Photography

My photographic history: My first attempts at photography — that is, controlling the entire process, from camera to final presentation — came in high school, when I had some friends who were doing it. My early attempts at darkroom work were not very successful, due to both a lack of experience and poor equipment. I got much better at black and white photography in college and graduate school, where I had access to much better darkroom equipment, but color printing was still too difficult to do routinely (I did some color printing with the Cibachrome kits, but that was hard enough to get good results from that I still sent most of my color slides that I wanted prints from off to commercial processors — with somewhat mixed results). With the development of digital photography and programs like Adobe Photoshop in the 1990s, a lot of new possibilities opened up, and I got an early version of Photoshop, a slide scanner, and a color printer (all pretty primitive, compared to what’s available now, but a much better alternative to the all-chemical processes that went before). When digital cameras started appearing, around the same time, they didn’t seem to me, at first, to be as good as the film cameras I was still using, but by 2002, they seemed to have gotten good enough (and affordable enough) to give them a try. Still skeptical, I took a whole roll of scenes at Lassen National Park, on a skiing trip, with my preferred film at the time (Fujichrome Velvia), and the same scenes with my new digital camera, an Olympus E-10. The digital photos looked every bit as good as the film ones, and I’ve been using digital cameras ever since (eliminating the need to develop the film and then scan the slides was a huge incentive, as well as the novelty of essentially zero cost per picture). My current main camera is a Pentax K-3, and most of my pictures are taken with a Tamron 18-250mm zoom lens, which covers the range I need for most situations. For some of the wildlife shots needing a longer telephoto range, I’ve used either a 500mm mirror lens, or a 50-500mm zoom lens (good for getting a full-face closeup of a lion or an elephant without having to get too close). The collections I’ve presented here (so far.. more to come as I can get to them…) include both film and digital original pictures, depending on when they were taken. I’d welcome comments or questions about any of them.

Nature and Wildlife Pictures

Family Pictures