Thanks Steph, I didn't start taking photos, until I was about 60, I returned to the States to take care of my Mom, and my family here begged me to get a camera so that they could enjoy my stay in the United State and get a better Idea of the culture and the Scenery as I knew that I was going to be there for quite a long time. I purchased an old Minolta 35mm from a shop in PDX and started shooting.. Needles to say, I hated it. I had to wait for finishing up a roll of film, and by the time it was done, I had to wait again for the prints and then I had to try and remember where I shot the damn things and forget about the settings those were magic....They evaporated 2 seconds after I pressed the shutter. Then, Ta Taaaaahhhhhhh! Digital came on the scene and film quickly died and got buried. i bought myself a little point and shoot, noisier than hell and a shutter lag longer than drying paint, or waiting for the tea kettle to boil.... But it was an improvement. My pictures appeared as if by magic, and I could see what I had done almost immediately after pushing the damn button.... I could take a lot, along with using up a sack full of double A cells, but at least I could keep some of those and have something that I as a novice could learn with.. I joined a couple of photo forums started learning a bit and grtaduated to a much better camera at the time, the Minolta Dimage7i, I was a life changer even though the shutter lag was still there I had a camera that wasn't a true DSLR, but it was a step in the right direction and I learned even more. I now am using cameras that were at the times I bought them top of the line. I have a Nikon D70, and a D200, and just purchased a D300S which will be here in October...
Thanks, but I was dumb to have made the choices that sent me on the path my life's taken me. That path was one of adventure, but not academic, financial or social success. Now, with a 1/2 century behind me, I wonder what I could have achieved on a different path, and yet I have few regrets, for in spite of the scars, I have so many memories of beautiful places, wonderful people, and amazing nature. I've gotten to witness the very bad, on the streets, in jails, and war, and witnessed the best humans can be, all in the same places. I've sat in a 14' open boat, while a pod of Orcas passed on either side, just a few feet away, and howled with wolves in an ancient forest. Hell, as I write this, I'm contemplating taking a walk out of the village I live in, to go howl with the local Coyotes!
I'm far from perfect, and can be rather moody and withdrawn at times, preferring the company of my 2 cats over people. Although I read many different posts on AN, I don't comment on many anymore. My hands are kind of busted up (I've broken every bone in each hand at least once, had one hand go through a table saw, and been re-built, and have bones that are out of place in the other), so typing can be slow and painful.
Ya, I think I'm going to go out on the prairie, under tonight’s big, bright moon, and howl with the 'yotes!
Although I'm just a dumb ass oil patch truck driver (I haul oil drilling rigs), science has fasinated me all my life. When I was 7 years old, I met the man who was to become Canada's longest serving Prime Minister, at the Saskatchewan legislature buildings, in Regina (Regina is the capital of the province of Saskatchewan). I don't really remember much about meeting Trudeau (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pierre_Trudeau), but I do remember my father pointing out the fossils embedded in the sandstone blocks that the legislature buildings were made of, and being very fascinated with these extinct critters.
In high school, one of my teachers sent me to work as a lab assistant with his ex prof., at Agriculture Canada's Regina Research station. I loved it, and wanted to become a biologist. Unfortunately, The school I was in was so bad academically (I pass all my classes stoned, drunk or asleep!), that I would have to do an extra couple of years of school just to get into university! As my father refused to support me, unless I became his apprentice (or rather his "whipping boy"), and I was fighting for social assistance just to stay in school, I finally gave up, and joined the army.
I always wanted to go back to school, and up-grade to enter university, but earning enough money to eat and pay the bills took precedent. I did get significant educational up-grading in the 1980s, thanks to the Communist Party of Canada, but that was law, not biology, and after working in a war zone in Nicaragua (in 1988), I couldn't work in an office any more.
Now I drive truck, make tools, and read books by scientists.
Anytime! Thanks for posting the donation information too. It's hard to respond to tragedies but by being able to contribute and/or physically do something really helps people feel not quite so helpless in tough situations.