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ABOUT  GEORGE AND HIS PHOTOGRAPHY

I knew that I was destined to be a photographer the day  I received a Kodak Model Instamatic 104 on Christmas Day 1967,   With a cartridge of 126 film and a pack of flash cubes, I took pictures of everything in sight.  About a year later, I received a Polaroid Model 3000 Big Swinger camera for my eleventh birthday. I didn't have to send my film off to some far away laboratory to be developed and wait a week to get my pictures. With the Swinger, I could have a beautiful black and white photo in less than a minute.

My dad, however, was a little more sophisticated with his photography.  He  purchased a Kodak Retina IIa 35mm camera while serving in the U.S. Navy in the early 1950's.  For many years, he took a lot of great photos using mostly Kodachrome 64 slide film.  It was fascinating watching my father take readings from his light meter and adjusting the settings on his camera.  I was glad that I didn't have to do all of those things with my Kodak 104.  I just had to aim the camera and push the shutter release.

When I was older and a little wiser, it occured to me that my 104 Instamatic and Big Swinger did not take the same quality of picture that my dad's Kodak Retina did.  So, in 1982 I went to a camera store in Augusta, Georgia and bought a used Kodak Retina Ia for $ 40.00 and a used Vivitar light meter for $ 25.00.  Hey, I figured that it was similar to my dad's camera, and he could teach me how to use it.
Over the next two years, I took a lot of images with my Retina Ia.  I did everything from taking close-ups of a spider on its web to dabbling in night photography using a cheap KMart tripod that a friend gave to me for Christmas.  

One day I was in Myrtle Beach  S.C.  with a friend  who had recently purchased an Olympus OM-2 35mm camera.   I realized that I had outgrown my Kodak Retina and needed to get something more sophisticated.  We went to a camera shop, and I purchased an Olympus OMG 35mm along with a Hitacon flash unit.  Now I was really cooking.  I had a 35mm camera with both manual and automatic modes that would handle interchangable lenses.  My photography jumped to a new level.  Again, I went on a shooting spree taking pictures of everything in sight.

I know that there is a plethora of different makes and models of cameras, and each person has their favorite.  My  OMG took great pictures, so I decided to stay with Olympus.  Over the next twenty years, I collected three OM-1's, two OM-4's, and an assortment of Zuiko telephoto lenses ranging from 28mm to 600mm.  A few years ago, I finally went digital by purchasing an Olympus Camedia 450, and shortly afterward an Evolt 500. Currently I use an Olympus E 3.  I know some people think their Nikons are the best while others rally behind their Canons.  It is like auto enthusiasts debating which is best, Chevy or Ford (I like Chevy cars and Ford trucks).   Bottom line is that they are all good cameras and can be used to capture great images.

Today, I use both digital and 35mm.  I'm a big  fan of Fujichrome Velvia 50 slide film and will continue to use it as long as it is available.
I know that there is an on going debate over which is better, digital or film.  Each has its own advantages and disadvantages, so why not use both depending on the circumstances.  See, debate solved.

There is also an argument that with the availability of high quality digital cameras, computers, and editing software, that almost anyone can be a photographer.  There is a big difference between snapping a picture and taking a good photograph.  A true photographer understands the dynamics of shutter speed, aperture, focus, ISO, white balance, composition, lighting, depth of field, etc.  This knowledge is gained only through years of study and experience by taking thousands of images.  Finally, a photographer is an artist that is a passionate perfectionist about his or her work.

To sum it all, I love taking great images from the beauty of God's creation in nature to people and animals doing ordinary things.  How many of us on occasion enjoy looking through an album of old pictures and reminiscing about the past?  I am glad that my father took some photographs of my mother's father, who died when I was a little over a year old.  Even though I do not remember him, I can still look at those 48 year old pictures and see what he looked like.  It is important that we capture images of people, animals, places, and events today so we can share those memories with future generations. 


MY LOVE FOR ANIMALS


When my parents married in 1956, they purchased a Scottish Terrier on their honeymoon in New York City.  "Shyke" was a member of our family for over fourteen years.  As characteristic with terriers, he was fiercely loyal and a faithful companion.  Below is a picture of me, my mom, and Shyke faithfully guarding us  in December 1958.  Dad took this photo with his Kodak Retina IIa.

shyke

In 1972 my dad's father found a small puppy on the side of the road.  He was covered in mange and did not have much hair on him. My grandfather took "Sandy" home and nursed him back to health.  Shortly afterward, my grandfather passed away.  My dad knew that his mother would not be able to look after this dog, so he brought him to our home and like Shyke, Sandy became a member of our family for the next thirteen years.  Below is a picture of him with Willy on the left.  More about Willy later.  By the way, I snapped this with my Kodak 104 Instamatic.

sandy


Cats have also been a very important part of my life.  One day, when I was twelve years old, my mother saw a kitten wandering by itself on the side of a busy highway.  Knowing that it probably would not survive, she brought him home. Boots became a member of our family and brought us much joy (and some aggravation) over the next thirteen years. Below is his picture taken with my Polaroid Swinger.

boots

When I graduated college in 1979 and moved out on my own,  I went to the local S.P.C.A. and adopted Willy.  He was a black lab mix puppy and became my constant companion and devoted friend for the next fourteen years.  He will always be my "special pet".  Taken with my Olympus OMG 35mm.

willy



Conclusion.


Below is a list of some other friends that I have had the pleasure of sharing my home:

Dogs:   Smokey, Misty, Nikki, Oscar, Jake.

Cats:   Squeaky, Bad News, Spot, Sunshine, Blackberry.

Goats:  Gloria, Nicodemus, Buttons, Hope, Chris, Eric, Dusty, Sybil.


Right now, I am honored to have Charlie and Sylvester living with us.


charliebirdbath
Charlie
sylvester
Sylvester

                                                                                                                                                                                
 
All of my animal friends have been either strays, unwanted by others, or rescued from the S.P.C.A.  I strive to give them the best home possible by providing for  their needs for safety, comfort, sustinence, and companionship.

Images by George's goal is to capture the best image of you and your friends.  From posed portrait shots to photographs of random activities, I will capture the personality  of you and / or your companion(s) and provide a portfolio of pictures  that you will treasure for a lifetime.