I received my first camera around age 10. I carried it to many family functions and appeared to be the family historian. Many trips to the drug store and later K-Mart were made to deliver undeveloped film and to return a week later to retrieve the developed prints. One of my earliest cameras required 620 film which was limited to 12 exposures. I checked out books from the school and public library about photography. Other than family pictures, I was attracted to water and was fascinated by reflection.
In high school, my best friend Mark Oldham, had a darkroom in the family’s basement, so the two of us would take pictures during the school day and go into the darkroom after school. Many of their pictures made their way into the Spring Valley High School newspaper and yearbook. In college, I was excited to take a photography course. I remember professor Al Wise challenging us with required themes for the week. Shooting images of shadow and love were particularly difficult at first, but the results were rewarding, as was returning to the darkroom to learn more advanced techniques.
Literally thousands of images were taken when my two sons were born and grew up. The best of those went into photo albums or were shared with grandparents, aunts and uncles.
And then photography faded out of my life. That is until 2010.
With a family summer vacation planned for Fripp Island (near Beaufort SC) I purchased a Canon digital SLR. I hired naturalist/photographer Eric Horan to take me out on a boat to shoot sunrise and shorebirds. I was hooked. But the lens I owned did not allow me to get as close to the birds as I would have liked, so I invested in a more powerful lens.
My fascination with shorebirds, like the great blue heron, has taken me to spots not only on the South Carolina coast, but also to SE Georgia, and back to Florida, where I lived and worked in the 1980s and 1990s.