It was so good to hear how many of you enjoy last weeks post, and if you missed it, here is the link to it, Becoming a photographer – Part 1 of how I got started.
This week I’m going to tell you the next part. I had thought that next week would be the finish of it, but after looking at this today I am going to need to break it up into more parts. I hope you will be okay with that.
So, where were we? Last week we finished with me moving to Melbourne and 3 years after that meeting my husband. I’m not going to say those 3 years were easy, because they weren’t. We all deal with grief in different ways and I had my own journey. I’m not going to go into that here, because really, it isn’t important for this story.
So I met Dave and we started going out together and then we got married 9 months later. It was quick, but really it was also because we thought we were going overseas. It didn’t happen, but the marriage did. Not long after we got married Dave thought we should get a camera. Obviously, it was going to a point and click sort of thing. He picked it out and we ended up getting it from overseas through a friend. It has always been cheaper to get stuff from overseas.
I did use the camera, but I don’t know if I have any photos from it, or where they would be. However, it made me like taking photos again and at the beginning of 1993 he asked me what I wanted for my birthday. I don’t know why, but it seemed like the right time to ask and I said I wanted a camera that I could have more control over. One where I could change the settings, have manual settings. We happened to be in Sydney at the time visiting his mum and he had an uncle that had once had a camera store. We asked him what he thought would be the best camera and he came back with the Pentax K1000. He said it would cost around $200.
I had to wait for it, only a couple of weeks but then we found out, once it was too late, that it was going to cost $400. I had it by then and a new photography journey started.
If you don’t know the camera then let me help you, it was a completely manual camera. The only auto thing to it, if you could say that, was the light meter inside it. There was a needle that went up and down inside the viewfinder that told you if your image would be too light or too dark. To get the best exposure it needed to be in the middle.
It has to be said, I knew nothing about aperture, ISO or shutter speed. Though having said that you didn’t really need to know ISO as that was determined by the film you used. I did know that bright sunlight was for ISO100 and as it got darker you went up the numbers to 800 or more. Then all I had to do was use the shutter speed and the aperture to get that needle in the middle. It is amazing that any of my photos worked.
Here are some photos from one of my rolls of film.
I am always amazed that I got anything. I guess that needle did the job, though I wouldn’t want to look too closely.
I only did black and white. I thought if I’m going to get serious about my photography then I need to do B&W. I have no idea why I thought that, but it is what I did.
Of course, shooting in black and white presented some interesting challenges. Beyond the obvious and of what works and what doesn’t, you had to develop and print it all yourself. I mean you could send the film out, but it was so expensive. To help me with that I enrolled in a black and white printing short course. In it, I learned how to load the film into a cannister to develop it and then how to actually do that. After that, we got into printing.
I loved it, or so I thought. My husband agreed to let me buy what I needed and I turned the bathroom in our flat into a darkroom. I was all set to develop and print my own images.
I did it a lot initially.
There are some of those photos I took that first year. These are just the scanned negatives. I’m not sure how many I printed or where they all are now. I might have to see if I can find them for you one day. However, I should point out, that I did develop all of these films.
Unfortunately, it all came crashing down when in September that year, 1993, I found out I was pregnant with my first daughter. I was told it was safe to use the darkroom, but I didn’t want to risk it. So I sort of put the camera away while Dave and I got ready for our first baby.
We were house hunting and doing all the things that you do at that stage. I really didn’t get back into it for about 3 years. By then our daughter had been born and not long after we went to live in Denmark for about 7 months. When we came back I was pregnant again with our second daughter. When she was almost a year old I picked it up again. However, this post is already very long, so we can continue that part next week.
Next week, Part 3 is about how I started to get really serious about photography and finally learning what I needed. This part should take us up to around 2003.