In The Beginning
By John Krill
It’s always good to know who’s talking to you. So I’ll start off by telling you a little about myself.
Why did you get started with photography? I was born into it. My dad’s avocation was photography. When he was a teenager he had his own darkroom in the basement of the family home. I saw that darkroom once in the 50’s and it was as big or bigger than any darkroom I ever worked in. Dad didn’t make photography is profession but he kept at it all his life.
I got the photography bug very early in life. I was 6 or 7 when I took my mother’s box camera out for a day and took pictures of the local kids. The only problem was I had to come up with the $1 needed to send the camera in to get the film processed and another roll put into the camera. So I washed the car, and washed it again, and again. Even in the 50’s photography wasn’t cheap.
In 1958 I saved up $40 from delivering newspapers and bought my first 35mm camera, a Kodak Pony 135, Model C. That camera was my learning tool. And it was a very good learning tool. You could set the focus, aperture, and shutter speed. That’s all you need to make good photos. Everything else that has been added to cameras in the past 60 years just makes the process a little easier but you still need to know the relationship between focus, aperture, shutter speed and of course the film’s ISO (In the day of film ISO was then ASA.)
For the next several years it was me and my Pony 135.
What was your best photographic accomplishment? In 1965 I signed up for the Marines. 4 years. I’m good but not smart. I could have enlisted for fewer years but the way things turned out 4 years was just right.
I actually hoped to get to Vietnam with a camera and use that work to get back to Vietnam with some news organization. Any news organization. Things worked out a little differently. It took me 3 ½ years to get to Vietnam but in the 5 months I was there I took the best work I’ve ever done.
By the end of my enlistment, and back in the U.S., I had no desire to get back to Vietnam. Still don’t.
You can view the work I did in Vietnam here: www.photoessayist.com/vietnam.
What inspires you? I just enjoy being a documentary photographer. Doing social commentary. And creating photo-stories. I just love Hulu. Haven’t put a book up yet but I’m getting very close.
My favorite activity is walking around with the camera and photographing anything that interests me. With digital cameras photography has become fun again.
The Book Department. If you’re just starting out in photography there are hundreds of books to chose from. I offer my input here. Chasing the Light: Improving Your Photography with Available Light by Ibarionex Perello. It’s available at Amazon for $27.09.
To learn more about me go to photoessaysit.com. All my early work is there.
You can contact me through twitter - @johnskrill. Everytime I post to any of my three blogs I will twitter.
So there it is. I love photography. I enjoy the whole digital process from camera to the web or the printer and now creating books at Hulu. None of this was possible in the film era. Color prints were very expensive and getting a book published? Good luck with that.
One More Fact About Me. I’m very cheap. If a $700 camera will do what I require then $700 it is. I will rarely spend one extra penny if it isn’t necessary. I purchase what I NEED not what I WANT. I wanted the Nikon D7000 but all I needed was the Nikon D5100. Same sensor, same processor, and same 14-bit RAW files. Yes the RAW files are compressed on the D5100 but I challenge you to see the difference between D5100 and D7000 RAW files.
Where I will spend money is on the lens. Since I use only one lens it should be the best I can afford. But more on that later.
In Closing. As you may have guessed I’ve been around a while but I still get excited about photography and I’m always open to new ideas. I’m still learning. Everyday.
I love this stuff.
Original contents copyright 2012 by John S. Krill and/or the bylined author. All Rights Reserved.