Thanks for all of the flattering words, but there's really no one thing
that got me going. My late wife's father had a small studio after WWII,
doing portraits, class pictures for schools, and commercial work with a
4x5 Speed Graphic. I had shown an interest in his work, so, after we
were married, he gave me a simple Kodak Flash Brownie 620. I received my
BSAE and my USAF commission the same day in 1951, and was assigned to
Wright-Patterson AFB in Dayton, OH. With no car, we walked the
neighborhood on weekends, and I took photos.
Fortunately or not, there was camera store about three blocks from our
apartment, Salem Camera Shop, that had a used camera department in the
basement. I found it an attraction, and browsed its wares for some time
before my finances permitted me to take the plunge. I came down to a
choice between a new Retina IIa or a used/reconditioned Leica IIIa with
a 50/3.5 Coated Elmar. I finally chose the 1934 Leica.
The only formal course I ever completed was a USAF correspondence Photo
Officer's course as part of my Air Force Reserve activities.
As my family grew, I shot the usual family occasions and vacations. As
my work responsibilities grew, my photo activities shrunk. It was not
until I retired in 1992 that I got back to serious photography. I had
been flying for many years and it was my obsession. Then, in 1993, I
had a type of heart surgery that denied me a Flight Physical
Certificate, so my flying days were over, and I turned back to photography.
I first joined the Leica Users Group, to share my work, and learn from
others. Then, in 2008, because film processing dried up in my area, I
turned to digital, and bought a brand new Olympus E-510 with a 14-54
lens. To learn about Olympus, its users and products, I found the
Olympus Camera Discussion Group, and soon realized that some familiar
names like Tina, Nathan and Philippe also appeared in both groups. While
I have not met any of either group face to face, I have learned a lot
from them in online contacts. Moose and Ken Norton are two that come to
Now, at 91, my wanderings are more limited. While my camera and lens
hardware is not the most recent, I do keep most of my processing
hardware and software up to date. I look at almost every post on both
lists, and try to learn from each one. That's the only way I learn how
to do better.
Thanks for asking.
On 7/12/21 8:25 PM, Willie Wonka via olympus wrote:
There are number of us, but mostly me that would like to know what your secret
path to better photography is.
Believe it or not, compared to a lot of us, you are a newcomer to this list and it has
been fascinating watching you grow as a photographer. As soon as you signed up you became
one of the most prolific posters of pictures. You were very good, but not great. Now you
have became an inspiration. Seriously, as of lately I have seen tons of pictures of yours
that made me say to myself "I do not have the skills to create this".
Some of us (read mostly me) would like to get better at this and could use some
guidance. Did you enroll in any courses, what materials did you use? Or was it
like Bob Withmire who kinda came to us like you did, a lot of talent and
learned the little things that also matter from this list (note I did not
Thanks in advance.
Tullahoma, TN USA
Themed Olympus Photo Exhibition: http://www.tope.nl/