Monday, February 26, 2007

The Learning Process

On a fine day in the winter of January 1987 I drove down what is known locally as "Drought Hill" towards Peachland on Highway 97 over looking Okanagan lake in British Columbia, in my car was my new found love of camera gear: a 4 x 5 Tachihara view camera, I was still learning how to use the camera as I had only owned the fine little wooden camera for a little over a year ( bought in December 1985 ), my first impressions of using the view camera was, "how am I ever going to make pictures with thing ?" it seemed impossible,being on a tripod, the image upside down and backwards and up until the 4 x 5 came along I had never shot with anything larger than 35-mm format, I will admit that the first picture results were not all that great.

I quietly put the camera away in my bedroom closet and was not sure if I should sell it or keep it. Then in late 1986 I dusted the camera off, bought a new lens, ( a Schneider 120-mm ) and started to make pictures, but I was still not having great results. I found from personal experience when I am struggling with learning something new at least photographically there is always that inspiring shot that is like tuning a corner, or seeing the sun break through the clouds after a dreary storm, and this shot made 20 years ago is what made me go "wow!" I can remember looking at the print that emerged in the tray of developer in the darkroom and though , "okay this 4 x 5 camera really is something".

This post is not about using a 4 x 5 camera, I write about the 4 x 5 as its from my own personal experience with learning something new and at times difficult. I think the the learning experience is what is important, whether one is using digital or film, the thing is to persevere and not give up ! During these past few years I have been learning to digitally printing, which I am really enjoying,( and I shoot digitally at work, Nikon D2Hs ) I am still learning and continue to be challenged by the changing technology of today and the opportunity to better my work.

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