Happy Father's Day! I wanted to dedicate today's Quick Shot post to my Dad, Paul, who has inspired many of my interests and some of my photography.
My dad is a geek. He loves electronics and gadgets. Since my mom is repulsed by most things with a plug, I'm going to assume my own love of technology and gadgetry came from my dad!
I remember family vacations growing up where my dad would have his camcorder that required him to tote a VCR over his shoulder for the camera to write to ... years later the bulky VCR sling was replaced with a bigger camcorder that could write to tapes stored internally. It's the oldest memory I have of my dad with some type of photographic equipment (and I bet that camcorder is still in our basement somewhere!). In the basement of my parents home is a box of tapes containing footage I shot in Yellowstone National Park..... I remember feeling like I was making a Hollywood production with that giant camera sitting on my shoulder and was constantly nagging at my dad to let me have a turn filming it.
Some years later my dad gave me my first camera for Christmas. It was film, but unlike the film of my dad's Minolta, this camera took special film that didn't require the careful loading (110 film). This camera was magical. I took hundreds of photos and couldn't wait until it was time to pick up the prints from the drive-through film processing place down the street. (On a side note, talk about times changing - I don't think those places exist, yet they used to be on every street corner!)
Digital cameras came a few years later. My dad's first digital camera was this giant blue camera that probably had 1 megapixel resolution. I remember sitting with him and being enamored by the ability to see your photo instantly. It's probably been 15 years since we purchased that camera, but it seems like just yesterday that I was using it! It's absolutely amazing the technology advances we've seen in the past few decades, yet my dad and I still catch ourselves saying "wow, a gigabyte of memory.... we will never need more memory than that!"
As my photography evolved from an interest into a profession, my dad was there to offer advice and enjoyed playing with my new gadgets. He's also offered a bit of inspiration to my work.
Growing up my dad had a model train set in his basement. I loved putting an engine on the tracks and watching it zip around the train set at full speed (my dad did not endorse the full speed bit - I think he was white knuckled the whole time!). At some point, my dad's interest in trains flipped to an interest in airplanes, which, I suspect, is partially my fault and came as a result of a science fair project I did with airplanes. The train set was replaced with a collection of RC and model airplanes and my mom dubs this part of the basement the "transportation mall" because you can find just about any mode of transportation represented there! We went to air shows and with great envy, my dad would take me to space camp.
As you flip through my galleries, you'll see one dedicated to airplanes and one dedicated to trains - I'd go so far as to say that my interest in photographing these subjects is a result of being raised around them. My dad used to tell me to "look at the detail" in the world, and I suspect he's inspired more of my work than just the airplanes and trains I've photographed.
Thanks, dad, for teaching me so much about photography and for inspiring my work.
Happy Father's Day!