The Early Years – My Photographic History

All images © Spiral Light Photography

I received my very first camera as a gift for my 6th birthday. We were on our summer holiday at the time, which gave me the perfect opportunity to try out my new “toy”. I can’t remember what make or model it was, but I remember that the shutter release was a lever on the front of the camera, and to get the film processed, the whole camera had to be shipped back to the manufacturer. The first photograph I ever took was of my parents and younger sister standing in front of a horse farm at the side of the road. Not bad for a six year old, even though the horizon is a little crooked.

First Photo  And so it begins!

When I was about 12 years old, I received my second camera. This one was a small rectangular 110 camera. By now I had started experimenting with my “creative” style. Of course, I needed willing subjects to photograph. Fortunately we had a house full of pets. My dog Tasha became my muse. I would dress her up, or pose her in front of the Christmas tree. Our other dog Billy and our cat Terry were not so willing to pose, but I managed to get some fun images of them too. When I had exhausted a roll of film, I would ask my dad to take me to the photo lab at our local Woolco department store to get it processed. Much to his dismay, he would find that he had just spent his hard earned money on pictures of the animals wearing tinsel tiaras on their heads, or Halloween capes made out of black garbage bags!

With Tasha 13 yrs old  Me at 13 with my beloved Tasha.

Tasha at Xmas Tasha my ever-willing model.

When I was 20, I purchased my first SLR camera. It was a very simple, manual, Pentax model. This was around the time I started looking at photography as art.  I was learning about shutter speeds, f-stops, and how to make correct exposures. I was shooting a lot of architecture and landscapes, and was experimenting with black and white and the darkroom. Luckily a few years later, I had a couple of willing humans to photograph. My nephew Cody at two years old had become so accustomed to seeing me with my camera, that he would often ask to have his picture taken. He was such a ham!  My niece Brandy came along a few years later. Although I didn’t see her as much since my sister had relocated to another city, I still took the opportunity to photograph her whenever possible.

Train Station B&W  Experimenting with the darkroom.

No Lifeguard Sepia  Published Summer 1989 edition of Camera Canada.

Cody Cody age two – the little ham.

Brandy Brandy age five with Pooh Bear.

By this point I had taken many courses and workshops, and decided to purchase my first copy of Adobe Photoshop software. This opened up a whole new realm of photographic possibilities for me. I did a lot of experimenting with filters and bizarre effects, just trying to see how I could push my images in a whole new direction. Some of the results were great, some were a little over the top. But it was a learning process, something that I’m still going through, and will hopefully be going through until I run out of breath! I’ve just graduated from my online course at the Photography Institute, http://www.thephotographyinstitute.ca and have upgraded my Photoshop software several times, but I know that I still have so much more to discover and so much more to learn!

St.James   St. James Cathedral, Toronto.

Fire Escape  Fire Escape published Oct. 2000 edition of Photo Life Magazine.

Secrets  Practicing inversion techniques with Photoshop.

Abstract Trees  More Photoshop experimentation.

2 thoughts on “The Early Years – My Photographic History

  1. Glad I found your blog. I’ve had cameras my whole but I’ve never had a good one until this past Christmas. I am really slowly learning how to use my camera and will be tackling the photo editing part of it all at some point. Your pictures look great. I’m looking forward to seeing more.

    Liked by 1 person

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