolutely adored it. I loved peeking out of the corner with my telephoto lens, catching people at "the decisive moment". I loved the photojournalism aspect of it. (I loved having a "press pass" that got me out of class anytime I wanted!) I also took "artistic" shots, and I think I already knew at a subconscious level that I loved capturing light in its many moods. I took one picture at that time of early morning mist rising from a pond, with weeping willow trees in the background, that won first place in the school art show and got "ooohs" and "aaahs" from everyone who looked at it. I was hooked.

    My work in that yearbook defined me for the next 10 years, literally. It was my greatest accomplishment, and had there been a fire or tornado, the yearbook would have been the one thing I'd try to save. But when i got out of school, I lost my purpose. I didn't really love landscapes, or birds or wildlife, and I couldn't figure out a reason to take street shots. I had briefly worked with a local photographer in his studio as something of an intern, but when that ended I didn't have the confidence to move into "truly" professional photography, either in the studio or at a newspaper. So over the years I just got away from it. I also had bad equipment and didn't realize it. My dad had given me one of his extra cameras, but never told me that he had had troubles with it. I only found that out last year, in casual conversation. Thanks, dad! No wonder my exposures were always "off"!

    So anyway, fast forward to 2002. I'm on my way to London, and I make an impulse purchase of a Canon Ti, because after holding it I couldn't leave the store without it. Two weeks later I "happened" to snap those pictures of Paris that I entered in the contest (see my other posts). When I got them developed, I got sooooooooo excited again, realizing that I STILL AM A PHOTOGRAPHER AND HAVEN'T LOST MY TOUCH!!!

    One year later I bought my digital Rebel because digital had finally reached my standards.

    And here I am today.
    Last edited by opus; 08-18-2004 at 10:15 PM.
    Drink Coffee. Do stupid things faster with more energy.


  9. #9
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    Talking I am new to the game

    But I just recently got into it b/c i wanted to photograph mountain biking. I also just wanted a camera to take snap shots w/ . Now i find my self looking at things diffrently trying to get a shot and get better at photography!

    Sho

  10. #10
    Freestyle Photographer Hodgy's Avatar
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    I took a darkroom course to fill my college roster (figured it was a bird course). I was in my fourth yr information systems. After I developed my first picture, I dropped all my course's (except the darkroom). Photography has been in my life ever since.

  11. #11
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    For me I had to come full circle. My father was a photographer in the Navy in WWII aboard the USS Wasp in the pacific. He then continued as a civilian employee of the military as a photographer and motion picture cameraman and then a director. He tried to teach photography to his kids but he didn't have the patience of a teacher nor was he able to express the passion he must have had for photography with us for some unknown reason. Plus because he was always around to take good pictures we never bothered to pick up a camera on our own. So growing up I was always around photographers and cameras and those damn lightmeters that looked so fascinating to a young boy but were never allowed to touch. I couldn't tell you how many of those of his I must have broken, taken them apart losing parts, screwing up the settings. This was in the 60's and 70's, that stuff wasn't all automatic and it was expensive. At one point I developed my own b&w images but I wouldn't do it right and my father would yell and take over and that would be the end of that. On occasion I would buy a P&S take some decent pictures, then lose the camera or break it. It wasn't until I was 30 that I picked up a N50, a Tamaron lens and started shooting. Whether he realizes it or not, everything my father and his friends taught me started to come to the surface. I quickly grew out of that system and have sinced moved on to both simpler but better equipment to more elaborate professional 35mm equipment. And every once in awhile when all the cylinders are firing and the lighting falls just right and I know I just nailed the shot, I then know the passion he must have had when he often did the same.

  12. #12
    Forever Learning coloradoamigo's Avatar
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    For Me...

    it all started in '93. Living in Houston at the time, I came to Colorado for vacation, borrowing a friend's point and shoot. Until that time, I had always loved looking at photographs, but did not have much interest in actually shooting them myself.
    Well, I saw all that beautiful scenery through that little tiny viewfinder in a different way than I normally "see" things, and I was hooked.
    Unfortunately, personal demons brought me down for quite a few years after that, and alot of my interests faded during that rough time in my life. Once I got back on my feet, photography was once again in my life, then I moved to Colorado and it became a passion.
    I bought a Nikon N80 in 2002 and started shooting slide film, and have sinced moved on to the D70 (but still have the N80 as well). I have learned so much in a relatively short period of time (many thanks to this board for alot of that).
    I am lucky to live in a state that offers so much to photograph, especially someone such as myself that loves to shoot the landscapes.
    Great thread, I've really enjoyed reading the responses.
    Regards,
    Brian


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  13. #13
    Junior Member CTPhil's Avatar
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    From the first roll of B&W film taken with an old "brownie" type camera, as a kid in the mid 60's, it just resonated somehow.

