|It is rare that I get overly excited about material things, but this Christmas I was given one of the most meaningful gifts I have ever received and I just have to share the story with you.
I believe it was 1998 when my Dad handed me what would soon become my most treasured possession - a fully manual 35mm Olympus camera. Since there was nothing automatic on it, I was forced to learn everything about photography - from exposure to simply focusing and then with my fingers crossed I would spend hours on end (many times into the wee hours of the morning) in the darkroom lovingly watching my black & white photos come to life.
Years went by and I moved into the world of digital, forgetting about my old friend. Even after it was sold, I didn't really give it a second thought. This past year however, I started thinking back on how far I had come in photography and mentioned to my Dad that it would be really neat to have that old Olympus back.
Well, much to my surprise, he miraculously found the person he had sold it to and bought it back for me. You should have seen my face when I opened the box! I can't begin to explain how appreciative I am that my Dad introduced me to photography and for the opportunity to use his old camera as my first tool. Every time I pick up my technologically enhanced camera today, I still find myself applying the same methodologies that were learned from this one. No amount of technology can overcome a misunderstanding of f-stops and apertures. And this old camera provided me just that...a rewarding and in those early years, humbling, series of lessons on the fundamentals of great photography. I will forever be thankful!