In 1990 I was in love with photography. I had taken a couple of photo classes and was using a Pentax K1000 to shoot images in both Black & White and Color. I was taking all types of photographs – from street shots, portraiture, architecture & landscape, even going as far as fooling with Infra Red film. I even was a darkroom monitor and had a fine selection of photo paper sitting in my home. Buying a camera, a good camera, was never top on my list. It was an expensive hobby that I couldn’t afford, or had other priorities that needed those funds. It always was in the back of my mind.
Ten years later, my wife and I were in Zürich for our honeymoon. I had brought along a Pentax (Asahi) Spotmatic that I had inherited from my grandmother and was lucky enough to get the first roll developed before we moved on to the South of France. All of the pictures I had taken were useless. The shutter was getting stuck or something, and only half the picture would get exposed. Not having any other options, I threw it in my suitcase and bought disposable cameras.
Now forward a few days later. My wife and I are driving from Nice to Grenoble and end up on a detour through the Alps. We pull out of the clouds and come across an amazing sight. We are driving into a plateau with rising mountains all around. In the middle sits a very small village. You can see a church steeple poking up above the town, with small clouds rushing past it. I stop the car, pull out my disposable camera and CLICK – I take the picture.
When the pictures come back from development they look awful. The images are out of focus, flat, and really not a representation of what we saw. I describe the event to people when I talk about our detour in the Alps and I keep thinking back to that picture. Now, if I had the right equipment, I probably couldn’t have taken the best picture anyway. There was so much I still needed to know to get the ambiance onto the picture. I did however realize that I had to do it again. I had to drive that same route the next chance I got and take pictures of the beautiful landscape I had seen … even if it was different.
So 11yrs later I am getting that shoot. September 2011 I will be in France again for a wedding. I have my flight booked and will rent a car so that I can drive that route from Nice to Grenoble. I don’t care if I don’t see clouds passing by steeples, but I have to do it. One thing is for sure, I will be ready. This blog will describe my journey from beginner to, one day, advanced photographer. I do this for love of taking pictures and not for any desire to make this a career. I hope you enjoy the journey as well.
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