Split Personality


A friend of mine was sitting down during his work break when I took a few informal photos of him. This is my preferred way to take portraits. When I got to printing the negatives in the darkroom (and to make the imageĀ  more interesting) I took two halfs of two different shots and printed them separately, but on the same sheet of photo print paper. It gave it a split effect, thus I call this one “Split Personality”.


My Photo Journey Thus Far

Yashica FX-2

I have been an avid amateur photographer since the 1980’s. I first picked up an old 110 camera that my mother had and started my visual journey. Not long after in 1986, I picked up a used Yashica FX-2 for around $100 bucks. I was excited about the 35mm format and it’s superior quality over the 110! Soon I was taking my camera everywhere shooting anything I viewed as photogenic. I enjoyed capturing friends, family and still scenes (preferable because they didn’t move).

I remember someone commenting on one of the first photo’s I took with my Yashica of a glass window cracked and shattered and they said it looked very “artistic”. Comments from friends that my pictures were “really good” always kept me going even though the personal pleasure of “capturing time” has always been the main drive.

In 1987, I studied black and white printing at George Brown College and really loved the prints we made even though the chemicals smelled and we wasted a lot of materials in the process but we had a lot of fun. In fact, I still have most of my prints from those days.

In 1994 I picked up a Minolta X370 because of its light weight body. (I have a similar problem with guitars, many of them [mainly electric] are very heavy and can make your shoulder sore after a good while). That camera had been my main body until I got my first digital camera.

About the mid 1990’s I was asked by several people to be the Official Photographer at ther wedding. This was when I was showing off my black and white prints and impressed so many people that they wanted the same treatment for their wedding. I took a basic rate of pay since I did not want to mis-represent myself as a pro-wedding photoman (and in case I screwed up the whole thing). I ended up getting another camera body Yashica FX-3 so one was loaded with colour and the other with B&W film. After several weddings over the span of five years, I found the work repetitive and exhausting being a lone shooter and my equipment was substandard. Even though everyone seemed to like my work, I was not satisfied with the results and decided unless it was a special favour, that I would not do another wedding until I had proper equipment and a dedicated assistant.

As a music lover, I often found myself shooting concerts and it was great to get a souvenir of some memorable shows. One show I regret not getting my camera in was for the Staple Singers in 1995. We got so close to Pops Staples rocking on his Telecaster that they would have been exellent closeup shots…and only a few years later he passed away.

I still havent purchased a really good digital camera yet. My sister in-law gave me her Sony 3.2 MP camera in 2004 but it doesn’t have a decent zoom feature. In 2007 I picked up a little Pentax Optio E10 with 6MP quality. I have been having fun with my little Optio but it lacks a fast shutter so you have to hold it so still in low light and the flash, well it’s pretty weak. Despite all these weaknesses, I have been taking a lot more pictures since one doesn’t have to worry about cost of film anymore…I also like the colour resolution in digital pictures and the ease of editing on the computer.

So the journey continues…

P.S. I will be featuring some of my pictures and stories about them in future blog entries.