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    Thursday, July 24, 2008

    Why... PhotoBen750?

    Why… PhotoBen750?
    by: Ben Greer

    This is just the beginning… For many of you my passion for photography may be new to you, but I have been in love with the camera for the longest time. Growing up I would usually prefer to be the one taking the pictures rather than having my picture taken.
    As a young child I did not have much money so I was limited to basic bottom barrel point and shoots and disposable
    cameras. Not having much money this also made the process of getting my picture developed difficult. For many years I just kept the spent film in hopes that one day, before it went bad that, I would get it developed.
    A major turning point in my life that sent me down this road of photo passion was the day my uncle Dennis Baunach gave me his old Pentax K1000. This was around the end of my sophomore
    year in high school just before we took a family trip to Europe. At that time I did not realize what importance this camera might play in the development of my talent. Even though my uncle had owned this camera for about 25 years prior to him giving it to me the Pentax K1000 is a classic camera that is still used by many photogs.
    The Pentax was my first real SLR camera. It had all the manual features a beginner could want and a few auto function that
    were new back when the camera was originally purchased. It came with a black leather caring case designed to hold the camera, film, filter, lenses, flash, and a battery operated auto shooter. Back then I had little knowledge on how any of it worked or what it meant to adjust shutter and aperture settings.
    To get me started my uncle showed me how to read the built in light meter, focus the camera and basic adjustment to the shutter and
    aperture. Off I went to discover the world through its glass eye interpretation.
    I would go to all kinds of places taking picture of just about anything. I even got into taking black and white images with the Kodak Tmax film. At the time black and white was not easy for me to get developed. Unless you knew how to it yourself you had
    to find a shop that worked with black and white. You couldn’t just drop it off at Costco or any old photo store and it was also twice as expensive to develop. I would often just take the pictures and keep the
    undeveloped film.
    For years I continued taking pictures some film would get developed but most would just get added to the collection. In 1999 when I was preparing to move to California Anselmo Villinueva, a good friend of mine, discover that I had all this undeveloped film saved up. He said that I should think about getting it developed before it goes bad. I told him that I could not really afford to do it, but I really wanted to see what picture I had taken.
    He offered to drop it off to Costco for me and pay for the development. I could not believe it. There were over 20 roles of film. This was a good chunk of change that I will forever be thankful
    for. Once they were developed I began to see all the moments from the past come to life. It was like opening a time capsule. The subject matter was so varied and spanned over many, many years. It brought back lots of great memories.
    From ART
    Many of the pictures were poor in quality and not as nice as I would have hoped, but the real excitement came when I would find the outstanding
    shots. I did not know much about photography when I started, but I had an eye to appreciate what I saw. Many of my first images may not have been in focus or the shutter stayed open too long, but the picture would have a story.
    I am not sure who coined the phrase “A picture is worth a thousand words,” but I see the art in this statement. When I take a photo it is almost like I am writing a poem. When you write a poem you are using words to
    From Flowers / Sun...
    express ideas that may not exist in the tangible world. To do this, you must attempt to capture as much of that idea and express it words that best represent your thought as a vision understandable in another persons mind.
    From Architecture ...
    Seeing still images like poetry allows me to expand the context for which an image has meaning to me. Much like the ability to express a complex story with the added ability to stretch time and partially recreate
    a moment of the past. Using imagery of elements that all real tangible existence has long left the present.
    Some time in early 2003 I got my first digital camera. A Nikon CoolPix 4300 with a 4.1 megapixel CCD.
    With the new found freedom of not needing to go anywhere special or wait for development I began to rediscover my photo passion. I must have taken several thousand images before I upgraded to my current camera in the spring of 2004.
    A Fuji Finepix S7000 6.2 megapixel SuperCCD with the ability to interpolate up to 12.3 megapixel. This camera has been
    very reliable and has many great features. My digital image collection is now in the range of 15-20 thousand high resolution images. That would be the equivalent of about 470-625 rolls of film, 32 exposures each.

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