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How I Got Here

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How I Got Here - an extened version of my frontpage Biography

I first got my hands on a camera when I was 2 years old. It was a beautiful Kodak Brownie. This moment was recorded by my grandfather who always carried at least three cameras. I didn't immediately start taking pictures but I did get into art. My first memorable works were in oil. My parent's oils to be exact and my first canvases were the screen door of the house and the side of the family car. Later I even added my own special touch to their paintings. That's when my parents decided I needed my own supplies. From then on I was always drawing or painting.

When I was 13 years old, Kodak came into my life again. The neighbor across the street had several boxes out on the curb which drew my attention. Upon inspection of the boxes and a short conversation with the homeowner, I became the proud new owner of a Kodak 35 Rangefinder with manual, 2 Portra lenses, 2 bulb flashes with bulbs, a compact tripod, A Weston II handheld light meter (still have it and it works), an aluminum lens shade (yup, real metal), a leather case and film. Turns out the neighbor couldn't figure out how to open the camera to put in the film. I took my new toys home, opened the manual, read the manual, opened the camera, put in the film and proceeded to become addicted to photography. That Christmas my grandfather gave me everything I needed for my first darkroom. From that time until 1996 I always had a camera or two with me. Even through most of my Air Force career where I was a Satellite Communications Technician and Instructor. On several of my assignments I was able to work my photography in as an additional duty.

I married my High School sweetheart in 1977. She already knew my love of photography and learned quickly that the first decision when selecting a home was always where to put the darkroom. If it couldn't be done we went to the next place. I worked a myriad of different jobs before I served 20 years and retired from the US Air Force. Through these years we had 3 beautiful daughters who all got to be my models, willingly or not. In 1995 the Air Force moved us to a base with very limited on-base housing and overpriced off-base housing. This is when the first decision changed to "Where are we going to put the little ones?" And so my darkroom went into storage and eventually my cameras went with it.

Seven years later I retired from the Air Force. I didn't jump right back into photography due to the space issue still loomed as well as the accessibility of darkroom supplies. I spent the next five years as a contractor doing applications development and computer maintenance/repair.

At the end of February 2007 I finally bought a Sony A100 DSLR with several lenses and the rest of the gadgets they could talk me into and started back into the world of visual exploration. By mid June 2007 I had over 7,000 images. Many of which were nothing more than painful lessons. To say I was rusty would be a polite way to put it. I had to re-learn many of the skills I used to perform naturally and there are still more to remember.

I have upgraded several times since that initial purchase, both hardware and software as well as improved my skills with lots of practice. Not as much practice as Id like but Im working on that issue. As far as the images on display here, you'll notice quickly enough that I don't limit my vision to any specific style, target or environment. If it gets in front of my lens and I like it, it's mine. With more time and experience I may settle into a style and/or specialty but, until then Im going to keep having fun exploring the possibilities available. I hope you enjoy my work and please feel free to contact me if you wish to discuss any of the images presented here.

Christopher Holmes