Back around the same time digital photography was beginning to dawn, my grandfather sent Kelly his old SLR 35-mm camera. It was in perfect condition and took beautiful pictures, and she spent a lot of time roaming around Vancouver making very cool black and white images.
A lot of them were of me, and this was entirely to my benefit. Before Grandpa’s Camera, I was awkward before the lens and hated almost every image taken of me. While K was learning to take better pictures, I invested some time and attention both in becoming a better subject and in appreciating a wider range of me-pictures. Here’s a random portrait:
Now, as more than one of you probably knows, I’m obnoxious on this topic–I did it, and I liked the result, so in the typical way of humans I can easily be led into preaching about how everyone else should do the same.
(But really! You should! Because people take more pictures than ever of you. And they put them on the Internet without asking. And this is the age of the selfie! And other reasons as well!)
I brought home books from the library. Hundreds and hundreds of books on photography for K to read. Ansel Adams and Henri Cartier-Bresson and history of this and collections of that. And while I didn’t absorb more than a minute fraction of the content, I looked at all the pictures. Knowledge soaked in: I can tell a good photo from a bad one now, even if I can’t always articulate why. And I loooove good pictures.
That was 1997ish. Dad was alive (we obliged him to build a darkroom in our bathroom and our cat Obi clawed the living crap out of his hand by way of thanks) and I had just started writing fulltime. In 2001 I was toting a Polaroid around, because by then I’d found that, occasionally, I wanted a picture of something for writing purposes. It suited me to have the picture that very second, dammit, so I could write down why I thought it was important.
This didn’t work out so well, so in 2003, I bought my first digital. I’ve taken well over 15,000 images since then, with four different cameras. The further back you go in time on my Flickr account, the less impressive they are.
So, with that long wind-up, I offer you my photo pinboard. This is for pictures by other photographers, images I think are wonderful, interspersed with the occasional infographic on technique.