When I moved to California in 1990, I wasn't interested in photography. My memory was such that I didn't feel the need to take pictures, I remembered what I saw as I saw it. I had taken some pictures in Scotland with my pocket instamatic in the early 80's, and when I went Down Under in 1986, my parents loaned me a point and shoot, and I took some pictures there.
When I moved to California, as a gift, my sister gave me a Samsung point and shoot, and my parents insisted that I take some pictures of where I was living. I shot a roll of film, and sent them copies. When I went to Yosemite for the first time, my parents wanted pictures, so I shot another roll of film. I then put the camera away. Later, I was to take a trip to Alaska, and I took some pictures there. Amy, my then SO, loved them. My parents loved them. My sister said I took too many pictures of roads.
After Amy died, I went to Yellowstone, and again my family was impressed. So, when I went to Washington state in December, my friend Dave Taylor loaned me his old SLR, and I tried it. Shortly thereafter, my parents gave me their SLR to use. It was a Pentax Super Program, and they felt it was too complicated for their needs. I found the ability to change lenses and frame pictures differently was interesting.
My photographic skills developed from there. A trip to Canada in 1993 saw me use 41 rolls of film, taking different photos, playing with light, closeup filters, and the like. In December, 1995, I decided to upgrade my system. I bought the top of the line Pentax, a PZ-1P, with several lenses. I also bought a very fast (and very expensive!) telephoto lens. This lends has allowed me to move into wildlife photography, and in particular, bird photography.
When I went to Africa in 1999, I brought 100 rolls of film with me. Some other travelers thought I was crazy to bring that much film and when they ran out, I was happy to sell them a roll or two! I used 51 rolls, and had my camera not had problems in Kenya, I'd have probably used 70 rolls. I coined a motto to explain why I brought so much film:
Compared to air fare or missing a picture I wanted, it certainly isn't a hassle to carry an extra roll of film.
My lenses for the PZ-1P were:
|Tamron||17mm||f/4.5 to f/22|
|Takumar||28-80mm||f/4 to f/22|
|Pentax||50mm||f/1.4 to f/22|
|Sigma||70-300mm||f/3.5 to f/32|
|Tamron||300mm||f/2.8 to f/32|
After the trip to Africa, I decided to upgrade to a Nikon F100.I added four new lenses, and migrated the two Tamron lenses to Nikon mounts. All the Nikon lenses are auto-focus.
I also have the largest Haliburton case for transporting my camera to the ends of the earth, I've now taken pictures on six continents, as far north as the Arctic Circle, to the jungles of Borneo. I think it is neat that I can take pictures that other people enjoy!
In 2005, I finally moved to digital, with a D-70 body. I'll be using two bodies for the time being, some film, and most digital.
In 2014, I began an upgrade of my system. I will keep the 50mm and 400mm lenses, but will upgrade everything else.
I dream of purchasing the 800mm lens.
If film is cheap, digital is even cheaper. I have a small memory card that can homd close to 350 high resolution photographs. The new camera will hold 1000 even higher resolution images.
I keep my latest photos here. Warning: These are not thumbnail images, and download may take a while!
As time permits, I am creating thematic galleries. The list is up to four themes.
In 2003, I added a store to the site with CafePress. Now, you can get any of my images on a shirt, or any other number of products.
I've also visited Austria, Japan, Mauritius, and Taiwan, but have not taken pictures in those countries.
All images are © Copyright 1984-2014 James C. Armstrong, Jr.