pho·tog·ra·phy (f?-t?g’r?-f?) n.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition defines photography as:
1)The art or process of producing images of objects on photosensitive surfaces.
2)The art, practice, or occupation of taking and printing photographs.
3)A body of photographs.
A photograph is merely defined as “an image, especially a positive print, recorded by a camera.”
Photography has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. It started as it did in most families with dad snapping the shutter at all major holidays and events in our lives. I remember my first camera was a Kodak 126 Instamatic and began saving some of those family memories while I was still in grade school. Hey, at least this way Dad began showing up in pictures instead of always being behind the viewfinder. (Funny, Dad put the camera in my hands all those years ago and one of the last things he asked me for as he entered hospice care before he left this world was for some of my pictures to hang on the walls so he had something pleasant to look at in his final days. Fate?)
In junior high school (back when we called the transitional years from elementary to secondary junior high) I switched to a 110 film format camera. And during my senior year in high school I remember the old man finally trusting me with his prized 35mm single lens reflex. I was hooked.
Since then it has been shoot, shoot, shoot – more than a quarter-century taking pictures for the local paper as a part-timer and then full-time staffer-turned-chief photographer, with lots of freelance and self assignments along the way. My body of personal work fills several file cabinets in storage before the world went digital. The last 10 years occupy several hard drives although some of my early digital images have been lost forever in a valuable lesson that taught me to back everything up more than once.
Fast forward to present day. Picture assignments no longer occupy my work day. The stench and stain of chemicals have long left my body and my clothing. And while the digital world continues to evolve I still find the definition of the craft that I have loved dearly for more than 40 years has not waivered: Photography is still the art, practice or process of producing images – photographs – and thanks to new apps available on my iPhone I am once again re-discovering photography.
Next time: Photography in the iPhone world
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Some of my work can be seen here: