When people ask what I do for a living; I tell them that I am a Photographer. When people ask what hobbies I have; I tell them I make pictures. When they ask what my one true love is; I tell them my Camera. My Camera and I have been through more life changing, eye-opening and landmark moments together than anything in my life.
About 14 years ago the Camera and I were introduced and quite honestly it was love at first sight. We met on a blind-date, knowing only one thing about each other; That we are what we make of ourself. She [at the time a Pentex] was the most beautiful thing that I have ever saw through my lens [eye]. The way She taught me see the world around me. The mid-tones, contrast depth-of-field, and sharp-focus have never looked so good at f1.4. The bokeh; breathtaking. As my Camera and I got to know each other the next few months we became deeply in entangled a love story that even Disney would want the rights to. We even shared a similar point of view on politics and believe it or not, religion – but we are often forced to see both sides equally when at work together. We clicked on so many levels that when we were apart, neither one of us worked, and our batteries would slowly trickle to empty. When united again, it would take some time to get along….but after that, we clicked just like always.
Starting with hot-lights we explored the different shutter speeds and depth-of-fields, shooting bracketed exposures with our then, mutual friend (currently a Facebook friend) Kodak t-max 400 we worked well together in daylight and learned that I could really push t-max to 3200 in low-light conditions and still be friends, the hard way. We would spend hours in the darkroom together, listening to the same old tunes through some mismatched speakers that I had rigged together out of pure desperation as a cure for silence in that dimly red-lit room. With all the experimenting, dodging and burning, and happy accidents that developed we soon knew one another like the back of our own hand and could produce an image out of just about any negative that we captured – some were pretty rough I will admit.
As She [a Pentex] has been replaced by a couple different Nikon’s over the years, She [the Camera] remains the same. Having moved from hot-lights to strobes we now have taken our relationship to new levels. Creating images that we see ahead of time and making pictures that we could only have dreamed of a few years ago. Strobes, modifiers, reflectors, bounce cards, flags and not to mention photoshop and the digital darkroom tools have changed the way of photography, but haven’t changed the black box, it’s still an image frozen in time.
Why am I in love with this black box that captures a moment in time? Because I have spent more time with this black box than any other thing in my life. I have committed myself to push my own limits and make mistakes when my a$$ is on the line. Not because I don’t care, but because I want to create the pictures that i see in my head. I want to create the pictures that will open the door to the next idea and the next challenge. I want to create the pictures that others don’t see.
It’s a very tightly-knit relationship, perhaps like a musician and their lyrics. It’s who I am, it’s what I do. It’s a passion that no one can take away from me. Thank you dad for opening that box of your college photography class black and white prints with me some 15 years ago in our basement. You have been with me every for “click” of the way.