This was my first complete photograph taken more years ago than I care to remember. Complete because it was the first time I had ever taken a photograph… developed the film… and printed and processed the final print. It was my sophomore year in high school… I had just joined the yearbook staff… and was handed a Rollei twin lens reflex and sent to cover a track meet. My first attempt at photography with other than a “point and shoot” snapshot camera was a disaster. I attempted to capture a shot-put competitor just after the shot was released.
The photo was underexposed… blurred… and poorly composed. In making the print… I had the photo-paper in the enlarger easel crooked… and even managed to fog the border. Obviously… it was destined for the trash… but my darkroom mentor recommended that I keep it. He said not only would it be a reminder of how not to do something… but later I could look back on this photograph and remember fondly of how it all began.
Confucius is reported to have said… “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” For me in photography it was more like a stumble. But photography has remained an important part of my life since that first single step.
(Reposted from “Galen’s Hideaway” December 6, 2005)