Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Just like my Dad....by (Angela) Jean

I have always loved taking photos and have had my own camera for as long as I can remember. I have a very clear memory of taking some of my birthday money, riding my bike up to Consumer's Distributing on Talbot Street in St.Thomas, filling out one of those little paper forms to request the item I wanted, and then being thrilled when the box containing my new camera came rolling out on the conveyor belt.  It was this one, and it used 110 film.

A few years later I owned a Kodak Disk camera.
It took horrendous photos, but I loved that thing, and took it everywhere. My friends called it The Deadly Disk because I always had it in my pocket and you never knew when I would whip it out to capture the moment.

My youngest brother was born when I was almost 12 years old. I know I had a camera at the time because I have photo albums filled with blurry photos of him as a baby looking stunned by the flash.

My Mom 1973
My Dad was my earliest and most significant photographic influence. He owned a 35mm Olympus SLR camera when I was a kid, and I'm pretty sure he's been loyal to the Olympus brand ever since. My Dad taught me to really look at what I was photographing....to make sure I noticed what was in the background. He taught me to pay attention to whether I "had the feet in the shot". (I think his biggest pet peeve was shots of people cropped off at the knee but with miles of empty sky above their heads.) My Dad taught me to pay attention to where the light was coming from. He helped me to resist the urge to shoot on a really sunny day, that the light was better on a cloudy day, or in the shade. He loved taking photos of the outdoors-gardens, trees, and animals, but I'm pretty sure that if you take a look through the photo albums at my parents' house you will see that the majority of his photos are of people. Mostly my Mom, and us kids.

I'm currently in the process of scanning trays and trays...and trays of my Dad's old slides. Sorting and dating all the images appeals to my compulsive organizing side, but it's taking me much longer than it should because I can't stop staring at the photos and getting lost in the memories.
Me circa 1978
My sister Sara, brother F.R. and me 1980
My Dad also taught me to use the camera self timer. Since my Mom didn't take photos, the only photos with my Dad in them are the ones where he used the timer, like this one from Christmas 1974.

Times have changed, and we have all moved to digital now-even my Dad! He has a DSLR, and if I'm not mistaken, it's still an Olympus.

(I am in love with my Nikon, but my sister and sister-in-law are Canon girls through and through.)

What hasn't changed is our love of taking photos. My Dad still impresses me with his nature shots.

 And he's still a wiz with the self-timer, precariously balancing the camera on ledges and rocks whenever he gets the chance.
Mom and Dad in Aruba

My parents are currently on an Alaskan cruise.
I can't wait to see the photos.

1 comment:

  1. You are an awesome photographer, Angela! I now understand your love of photography, and see you had/have a wonderful mentor who inspired that artistic side of you.

    Keep up the awesome work!