you’ve come a long way, baby

I’ve taken pictures for the better part of my life. I have a few albums at my parents’ house of pictures of almost basically nothing, captured forever on a 110 camera I was allowed to use. There are shots of a jack rabbit through my bedroom window in Texas, blurry from the motion as well as the screen. There are some of plants. Just plants. There are a few of temporary brilliance of the space shuttle piggy-backing on a 747, but it’s otherwise all shlock.

A little older and I got a Yashica 35mm that I got a little bit more considered with. I at least took pictures OF something for a change. There’s the kid getting trash-canned in summer camp, a fountain, a shadow from fence latticework, a seagull behind a boat in the setting sun. Some of them are not bad, and a bit of the artistic imagery is starting to shine through.

Fast forward a bit more and I have a Minolta SLR with a couple of lenses. This camera went to college with me, to Europe, too holidays and points in between. I never took the stereotypical college photography class but I did learn how to develop B&W photos from a friend who did. I spent many a solitary hour in the darkroom looking at my images come to life…some of which still hang on my walls to this day. Pictures of hallways, a ditch digger, my girlfriend. Granted legitimacy perhaps because of the bleak color scheme and perhaps because of my developing eye.

Next a Fuji digi-cam, stolen then replaced with another one I still own. Nothing of significance happens during this multi-year period. It is a dark time.

A year or so ago, a friend at work got a DSLR, and in a fit of jealousy and envy, I got one, too (a Sony). Then it became all pictures all the time and a long-lived passion was re-ignited. I started taking pictures of bands, earned a few photo-passes, got in a few online magazines, shot some album covers, and was even published. Things were better. So much so that I upgraded in a little over a year and now rock a Canon 7d, a half-a half- a dozen lenses, a home studio, business cards, and a website (davekleeman.com).

What a difference a day makes.

I’ve yet to make any money doing this, but then, it seems it may only be a matter of time…

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