_______________________________________________________Hogback Mountain_____________________________________________________

I have been taking pictures since I was a kid, first borrowing my mother's camera, which was something like a 120 size film camera.  120 was an open roll that you loaded into the camera.  My first camera that I bought, used the 110 cartridges.  It was a Kodak Pocket Instamatic 10 camera that was introduced in 1973.  The specs:  25mm (f11.0), (1/1) fixed-focus lens, mechanical shutter with speed of 1/90 of a second, designed for flash-cubes with a flash speed of 1/40 of a second and no exposure control.

Then in 1975 or 1976 I stepped into the world of SLR (Single Lens Reflex) cameras buying a 35mm Minolta SRT201 with totally manual exposure.  I attended a daylong photography class sponsored by Jack Rabbit, the local photography and developing store in Spartanburg.  It helped me choose between the Minolta and Canon's TX model.  The Minolta had a few more features.  I considered Canon's AE-1 which was brand new as well, but I was not interested in the automatic exposure as much as having full control.  What was I thinking?  The AE-1 was a little awkward when trying to use in full manual.  Had I gone with it, I would probably still be a Canon man.  Both my brothers bought the AE-1, so I had to be different of course.  The purchased SRT201 was the model a, which was to change a few more times over the next few years, before Minolta introduced the XD and XG models.  It has a locking depth-of-field preview button, FP and X-sync hotshoe, and does not have the split-rangefinder in the center of the viewfinder, only the microprism focusing screen.  I got the standard 50mm f1.7 lens and eventually added a 135mm f2.8 and a 28mm f2.8 lens.  In 1985 I purchased the new zoom lens from Vivitar, a 120-600mm f5.6-f8 lens and also added a 2X extender to result in an effective 1200mm lens at f16 when coupled together.  This lens is for tripod mounting only, as it weigh quite a bit and is relatively slow.  I used this gear until 2003.  In the late 1990s I noticed some problems with exposure, but failed to attribute it to the meter battery until 2007.  Now, with a new battery,  I am still using the gear on occasion. 

In 2003, I purchased my first digital camera:  Pentax's first model Optio at 3 MP and 3 times optical zoom.  It was the size of a pack of cigarettes and quite handy.  It did have some lens abberations off to the left side as was noted in some reviews.  I ignored it for several years, but eventually I wanted better resolution and missed my interchangable lenses, so I explored the world of digital SLRs. 

In April 2007, I purchased the new Nikon D80 that was introduced in September of 2006.  It came as a kit paired up with an 18-135mm f3.5 lens.  Over the spring, summer and fall, I took many pictures of wildflowers in my work related travels.  The 10 MP resolution and zoom lens afforded me great results as I learned about the camera, enjoying the immediate feedback of each picture taken. 

In March of 2008, I purchased a Nikon 18-200mm f3.5 VR(Vibration Reduction) lens to replace my original lens which received a boo-boo and had to go back to Nikon for a month's worth of repair.  However this wasn't all bad as the new lens is all the rave as a do-it-all-lens and with VR, reduces the need for a tripod in low lighting.  I haven't used the original lens since it's return. 

In May, I eased into the macro world with a Nikon 105mm f2.8 VR Micro lens.  I used to experiment with macro and close-up photography using my 35mm SLR and turning the 50mm lens around backwards, but metering control was difficult and without bellows, you only had one distance that was in focus.  This 105 lens is very good and gives you greater range, from infinity down to one-to-one lifesize shots.  You have to use a tripod when shooting macro due to the narrow depth of field and detail that can be seen.  A puff of wind is your worst enemy, but it's a new world filled with uncommon views, allowing the capturing of almost microscopic details of flowers and bugs. 

I'm also starting to experiment with portrait photography to capture those special moments as the family grows.  I bought the speedlights and umbrellas that sit on the stands, hoping for that professional look.   Maybe I'll have some for display soon. 

Now I hope to share with you my pictures of the world around us, as I see and enjoy it.  Click on My Photography to see some of my work and the link on that page for the option to purchase prints.  Thank you for your interest and enjoy.