Why and Where I Waste My Film
Given that I now live in Davis Square, in Somerville, MA, USA, I spend most of my time photographing scenes in the city: Harvard Square, downtown Boston, Quincy Marketplace, Davis Square, the Charles River, and wherever else I can manage. When I visit my family in Maine, I also tend to take photos there. In addition, there is a state park in Rockport, MA called Halibut Point State Park where I also enjoy spending time.
One might figure that the city is the perfect place to work on photojournalistic styles of getting people in the scene and looking at the "human condition", whatever that means. However, I've found that I just can't be that rude. Maybe some day I'll be able to walk up to a group of strangers somewhere in the city and just start taking pictures but for now I'm content not to piss people off. Maybe they don't care. But I'm not about to test the limits of human patience.
I started back into photography after doing some research for a new point and shoot (P&S) camera. I was getting sick of my crappy APS zoom camera and I really wanted a 35mm replacement. After looking around the web and Usenet (Google Groups for those of you who haven't learned how to use a real newsreader :) ) I found two sites that had a great deal of information: photo.net and Photography with a Compact. Once I decided on a good P&S camera (a Yashica T4 Super) I realized that it would be fun to haul out my old equipment and start taking some real photos.
I learned how to use a true 35mm SLR when I was six - at Erving Elementary School. In addition to learning the finer points of using the SLR I also learned darkroom techniques from film development to print enlargement. Unfortunately, that was the last time I worked in a darkroom until ninth grade when I had a short section of my art class related to photography - only lasting a few weeks. Regardless, I never really learned composition and lighting - what is pleasing and what is just garbage (most of my shots fall into the latter category). Because I spend a lot of time at work I really wanted to get out and try something more right-brained (or opposite-brained, I can never get the two sides straight). So, I pulled out my inherited equipment, had it all cleaned, and started taking photos. Which leaves me to where I am today - taking photos and slowly (very slowly) getting better.