  14. #14
    misanthrope
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    I have always been interested in photography. I didn't start actually doing it until 2001. But to me, why I stay interested in photography is more important than how I got into it. Here's a little story to illustrate.

    I was on assignment today to get "that one perfect shot" of sandpipers on the beach. I needed to get them lined up with a reflection on the wet sand and some nice afternoon light.
    It was another foggy, grey day. I parked at the beach and checked my gear. Clean lens, enough exposures left on the roll, extra film, tripod set to the right kneeling height. I left the car and walked out into the sand. The beach was mostly empty. Four miles of sand stretching off to the south where it meets high cliffs, a ceiling of fog hanging over it. Cold breezes raised the hair on my arms.
    I spotted a few dozen sandpipers doing their thing nearby. I slowly walked over and carefully knelt down. The wet sand soaked through my jeans instantly. I set the camera to servo AF, dialed in half a stop of overexposure, and cranked the aperture down to f/8. I picked out one of the little guys and followed him around. Little head like a sewing machine, up and down lightning quick, picking tiny bits of food out of the sand. At one point he stopped, cocked his head. He was looking right at me. I took the shot. He darted away, mottled brown back and white belly blending in with all the others. They were darting about, bumping into each other, playing, jumping, all the while their little feet moving so fast! And the constant pecks, a blur of speed. I lost the one I picked out and just watched them all, how they interacted, how they seemed so tireless. They looked very soft, so close that I almost felt the small feathers, the soft little bellies.
    I stopped, looked up. There was no one around. I realized I'd been kneeling there for a good half hour. I had forgotten all about the world. You could have landed a 747 next to me and I wouldn't have noticed. I'd only shot 12 or 15 frames. My batteries were low from the constant AF operation and my knees were sore. I was getting cold in only a t-shirt and wet jeans, and the sun wasn't showing signs of breaking through. So I switched off the camera and walked back to the car. A certain sense of peace had settled over me. I felt serene. I kept looking back over my shoulder to see the sandpipers. They were still there, still darting around, pecking lightning fast at little bits of food.
    This is why I do photography.
    "We've all been raised by television to believe that one day we'll all be millionaires and movie gods and rock stars -- but we won't. And we're slowly learning that fact. And we're very, very pissed off."

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  15. #15
    Too square to be hip. almo's Avatar
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    How did you get into Photography? What sparked your interest? And why do you love it so much?[/QUOTE]



    I have always had an...how to say...misunderstood (by myself), love of taking pictures. Altough, I got my real start by watching my girlfriend using her first Slr. I bought it for her birthday in 2000. By 2001 I was shooting with a rebel G of my own.


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  16. #16
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    Hi, I'm Philip and I'm seventeen. My dad was never really interested in photography but he always had lots of antique/vintage cameras in the house. I don't know how many of them we still have because he might have sold them. I suppose I should look into that. They could spark some interesting experiments! I always thought they looked pretty -- when I was younger -- and I would mess around with them, pretending to take pictures and trying to be so Goddamn cool.

    I only recently started actually taking photographs about a week ago. I bought my first camera (Pentax ME Super) because I needed something else to do and just express myself (but mostly, just to have a bit of fun).

    I live in such a beautiful and ugly country, there's plenty of images to capture. I have a LOT of fun ahead of me...

  17. #17
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    I see photography as an art form, as a modern way of painting an image and not as carbon copy of a situation. Art has always been in me since I was little kid.

  18. #18
    'Calm like a bomb' Gabe's Avatar
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    I think it all started when I was pretty young, maybe eight years old? My father was working at a big department store's warehouse, and he used his employee's five-fingered discount to bring back a point-and-shoot Vivitar or three. I kept one, and it was then that I probably became fascinated by these little boxes that can freeze a magical moment in time forever.

