A Missed Opportunity
My first camera arrived in my stocking one Christmas morning when I was around 6 years old (circa 1968 give or take a year). It was a little plastic instamatic and my older sister and I both received one. Problem was, mine was broken. I felt sad briefly, and moved on to other toys.
Some time later, I saw my sister's first batch of square glossy black & white pictures and was amazed. Of course I had seen plenty of photos before, but these were different... she had created them. I felt a sense of loss that I couldn't do the same. It would be over a decade before I would get a chance to make my own pictures.
The Early Years
In my second year of post-secondary education a good friend had a spare Olympus OM-1 that he wasn't using. He loaned it to me so I could be the fraternity photographer. The venerable OM-1 came complete with a 28 mm prime lens, and a 75-150 zoom, along with a large bracket flash. I was in business! I learned to love that 28 mm lens as I documented road trips and assorted other shenanigans.
Eventually I found myself wandering in abandoned industrial areas on the Toronto waterfront, among decaying buildings from the past. In the summer, I would load the camera with black & white film and wander the countryside. My family noticed my new hobby and gave me photography books. I taught myself the basics, and kept on creating photographs. Unfortunately, all those pictures are now lost.
The OM-1 (which I ended up buying) documented a large 6½ week trip with my bride-to-be, as we camped our way across Canada and back through the U.S. in 1986. It accompanied us to Germany and Austria in 1993. And then it went away.
The Recent Past
In December of 2006, I moved from small digital cameras to a Canon digital SLR system. As I wandered through the woods and villages of Ontario and elsewhere, I worked with whatever grabbed my attention, often without knowing why. My inspiration came from what I saw. The greatest lesson I learned in those days is to always work the photographic opportunity when you see it, because it probably won't be there for you later (especially if you forget and walk right past on the return trip).
During this period, I amassed a lot of (expensive) equipment, not all of which I really ended up using. It weighed a lot, so of course I also ended up with a large camera bag collection. Then, I finally saw the light.
In Spring 2012, I made the switch to the Micro Four-Thirds system. I started this part of my photographic adventure by finally committing to OCOLOY: One camera, one lens, one year. And the lens was a 40 mm prime (actually, 20 mm on the Micro 4/3 camera). I loved it. After learning that lens, I slowly added a few more very carefully selected Micro 4/3 primes, and a few accessories. (And upgraded the camera, once.) My whole kit today weighs less than a single lens from the giant full-frame days. My back thanks me. And I can be prepared to create anytime.
I hope you enjoy these photographs I have created during my travels here and there...