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Photo by Dave Trainer—"Yellowstone"
HomePhotographer of the Month
Eric Geschwindner

Well I’m not sure what to say about photography. Guess it started when I was eleven years old. All that I knew was I just wanted to make photographs. That was, “the whole process”, from the capture to developing the film and printing. Then it was only “contact printing”. It would be a long time before I was able to afford all the equipment necessary to produce photographic enlargements. [continued below slideshow]

Slideshow
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As time went by I moved from a 120 camera to a 620 mostly because I wanted to make larger prints. When I graduated from 8th grade I saved all my money that I received for graduating and ordered from Montgomery Ward, (anyone remember them…???), my first enlarger.  During high school there were so many other things going on, sadly my photography was on and off. Mostly it took a slight break. During that time the subjects were our dog, my friends, and places around my neighborhood, including the house I grew up in. At one time while in the Explorer Scouts we went on a 50 mile hike somewhere in upstate New York. By then on that trip I had managed to get myself an Argus C-3 35mm camera. I shot up about 2 rolls of film. I couldn’t afford more than that, but the images I ended up with were priceless.

1968 I enlisted in the Navy and while there the same problem plagued me; that was the lack of funds and of course nowhere to process my film, so I was shooting slides then. I also picked up a Minolta 35mm camera with a fixed 50mm lens. I continued using that camera long after getting out of the Navy.

Around 1977 I got my hands on a Graflex 2 ¼ X 3 ¼  that had a 120 roll film back and about 5 sheet film holders. I made a lot of images with that camera. It was while using that camera I began doing portrait photographs of family and friends using clip on lighting. incandescent photo bulbs. Made some very dynamic portraits using the “cheap method”.  By 1984 I made enough money to buy a Mamiya RB67 Pro S, that was a 120 film, 6X7cm. With that camera I was really working hard doing portraits. This time I made a few bucks using this camera. I did everything with it; from one person, to children, families, groups, sports, everything. Then 1994 came around and that was a whole other story. For too many reasons to go into, photography kind of stopped.

1999 was the new era for me. By now I already had a computer and I was still taking a lot of 35mm images and when they were processed I had a digital disk made as well. Using these digital images in the one and only program I had that would take a digital image I started working these photographs in all kind of ways, cropping, changing the contrast and exposure really going to extremes. It wasn’t long after that, there it was….. a digital camera I could afford. It was a Kodak D-260, 1.5 megapixels. I was on a roll now. I made so many images with that camera it was like WOW! At last I was able not having to feel guilty for wasting film on experimentation images and with that program there was no stopping me now.

From here I went to a Canon Power Shot Pro1 8.0meg. by this time, we were making annual vacation trips to the Key’s in Florida. Sometimes we would make the trip straight through and sometimes we’d take the coast and take our time. All this kind of travel generates a very large amount of images (some of which have never been worked on in post), some didn’t need any work. This camera was really fun. Truth be told I didn’t use it that much out of AUTO.  That was really a shame because years later I played around with the camera again in “A” mode (aperture mode) on some subjects and was pleasantly surprised. By that time I for some reason thought I needed a Nikon Coolpix P7800, think that was early 2000’s. 2003 maybe. It was something I thought would be fun because it was small and had all the features of a big camera but was simple. Well didn’t need it because it wasn’t long after that I finally got my first digital DSLR, Nikon D5100. Here we go again. It opened up new adventures in all areas, including settings and lens’s. It in so many ways it was like “Back To The Future”. Everything that was is now, but digital. Off to the races we go….

As of recently I purchased a Nikon D610 and with it and my (2) Nikon D5100  I’m photographing as many things as I can. I still work for a living so I can’t devote all my time to making photographs but I do what I can. At least I’m not spending hours and hours in a darkroom working on a single image.

One thing that has made me work harder on “motivation”—that is getting out there and working it— is that I have a jar with small pieces of paper with subjects that I need to hunt down and photograph. I randomly pick one out and then Photograph that subject in every way possible. Lighting, lenses, and settings. I'm happy to say this is what keeps my creative juices flowing. 



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