    I didn't do much with it till I decided, at 14, on following my lifelong dream to be a film director. I dabbled in photography, read some books, but didn't have any cash to buy an SLR. I wanted to be a fashion photographer, though, by the time I got into film school to pay for my classes, ha!

    When I finally got into college, years later, I went back into photography to learn all the lenses, aperture, lighting, yadda-yadda-yadda, for cinematography. I bought me an Olympus P&S zoom, and an issue of American Photo. It had Kate Moss (jeez I love her!) on the cover. Months later, I had a Canon EOS 650 with a 35-70mm, was running up my credit cards to get more gear, and eventually dropped out of school to pursue fashion photography as a career after having shot two or three models.

    And the rest of the story gets more complicated, and beyond the scope of this thread, but it's not over yet so that will have to be for some other time ;) The account above is, however, of my humble beginnings.
    "It is time to live like the wind and then to die like thunder."

    www.gabriel-diaz.com

  19. #19
    Sleep is optional Sebastian's Avatar
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    As much as I wanted to work on movie special effects, and as much as I loved studying film, nothing ever held my attention and interest like a great still photo.

    That's pretty much it.
    -Seb

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    (Please don't edit and repost my images without my permission. Thank you)

    How to tell the most experienced shooter in a group? They have the least amount of toys on them.

  20. #20
    mooo...wooh hoooh! schrackman's Avatar
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    My brother got the gift of drawing, and I never had thought I was the "artisitic" type until about two years ago when I started dabbling in graphic design. About a year and a half ago Penny directed me to this website to view some of her pictures. At that time, I had a Sony DSC S30 P&S digital but I only bought it to take closeup pictures of my metal detector finds and share them on a treasure hunting forum, and also take the occasional vacation picture. I began posting a few pictures on this forum with that camera and quickly got addicted enough (and learned enough) to where I soon bought a Nikon Coolpix 5000. Had that for about a year and then some months ago purchased my Canon DRebel. Not a very long or intersesting story, but I'm stickin' to it.

    Ray

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    The liberal, socialist politician's nightmare: "What a comfort to the farmer to be allowed to supply his own wants before he should be liable to pay anything, and then only pay on his surplus." - Jefferson to Madison on Taxes,1784

    My Canonet GIII QL-17 photos on flickr.

  21. #21
    Learning more with every "click" mjs1973's Avatar
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    I don't remember what got me interested in photography. I do remember always having cameras around when I was a kid. The old 110's, the disc cameras, and eventually some 35mm P&S ended up in my hands. I even had a tiny keychain camera that was only about and inch or so square, and it clamped onto a roll of 110 film. I wonder whatever happened to that... Anyway, a few years ago I got a Canon WP-1 35mm P&S free from Marlboro and I ran a ton of film thru it. I eventually got a Rebel G with a couple of kit lenses, and just a few months ago I got my DRebel. I love the idea of capturing little moments in time. I have never thought of myself as an artist or anything even close to it but I have always loved taking pictures. Now that I am actually devoting a lot of time to learning more about photography, it is sooo much more that just taking pictures. I have always found myself looking at everything around me and looking for a great photo opportunity. I just enrolled in a photography class and I'm thinking about getting a certificate in graphic design. Maybe there is an artist in me somewhere after all... I guess I didn't really answer the question did I, oh well.
    Mike

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  22. #22
    ...just believe natatbeach's Avatar
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    I grew up with the family who took a thousand pictures of everything and anything...

    My sister(older) always encouraged my creativity and artistic talents( she even got me a real set of watercolors (tubes you squeeze) when I was five....she always splurged on real supplies...no crayolas at my house...long story short in high school we had a vocational progarm and they had a photo class and I needed credits and hated commercial design (the only other art course) so I signed up...three weeks later my sis got me a Pentax K 1000 for my birthday and between the weight of the camera, processing the next and the "magic" of seeing an image materialize out of thin air in this tray of stinky fluids I was hooked.

    I still(except for maybe two or three shots) have yet to get exactly what I see...still trying and loving it...

    great post...

