“Experimental: A Single Step”

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)

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  1. I remember when I took photography in High School and was handed a big huge camera and told to go out and take photo’s, it was 30 below 0 out and I can’t remember one photo I took or even developed on my own…I think my brain froze! lol..


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