Photography | WMLAMONT

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I've always been enamoured with photography; one of my favourite pass-times was flipping through National Geographic magazines over and over again, pouring over the colour and composition of the images, hour after hour.

My mother lent me her Minolta when I started a black and white photography class at school. I was hooked. The single-minded focus needed to understand what you're asking the camera to do, the analogue nature of the feedback in those beautiful aperture and focus rings, the shutter speed dial, the way the light-wand would tick and bounce in the viewfinder as you moved your metal and crystal eye over the scene. I loved the artistry of selective focus, and our ability to blur or reveal parts of the world that intrigued or disturbed us. Then, the wonderful tactile experience of developing in a dark room was there for us to tweak and experiment. I loved making contact sheets, peering through negatives, selecting images, and dodging out portions with my hands. It held that intangible mystery that only comes from the complete melding of science and art.

And then I stopped. Life got in the way. Digital technology was too expensive, I didn't understand the new workflow, there were all these options and bumps and hurdles to navigate. Plus we could just use our cellphones now, right? Where was the simplicity and singular focus on the process?

It wasn't until recently - when going through old photographs - that I realised something; Most of the photos of me as a teen or young man, I had a camera there somewhere. When I traveled around in my youth, I also took a camera, my first digital; a decent but clearly point-n-shoot Olympus. I have a ton of photographs that just sit in my hard-drive, doing nothing. When I've tidied them up (thank you, Luminar!) and posted them, people are appreciative and enjoy my pictures.

So I've taken the plunge, and I'm stepping back into the river to wash away those excuses. I hope I can meld my two passions - writing and photography - into a rewarding experience, if not a career in the dying art of photojournalism. Time will tell.