    I also took the class because of two boys just thought I'd be honest...good thing I did...it was a fun class in a lot of ways
    "I was not trying to be shocking, or to be a pioneer.
    I wasn't trying to change society, or to be ahead of my time.
    I didn't think of myself as liberated, and I don't believe that I did anything important.
    I was just myself. I didn't know any other way to be, or any other way to live."
    .
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  23. #23
    Moderator of Critiques/Hearder of Cats mtbbrian's Avatar
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    I just did....

    I can remember always wanting to take the family pics when I was growing up.
    My "first camera" was a Polaroid One Step. I got it for Christmas or something.
    Fast forward to the ninth grade, where I really consider the point my photographic experience began. I took the first of many photography classes, and got my first real camera a Minolta X-570.
    I continued on through high school, thirsting for any and all knowledge of photographic technique and art.
    My images at that time were mostly landscapes and found objects.
    I contined my photographic education in collge, still shooting landscapes, etc.
    It wasn't until my second year of college that I came out my shell, so to speak anyway, and started photographing people. I learned how to do so out of necessity mostly, because I was working on the student newspaper.
    I LOVE photographing people, be it on or around a mountain bike. It's the best thing I could ever photograph!
    I know I will never be able to photograph the six billion plus people here, but I can sure have fun trying.
    Even though I haven't gone to too many places, I am very thankful for the places I have gone with my photography.
    I am very passionate about photography! I certainly hope that my passion for it and life in general comes through in my photography.
    Brian
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    A great photograph is one that fully expresses what one feels, in the deepest sense, about what is being photographed, and is, thereby, a true manifestation of what one feels about life in its entirety... - Ansel Adams

    "Photography Is An Act Of Life" - Maine 2006

  24. #24
    Seb
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    Reading about all your stories is quite fascinating. Here is my story, true story!

    I never really saw myself as an artist yet I loved music and visual arts for as long as I can possibly remember, which certainly have something to do with the fact that my school (primary school, as a kid) had an extented art vocation. Back in the very early 90's, my parents got me a small Canon P&S, pretty much the simpliest 35mm camera one may think of. I used it from time to time during the following decade with no particular interest.
    Things started to take place in early april 2001. I was on a ski journey in Killington with a good friend of mine. I had my little Canon with me while my friend borrowed is parents APS. We skied hard, had a good time and shoot the great scenery of Vermont randomly, none of us being photographers. Few days later, came the point where we actually exchanged our pictures. His where significantly brighter, sharper, colourful and contrasty than mine. The optics of the APS exceeding by far the capabilities of my P&S. I then thought that I needed such a camera but I was still studying full time and I couldn't really afford it.
    A year passed and I visited camera stores from times to times just for fun. I noticed that there was a kind of cameras called SLR's (lol) and I thought that I could probably make a good use of it. Summer 2002 came, I graduated and received a Nikon N65 as a gift. (I remember how it appeared to be an overly exotic piece of gear at that time...).
    I started to shoot as a simple hobby but soon enough the magic happened. I kickly found myself shooting for the sole purpose of crafting images rather than collecting memories. My interest kept growing since then, partly thanks to this great site and the passionate folks here. The fact that I started to do some night shooting one year ago was also quite significant in such a way that it made me realise to which extend I can go further than "reality recording" and create unnexpected moods, thanks to light.
    I have now reached a point where I am thinking about eventually taking photography to a professional or semi-professional level. I am arguably not there yet but I have been taking classes on an individual basis from time to time and I consider entering a 2 years program in september 2005.

    Seb

  25. #25
    Moderator Skyman's Avatar
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    Happy series of coincidences really. I was working part time at Kmart (in australia they are more like wall mart) and i took a year off uni and worked in an office for 12months. at the end of that period i had more money than time to spend it, so i said "i like taking photos and i am pretty good at it (my compositions were strong) i am going to by a camera" so i bought an eos 500n (the salesgirl talked me out of an eos 3) shortly before that, kmart moved me from the sporting department to the photo lab. I then said to myself, i have a camera, i better learn to use it. so i enrolled at the local community college. shortly thereafter i went back to uni and stopped studying psychology and started communications media production. I took a basic photography course and happened to get offered a job at my local camera shop at the same time. I have been hooked ever since. My degree ended up being in media arts (video production) but photography will remain my first passion and in fact my video stuff is linked heavily to my photographic experiences.

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