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Take a moment and introduce yourself

Introduce yourself to fellow forum members. Plus, the rules of the road (forum guidelines).
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OpenWater
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Re: Take a moment and introduce yourself

Postby OpenWater » Tue Jun 10, 2014 4:30 pm

I decided that I wanted a camera when I was 8 or 9 ~ about 1956. My princely allowance at that time was $.10 a week. But after some birthday money was received I was in funds and went to the pawn shop to see what they had. (There was a naval air station in our town and pawn shops did very well.) Amidst the Rolleiflexes and Zeiss-Ikons was an unloved Kodak Brownie Holiday Flash. I put $2 down and started scrounging up the next $3 - no, I didn’t get a particularly good price. I turned pop bottles in for the deposit, washed cars, and mostly saved my money for several weeks. Every week I added to the down payment. Eventually, the beauty was mine. I specialized in group photos of my buddies lined up in front of their bicycles. In their absence, my family members would be artfully placed in front of some object of wonder. Here is my grandmother standing in front of a bison on a trip to Canada. By some miracle I still have the (badly scratched) negative.

Image

When I was 11 my mother re-married. The only relevance of this to my story was that my stepfather had been given a Leica by his brother who had bought it when stationed in Germany. (I’m sure that international treaties of that era required the purchase of a Leica, Rollei, or Zeiss-Ikon by all US service members.) Although both were fine athletes and intelligent men, neither could learn how to use the Leica or for that matter most any other mechanical device - a trait that persisted throughout their lives. But I consistently produced images with my Brownie - it would be wrong to call them photographs. By contrast, my stepfather never managed more than one usable image from a roll of 36. So, one day he asked me to trade. I gave him the Brownie and I got the Leica. I still have it (Leica IIIf with an Elmar f3.5 lens, flash attachment, etc.). Perhaps even better, he included Morgan and Lester’s Leica Manual. I read it many times and was amazed at the photos by Alfred Eisenstadt, Peter Stackpole, and Ansel Adams. I learned how the camera worked and even more important that you didn’t have to line people up in front of something to take their photograph. A true artistic breakthrough!

I used the Leica throughout school. When I got to graduate school I should have given it a good cleaning and bought a new light meter, but instead I was seduced by the idea of actually seeing what I was taking a photograph of so I bought a Canon FTb QL. I was delighted with it. No more inky-dinky double viewfinder-rangefinder. And all you had to do for an almost always decent exposure was to line up the doughnut with the stick in the viewfinder. Being an artiste at this point I usually used it in the equivalent of AV mode. I began with the FD 50mm f1.8 and then added the 28 f2.8 and the 100 f2.8. None of them are Canon’s best lenses from the period, but then I was a grad student and shouldn’t have been buying any of them. I later bought a Canon T70 and used the FD lenses with it. It is a very nice camera and combination. (Several of you NFF members kindly remarked on some photos I took in Indonesia with this setup.)

http://vimeo.com/michaelwhite/mikeandgw ... tadventure

Although I still enjoy using film, I now mostly use a Pentax DSLR (K5, currently). They are lovely cameras with excellent lenses. And making photographs is still a source of great satisfaction. I’m only a middling amateur who photographs spasmodically but as all of you know, there is something immensely satisfying about envisioning an image and then capturing a bit of it on film or sensor. Indeed, I had a camera shutter fail quietly and completely once while on vacation. Every single frame from 10 rolls of film was black. Yet I still find the mental photographs that I made before pressing the button to be rewarding. I saw them in front of me, maneuvered the camera into position, and then locked them into my memory. They are there still.

Mike

PS Why the OpenWater alias? I like to scuba dive and one of my certifications is for open water diving. The photo in my avatar was taken while doing a decompression stop on ascent (Canon A70 in a Canon housing).
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minoly
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Re: Take a moment and introduce yourself

Postby minoly » Tue Jun 10, 2014 10:26 pm

That's a great story. The Brownie Holiday Flash made a really good picture with your help and got you one of the best trades I've ever heard of.
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Santiago Montenegro
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Re: Take a moment and introduce yourself

Postby Santiago Montenegro » Wed Jun 11, 2014 10:04 am

Great story and trade, Mike!
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Re: Take a moment and introduce yourself

