Welcome to my World

Welcome to the domain different--to paraphrase from New Mexico's capital city of Santa Fe which bills itself "The City Different." Perhaps this space is not completely unique but my world shapes what I write as well as many other facets of my life. The four Ds figure prominently but there are many other things as well. Here you will learn what makes me tick, what thrills and inspires me, experiences that impact my life and many other antidotes, vignettes and journal notes that set the paradigm for Dierdre O'Dare and her alter ego Gwynn Morgan and the fiction and poetry they write. I sell nothing here--just share with friends and others who may wander in. There will be pictures, poems, observations, rants on occasion and sometimes even jokes. Welcome to our world!

Monday, January 30, 2017

Monday Memoir: Photography

I grew up with a house full of cameras. My dad had been a photojournalist for a time in Kansas City before meeting my mother. After they married and we ended up in Arizona, he continued to write and to illustrate many of his articles and features. So taking pictures, even using a darkroom to develop the film and make prints was rather commonplace to me. Although I ended up in a lot of photos, in time I knew I wanted a camera of my own to take pictures of what I wanted  to remember or feature. That took quite awhile.

Mom with a Lieca
I finally got my own camera, I think it was the Christmas I was a senior in high school. In a house full of the likes of a Leica, a Rolleiflex, a Speed Graphic and  others of similar quality and capacity, my first camera was a lowly Kodak "Brownie" snapshot camera but I was thrilled silly! It took eight shots on a roll of film--I cannot even recall the size now (126?) but it was a bit over an inch wide and the negatives were roughly 1" x 2".  I could not say what was on the very first roll of pictures I took but a shot of me the last day at school and one I took of the friend who snapped me were among the early ones. After that it was mostly horses.

Dad with Speed Graphic
A bit later, about the time I started college, I got a slightly more sophisticated model, one that used "flash cubes" and could take pictures inside or in dimmer light. With it I got photos of roommates and friends, the dorms I lived in and then the apartment where I lived off campus the last two years. I still had that camera when I graduated and headed off to my first job -- with the US Army at Fort Huachuca. I then took pictures of various places I went, of my new car, the 1971 Ford Pinto I got that fall, and when I moved to Bisbee to live in a cheaper residence!

Last day of school
Probably the first Christmas after my marriage, one of my gifts was an Olympus SLR (single lens reflex) camera. It was small and light but a good step up from the snapshot type  cameras I had used up to that point. My husband had an older camera he had gotten at a PX while in the military and we took a lot of scenic pictures on the many weekend trips we took the first two or three years.  Those two cameras went from Bisbee, AZ to Falcon, CO with us and then on to Olivehurst, CA. We had returned to Arizona some years later when we both got Pentax type cameras which could use a variety of lenses and were near professional quality. I have many boxes of slides we took with all of these cameras and will try to scan my favorites "one of these days."
Coming from a family of avid photographers and becoming the "archivist" by virtue of being now the matriarch of the clan, more or less, I still have boxes and albums full of photos to be scanned if I live that long!

After my dad had passed away and then my youngest brother, the only one of us three kids who seriously pursued photography along with his other  endeavors, I fell heir to the stash of family cameras. Most of them I have gotten rid of  although I still have my little Olympus and one of the Nikons that Dad had ended up with  But some few years back I discovered digital and jumped right in. It is soooo convenient to look over your results, simply hit 'delete' to get rid of those that did not come out just right and to snap away with abandon because you are not wasting expensive film. What freedom!

These days I take a lot of photos of trains, sunsets, scenery, my dogs, and on some of my trips.  No scanning required; I just link the camera by a USB cable to the computer and with a couple of clicks, voila, there they are. And no, I have not gotten into taking them with my phone or tablet--maybe someday but most of mine I want to edit/crop/study before they go out to the world!  Two fairly recent efforts below. I expect to be taking photos as long as I live. It is kind of in the genes, I guess. and certainly in the nurture I grew up with.

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