When you go to the farm, don't chase the geese!
When you chase the geese, the geese sweat.
When the geese sweat, the geese lose weight.
When the geese lose weight, the farmer loses money.
So ... Don't Chase The Geese!
Photography Department Head
Camp Airy 1969
With those words, I was introduced to the "sport" of photography as a camper at Camp Airy. Armed with Grete's instructions, a Kodak Instamatic 100, and a cartridge of black and white film, I set out with my bunkmates to take some snapshots of the animals and buildings on the camp farm. When we returned to the camp's photo lab twenty minutes later, our counselor removed the cartridges from our cameras, placed them in a small envelope with our name and bunk number, and sent us off to the swimming pool for our afternoon swim.
During subsequent visits to the darkroom, we developed the film, made contact prints, and enlarged our favorite to 5x7. Certainly, that was cool ... but what really got to me was watching Grete, a professional photographer, coax a piece of art from her camera to a finished framed product. I wanted to be able to do that too! For the next nine years, I returned to the photo lab every summer, set up a darkroom in our crawl space using an enlarger that I got for my Bar Mitzvah, joined the Photo Club in Junior High ... and failed to produce any memorable pieces of art. I could see the pictures in my head when I took them, but I could never manage to get them into my camera and on to the photo paper.
Fast forward to 2015 ... over forty years! I had just retired from my job as the Director of Camp Airy. My wife and I were planning a big retirement trip to Italy. She suggested that we purchase good cameras to take with us and even signed us up for a Groupon photography class to learn how to use them. That first class, in retrospect, wasn't very informative but my "photography lightbulb" had been turned back on. Numerous classes to learn today’s technology workflows as well as field experiences and bucket list trips have followed. My desire to create the kind of photograph I had seen in the darkroom at summer camp has been fulfilled.