My maternal grandfather bought me my first camera when I was ten years old, a Kodak Instamatic. To this day I remember how excited I was to get that camera. I ran around the house snapping pictures of anything and everything, a clock on the wall, the television, people sitting around the kitchen table.
I had that camera for six years and it was my constant companion. On my sixteenth birthday I graduated to my first SLR, a Canon T50. One thing I didn't lose upon migrating to a more sophisticated camera however, was my enthusiasm for taking pictures. In fact I would say that I became more excited. Here was a camera I could get my hands around.
I have now migrated yet again. This time to digital. I now have a Digital SLR, the Canon EOS 40D. Photography has allowed me to see the world through different eyes. I'm constantly scanning the environment for THAT shot. The one that will surpass all others in my portfolio. Of course I understand that picture will never appear; but that's what keeps me shooting.
Those who have seen my work, almost always comment on the fact that there are seldom any people in my shots and they want to know why. Why don't I photograph people is probably the most asked question I get when I show my work. The best approximation I can give to this question is people don't behave as nature does. I can't get the same reaction from a person as I can from a snow covered field or a rocky New England Coastline. My Dad lives on Martha's Vineyard and when I visit him there during the summer, at the height of the tourist season I always hear him say, “Get off my damn Island!” I've appropriated that and made it my own. When someone is in my shot, I smile to myself and say, “Get out of my damn photo!”
Photography is an important part of my life and I have my grandfather to thank for that. Somewhere in the back of my mind when I take a photograph, I remember the initial excitement I had with that first Kodak Instamatic, and I thank my grandfather for introducing me to the art.