Postby Martolod » Thu Jun 12, 2014 6:48 pm

I suppose I better write somethinv as well :mrgreen:
I xtarted off with revue point &shoot with 110 cassettes that was a gift from my grandparents when I was around 12 years old.and I became hooked.shooting mostly slide film as my mother had an inexplicable aversion to negative film (mum is quite crazy, I don't get on with here these days)....a few years down the track I graduated to a 35mm chinon/revue point and shooter that I bought with money saved from my paper round.after coming home to australia I studied photography in high school going through the whole process from loading through to printing using some near indestructible praktika cameras and lenses.happy days.
these days after friend introduced me to MF I shoot with an assorted and ragtag bunch of mamiya and pentax MF camerassalong with a few 100 year old folder and a some FSU cameras.as I started with Pentax in an slr , I have stuck with the hardware and gone with the pentax system in M42 as well as k mount right through to my current line upmof dslr.
however.........I am rather fond of Olympus film cameras and zuiko glass.there is something about it.........
I am afraid that I am of the stieglitz school.....while comercial photography is a necessary tool , I prefer to make a photograph, enjoying the process along the way of developing, printing, etc. There is a certain magic in brewing chemical and watching an image appear before your eyes as it swims in developer....dark arts indeed.
like cooking , making photos is something I do because I love doing it. I would probably loose the joy of it if I had to do it for a living.
other than that, I love good Islay single malt (currently nursing a bottle of Bowmore...... :angel: .......) I play irish pipes, can cook a wicked set of Buffalo Wings, hot sauce and all, been here , there, nearly everywhere, found NFF and got in invite from the CE himself to join as I was looking for an answer to some questions I had about a Retina RF camera, and have been a member ever since. Must be getting close to 6 years now, and made quite a few friends among the NFF community.
why Martolod, ?my Family has had lot of connection with the sea, either living on the coast and in ships, and the coast and the ocean has alwaysnbeen the place where I am at home, regardles of where I am in the world. I leave the moutains for the rest of you, but the desert and the coast is home....(the desert is just a REALLY long beach :lol: .......)
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Philip
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Re: Take a moment and introduce yourself

Postby Philip » Thu Jun 12, 2014 7:47 pm

Thanks for the story -- and the explanation of your name which I had wondered about. That led me to a Google search and then to this lovely musical confection:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jTuBnZrLbq0
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- http://www.flickr.com/photos/flipflik/sets/72157608879115542/ (what I like best).

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jamesmck
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Re: Take a moment and introduce yourself

Postby jamesmck » Thu Jun 12, 2014 8:33 pm

Martolod wrote:why Martolod, ?my Family has had lot of connection with the sea, either living on the coast and in ships, and the coast and the ocean has alwaysnbeen the place where I am at home, regardles of where I am in the world. I leave the moutains for the rest of you, but the desert and the coast is home....(the desert is just a REALLY long beach :lol: .......)


So, it's "sailor?"
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James McKearney
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OpenWater
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Re: Take a moment and introduce yourself

Postby OpenWater » Thu Jun 12, 2014 8:58 pm

Maintenant je comprends! (French is as close as I can get to Breton.) Thanks for the story, introduction, and explanation!
Last edited by OpenWater on Thu Jun 12, 2014 9:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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OpenWater
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Re: Take a moment and introduce yourself

Postby OpenWater » Thu Jun 12, 2014 9:00 pm

Philip wrote:Thanks for the story -- and the explanation of your name which I had wondered about. That led me to a Google search and then to this lovely musical confection:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jTuBnZrLbq0


What a great performer! Living in a cave, as I do, I had never heard of her.
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Martolod
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Re: Take a moment and introduce yourself

Postby Martolod » Fri Jun 13, 2014 11:51 pm

OpenWater wrote:
Philip wrote:Thanks for the story -- and the explanation of your name which I had wondered about. That led me to a Google search and then to this lovely musical confection:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jTuBnZrLbq0


What a great performer! Living in a cave, as I do, I had never heard of her.


this is the original. Alan Stivell, very early in his career at the beginning of the Breton revival.(some say it was this song that launched the revival in Brittany)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lYFWyQggIa0

Martolod= Sailor/Mariner

and pardon the mispellings :mrgreen: ......i was typing on a tablet computer on freezing morning waiting for a client to open up . and i could not be bothered cleaning up the grammar/spelling.
i don't call it 'Misspelling'...i prefer to think of it as 'artistically augmenting and creating charming and pleasant doodlez' :lol:
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Philip
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Re: Take a moment and introduce yourself

Postby Philip » Sat Jun 14, 2014 6:05 am

Ahh, Stivell. I have loved his music for almost forty years and am yet to see him perform live. There are some great videos of him performing live, though.
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My Flickrs: http://www.flickr.com/flipflik (recent postings), or
- http://www.flickriver.com/photos/flipflik/popular-interesting/ (Flickr's calculation of my "most interesting" pics);
- http://www.flickr.com/photos/flipflik/sets/72157608879115542/ (what I like best).


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