So, as many photographers will tell you, they started taking photos at a very young age. Well, this is true for me too. In high school I wanted to take a photography class that was offered, but being 17 and not wanting to use a point and shoot, and too embarrassed to ask my parents for an SLR, I didn’t take the class.
When I went to college, I was a journalism major. When my professor suggested I take a course in photography in case I worked at a small paper, I jumped at the chance. I called my dad and asked for help acquiring a camera. What I didn’t know was that he had one all along, doh!
My parents mailed me a care package enclosing the camera, a very old Yashica.
Despite it being an SLR, it was still a basic one and did not have interchangeable lenses. But for the purpose of Photo 101, it would do. I took pictures of anything in my focal range: my feet, my dorm, some trees…I loved being able to capture the little things I noticed on a daily basis.
Coming home late from the lab one night, I took a cab to my dorm as the shuttle had shut down for the night. As I walked into my building I realized I didn’t have my camera. Frantic, I called the cab company to send the driver back because I was sure I left it in the back of the cab. I ran back down to meet the driver when tragedy struck…I hadn’t left it in the cab, it had fallen into the street and when the driver came back, yes he ran it over.
I was devastated and terrified. My dad had managed to keep his camera for 30+ years in perfect condition and I couldn’t keep it safe for a semester. I needed something for my class, so when I went home for Thanksgiving break I broke the news.
Surprisingly, he didn’t want to kill me. He understood it was an accident and would help me acquire a new camera.
Later that day, we went to Berger Brothers in Amityville and I got a real SLR, with my first 50mm lens.
I spent the rest of the semester immersed in the darkroom, and playing with different techniques. I enjoyed it so much, I wish I could create a darkroom in my apartment but you know chemicals and all 🙂
I still take my Vivitar out on playdates, I just never get around to getting the film developed. And that old Yashica? Is proudly on display.