|... continued from Part 1: 1975 ...|
While in junior high I was earning money with a paper route. I was saving up that money, plus any other money that might come my way (birthday, Christmas, etc.) to buy myself a single-lens reflex (SLR) camera. Once in a while I would go down to Weaver's Camera Store and drool over the cameras behind the display glass (which kept them dry!). One day I saw a nice camera on sale at a good price. The salesman told me that the store had recently been broken in to, and some of the camera equipment had been stolen. The police recovered most or all of it, and the camera for sale was one of those that had been stolen. Only a very slight scratch on the metal part of the camera body kept it from being sold at full price. The price reduction brought it within my reach, and soon I was the proud owner of a Pentax Pentax Spotmatic F SLR.
During high school I took all sorts of pictures all over the place. I kept saving my money, and over time I was able to add telephoto zoom and wide angle lenses, as well as a huge Honeywell Strobonar flash to my kit. Eventually some opportunities opened up for me to spread my photographic wings and put my abilities to greater use. A couple of months before my 17th birthday my cousin Susie asked me to be the main photographer at her wedding (seems like she was definitely doing things on the cheap!). I was pretty nervous, but it went well and I got good shots. Also, during both my junior and senior years of high school I was on the yearbook staff as one of the principal photographers (as documented in the picture to the left).
During college I didn't do any "official" photography like I did during high school, but I continued to take quite a few photos while I attended Allan Hancock College in Santa Maria and Cal Poly State University in San Luis Obispo. It was during that time that I took this self portrait in the bathroom at my parents' house. I angled the mirror on the medicine cabinet door so that my image reflected in it and the large mirror on the wall at the same time. You can vaguely make out my bushy hair and my Pentax camera.
When I finally graduated from college in 1985, I made plans to attend a Discipleship Training School with Youth With A Mission in Scotland. I wasn't going to be able to lug my bulky and heavy camera equipment overseas, and I needed to raise money for the trip. So the melancholy day arrived when I sold my entire camera system, lock, stock and barrel. But I had not abandoned photography!
The journey continues in Part 3: 1986–2006 ...