Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Shooting versus shooting (versus shooting?)

Mike at The Online Photographer talks about how long he's shot film versus how long he's shot digital, and he makes an interesting delineation in noting that, while he really caught the photography bug in 1980, he'd been taking pictures for nearly a dozen years before that.

That resonated with me, because while I started working in a photo lab in '90 and all my "serious photography stuff" happened between 1990 and 1993, I grew up with a camera around.

Dad worked in camera stores most of my childhood, and the first film I remember exposing was a roll of black and white Instamatic film on a field trip to the U-505 in first grade. I'd received the little GAF, with its very Seventies woodgrain trim for birthday or Christmas, and most of that first roll consisted of badly flash-burned pictures of the back of the classmate ahead of me in line as we shuffled through the submarine display at the museum.

In high school I'd graduated to some simple 35mm so I could bore people with vacation slides, and I took a darkroom class, but the only time I would have labeled photography as a hobby was that stretch from '90 through the very beginning of '93. Those were the years I had access to free processing, as well as employee discounts on film and printing. It's easy to forget, these days, that each press of the shutter button used to have an actual price tag.

Similarly, while I got my first digital camera in 2001, I wouldn't have described photography as any sort of hobby. I labored along with a series of point-and-shoots until taking the plunge on a couple of cheap used Rebel bodies in 2013.

But then I also started dabbling with film again back in 2015...

So that's twenty-two years with film, with maybe seven of it serious, and eighteen with digital, and six of that being serious.

Canon EOS 7D, EF 24-105mm f/4L IS
It's much the same way I look at the arc of my gun-owning/shooting. I have owned firearms since I turned eighteen, but the arc of my real growth as a shooter didn't begin until probably 2010 or so, when I really began seeking training and taking dry-fire practice seriously.