Friday, October 10, 2008

Starting Off. . .

Well, this is new to me. I've never been much into writing, especially when it comes to keeping a journal or daily logs, etc. It never interested me. Maybe I never found myself interesting enough to do it. However, the thought of writing about one's interests and daily bits and pieces of life could be quite nice to have later on. . .to look back on. Something like looking back at old photos of friends and family in your life and the memories and times it can renew.

I've always been a creative one. I guess what may have sparked that in me was my mothers paintings and drawings. She was into Oil painting when I was a little tike growing up. I would sit around by her side sometimes, or come into her study room where she painted and watch her . I thought it was very cool to be able to create something more or less from imagination and have it there as a tangible thing to look at and hold. Imagination, or fantasy come to life.

I had dabbled in painting once in a while and drawing as well, but never felt it came naturally enough for me to justify putting alot of effort into it only to be less than thrilled with my results.
I found other means of expression through music (played guitar in various groups during my teens and early twenties. Even got on Star Search once in the early eighties), designing and crafting furniture, model building, and some more painting.

I got married in 1990, had two kids but was never completely happy in the marriage. After several years, I was very unhappy and stayed pretty much to raise my kids. Eventually, I beieve it was in 2000 I seperated from my wife. I had raised the subject and we had conversations about it on and off for a few years, so she knew it was going to happen. We even discussed it with our daughter well before. A friend of mine knew of my desire to leave and had an apartment available in his house. The apartment was just a few blocks away from where my wife and kids lived and it seemed like the perfect situation to make the move. I was out and still close enough to be around my kids often and help with various things. It worked out well. My two kids, Christina and Kyle are gems in my life. My son Kyle is Autistic and it has been and still is sometimes quite a chore to look after him, but he really is a charmer. He loves animals, knows most of their names and can identify so many different kinds and species that it is a pleasure to talk with him about them. He is also the reason why I have three cats now in my apartment and was never a cat person, always loved dogs. I wanted an animal for Kyle to be around on the days when I had him and we went through the Guinea pigs and fish and it just was not the same as a dog or cat. I could not have a dog because my friend swore never to allow a tenant to have a dog as he had so many bad experiences in the past. It's not that he didn't like animals, as a matter of fact he loved cats and would feed the stray cats in the back yard. One day he asked me if I would consider taking in one of them because he could not as he is allergic to them. He claimed this one cat was very special and would I please consider taking her in. I first completely shrugged off the notion as I really did not like them. I always had a bad experience with cats with my ex girlfriends way back. Then I thought some more about it and considered the idea. I really did want an animal around for Kyle, and cats are pretty easy to care for . . .so I decided to give it a try. I took this cat in for a few days to see how she would behave. She was great. Took her to the vet, everything checked out and she was ours. Named her Ophelia. She was said to have been about 2 or 3 years old when we got her and that was about 5 or 6 years ago. She has been so great, that I have really become quite fond of cats. I guess unlike dogs, you really have to get to know them to appreciate them. We just recently adopted a 2 year old rescue from the local Petco. She looked just like our Ophelia and seemed to have the same sweet demeanor. We were right. Eclipse had taken a bit of time to adjust, but she is a very sweet girl. She likes to eat too much, though. Kyle had been out in the back yard early in the summer of 2008 and discovered small kitten yelping and yelping in the next yard. It's eyes were still shut and we believed it to be not more than a day or two old. It was the size of a mouse. Apparently, it's mother with a new litter in the next yard removed it for whatever reason and left him to die. My girlfreind Nina, and Kyle insisted we had to do something to save him.
Well, long story short, I rushed over to the local Petco and bought some bottles and kitten formula and we nursed him to a healthy but mischievous four month old Kitten. No more please . . . . We love them dearly, but we have enough. Kyle loves them alot and interacts with them as well. It has been everything that I wanted for him in getting an animal in the first place. So, this has been a happy tale for all involved.

The itch or desire to be creative never left me. In fact it pounded at me relentlessly until a few years back I decided that photography really seemed interesting. I was never much into it before, but something just rang a bell inside one day and left me wanting to create through the medium of photography.
A good friend of my mother gave me her old Canon AE-1 and some lenses and accessories. I started off with it and become obsessed. I later purchased a newer Canon system and began scanning my negatives into digital files so that I could further work on them in the computer. It was 2004 and the digital craze was under way. A good DSLR with enough resolution to satisfy my meticulous nature was way out of my budget and so the hybrid approach of shooting film and scanning it into a high res digital file was a much more affordable alternative. Seems from talking to other photographers and meeting with people that this was a fairly common approach for lots of us.
It was only until 2007 when Canons XTi was out and the price and 10 MP resolution was too much tempataion to resist that I finally took the plunge and went completely digital. I love it and can never imagine going back to film. I am happy for my past experience with film and learning the process of scanning and so forth, but the benefits and advantages of digital as well as the incredible image quality that is to be had now is quite enough for me to leave film well in the past.
I have recently purchased the Canon 5D and am so pleased with the image quality and performance of it. What I really like most about it is the Full frame sensor. I never liked the cropped sensor of the Xti and most other DSLR's. Wide angle lenses are not so wide with a cropped sensor and I like the wide angle for alot of situations. Also, the full frame allows a greater spacing of pixels on the sensor resulting inherently in less noise and better low light performance. Well, at this time that I am writing this there are a wide array of cameras out now that surpass the 5D by far, but this camera is quite enough for me and I feel no need to rush out and keep up with the latest. The 5D was and still is so successful it will surely go down as a classic in many years to come.


DanaAllin said...

Enjoyed the read Gary (you would not post this unless you were OK with snoopers reading, so i just Nothing much new...I always knew you were a very nice and caring man. dana

Gary Heller said...

Thanks for snooping. . .:)