I’ve been taking photographs since I was about 6 years old, when my Dad gave me a box camera that used 120 roll film (you can still buy that format today!). I sure wish that I could find some of those old photographs. My Dad upgraded me to a Rollop twin-lens-reflex (TLR) camera when I was 11 or 12. I still have that one sitting on the shelf here.
Just before I turned 19 I received a call to serve as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Uruguay Montivideo Mission. I was going there to preach the gospel, but I was going to spend 2 years living and working in a South American country – I wanted to document that experience on film whenever possible and appropriate. I dropped lots of hints about needing – well, wanting – a new 35mm-format camera to take with me. Lots of hints. I had always benefited from my Dad’s hand-me-downs. He had been taking pictures since he was a young man himself – weddings, landscapes, outdoor activities, etc. So he kept dropping his own hints about my using his old Pentax SLR.
My birthday rolled around, and I came home to a pile of gifts on the dining room table. Joy! We sat down and my Dad handed me the largest of the three packages, and as I picked it up he said that the salesman assured him that it would fit something of his. Hmm. I removed the wrapping paper and a camera case was inside. It was an Olympus case, for whatever that was worth. I was crushed. He was giving me his old camera. We removed it from the box and Dad retreived his old Pentax and tried to fit the case to it. It didn’t fit. He scratched his head and said again that the saleman was sure that it would fit. I didn’t care. I wasn’t getting a new camera. I was getting his clunky old Pentax. At that point I didn’t care what was in the other packages. (I admit, I had been quite a brat that summer and fall. Not a good way to prepare to serve the Lord for the next two years. I had a lot of growing to do.)
He handed me the next package on the table, and I listlessly began to open it. But as I removed the paper another Olympus box was revealed – an Olympus OM-1 35mm camera body!! I was speachless. I actually cried. Dad just smiled. He was so pleased that he had pulled such a good practical joke on me. (For years, I was the master at practical jokes in our home.) The final box contained the 50mm lens for the camera. What a gift!! I was overjoyed!
Well I put that camera to good use over the next couple of years. I took scores of pictures, maybe a couple of hundred. Slides, actually. I just recently scanned them all into digital format. That was a bit of a job. Anyway, I used that camera for quite a few years, until I could afford to purchase a new OM-2n. It had automatic exposure metering and could accurately take pictures in starlight. I used that camera for many, many years. After most photographers had switched over to digital cameras, I was still taking plenty of good pictures with my trusty old Olympus camera. I have my OM-1 on the shelf here, along with the old Rollop. Kind of a shrine to past days.
In 2010 my lovely wife completely surprised me with a Canon EOS T3i digital camera. I was completely surprised! I was actually working in southeast Arizona at that time, and would spend the next two years there. Arizona is a “target rich” environment for beautiful landscape photography, and I took lots and lots of photos. Most of the photographs on this site were taken with that camera. I loved it. Just recently I upgraded to a Canon 7d. I've been back in Virginia since 2012, and honestly haven’t been taking many pictures these days, even with the brand new camera. I try to get out, especially during the fall. I’ll post more pictures here as I take them.
For now, enjoy what I have shared below.