Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Purple Coneflowers & Clematis Blossoms

Photography started as a hobby for me when I was in high school. My roommate my junior year of high school (it was a boarding school for military dependents) worked as a photographer for the school newspaper and got me interested in using a SLR. He also knew how to develop his own pictures, and I often used to watch him as he spent Saturday mornings in the base photo lab.

Eventually, my dad let me use his Voightlander, and I started making trips to the photo lab on my own. Photography helped to rein in the excessive drinking that characterized my weekends during the first few months of my senior year. Able to pass for a GI, I could buy beer on base. Sometimes I would hang out outside of the NCO club, occasionally with a young woman who liked me best when her boyfriend was off playing football or basketball for the school, and wait for a drunk GI, usually a young one, to come out. After talking to him and slipping him a dollar, he would return inside, buy a six-pack, and bring it back out to us. After one of our excursions, my drinking buddy got caught when she returned to the girl’s dorm. She admitted that I was with her and got suspended for three days, but I refused to confess because of what could happen if I had to return home to my folks.

It eventually proved more fun to wander around the school grounds and the airbase in search of photo opportunities. Once the weather station where I worked as a work study student in the afternoon sent me home early because of a snowstorm. The forecasters needed up-to-date information because of the jets on alert, ready to go airborne in a matter of minutes. Within the busy weather station, I proved in the way. Returning to the high school, I saw the other kids running around in the snow. By that time, I had fewer and fewer things in common with my peers. I opted to grab my camera and took pictures of the snow sticking to the trees in a quieter part of the high school grounds. Moments like those satisfied my creative impulse.

Anyone who been visiting this blog might have noticed that my pictures are seasonal. A recent discovery of mine has been the flowers in the yard and in a flowerbed near the municipal pool. Let me know your reactions to these pictures. As in my previous posts, clicking on the photograph will enlarge it.