“Growing old is required…
Growing up is optional.”
Since leaving college in 1969, I spent 22 years in the USAF, 13 years as a college Professor, 6 years as a Consultant and software Product Support Analyst. During all this time photography has been – and continues to be – my passion. All those jobs provided the $$ and travel opportunities to grow my photographic interests in many interesting locations around the world.
“Passion is what makes discipline tolerable.” (sorry-I don’t remember the author)
My first camera was a Kodak Vest Pocket folding camera that used 127 film. This camera belonged to my father and he used it while in the Army Air Corps during WorldWar II in England and Scotland. It saw extensive use and we did have to have Eastman Kodak replace the bellows. I used it on many Boy Scout camping trips. It worked great even at winter camp in northern Minnesota (although I did not get any pictures while on a “snipe hunt.”)
I got involved with the school newspaper and yearbooks during my college years. I started with a college-owned Exakta 35mm SLR (all of the controls were on the “wrong side” of the camera) and quickly purchased my own SLR – a Pentax Spotmatic. In addition to newspaper and yearbook assignments, I worked as a sales clerk at a local camera store, freelanced wedding photography for a local studio, and learned color developing & printing in the darkroom of one of the leading color print photographer in northwestern Minnesota.
Prior to leaving college I traded my Pentax for Nikon equipment, starting with a Nikon F Photomic T with motor drive (it sits on my shelf to this day). I added a Nikon F body, a Nikonos I, and have had many Nikon’s as the years progressed.
During my 22 years in the USAF I always had my camera with me. When I was flying it sat on the floor right next to me always at the ready. I flew the KC-135A, air refueling tanker, and the EC-135C, airborne command post, and photographed many aircraft as they came by for a fuel top off.
My primary interest for the past ten years has been wildlife photography – primarily birds. My previous employment allowed me many opportunities to travel to different areas around the world where I have been able to take some time away from the job to make a few clicks. Not the ideal “Golden Hour” approach, but…
My first Digital SLR was the Nikon D100. Then the D200. Then the D300. Then a D-7100. Today it is a D500. I Love it! I have Nikon 14-24mm, 18-300mm, and 70-200mm lenses, along with the new 2x teleconverter. As soon as I win the lottery, pay to remodel the house for Kathy, and buy a condo somewhere warm and by a large body of water, I will purchase some big glass (600mm f/4 perhaps).