… continued from “My Early Days of Photography”
My darkroom equipment remained packed in boxes in the garage for twenty years slowly corroding as I dreamed of the day I would resurrect my passion. Every couple of years, I’d have to move the boxes around and would peek inside to see how bad the rust had eaten into the easels and enlarger. Eventually reality set in. I gave the boxes a quiet burial during Spring cleaning. The wet darkroom was gone but not all was lost! I followed the advancement of digital cameras and became a hack with Photoshop. My knowledge of HTML was good enough that I could take some digital photos and create a web page to share photos with family and friends. In 2004 I bought a Sony F717 six megapixel camera with a Carl Zeiss lens and was getting some pretty good results. The technology kept improving but I didn’t see it as good enough for artistic expression, at least not in the same way as I did with ultra fine grain silver gelatin prints.
I started taking photos of my family, especially the girls. My youngest daughter Jordan would dodge the camera with exceptional timing. She knew just when the shutter was going to click and would turn away, put her hand in front of the lens, or put on her camera smile. I began to feel the thrill of capturing the shot; it was the same thrill I had as a kid chasing my friends around. For several years, I played the role of Henri Cartier-Bresson waiting for the “decisive moment” in family history.
Shooting images on a small screen had its challenges. I yearned for a digital SLR but they were quite expensive and the results were not worth the price. I still owned a 35mm SLR film camera if I wanted to do some “serious photography” but the digital experience was so convenient. I was getting used to the “Polaroid instant gratification experience” seeing images immediately. Even though I own a film camera I don’t recall ever picking it up again.
After the dot-com crash and 9-11, my executive search business was in steady decline. I started looking for another business. I wanted to find a lifestyle business, one that I enjoyed doing and one that would allow me to set my own schedule. So I decided to chill out for a month and took a trip to Costa Rica with my best friend, Mark. But before I went I decided to bite the bullet on a DSLR camera. While in Costa Rica I found myself (once again) enjoying the world through the lens of the camera, and that is when the phoenix rose from the ashes.
Next – “Honing my skills”