As a kid I drew incessantly. By the time I was in middle grades I was doing it pretty well. However, the schools in small-town Illinois had 0.00 support for visual art but did have minimal support for music. In 6th grade music rared its head and I leaped in headfirst. Any interest in visual art went away. Through college and beyond I played in dance bands of more-or-less reputable dance bands including a summer tour in Germany with a USO troupe.
Time passed. As a young professional I decided that I couldn’t have a day job, a night job, and a family so I put my horns “under the bed”.
Well, of course I had a camera and enjoyed taking family and vacation slides but nothing beyond that. A couple of co-workers did black and white photography and they had such a good time that I had begun to dabble in it.
More time passed. We were living in Buffalo New York and a friend told me about the George Eastman (founder of Kodak) museum in nearby Rochester. Okay, I’m up for art museums so we visited it. At that time the main building was in the mansion that had been George Eastman’s home. On a landing halfway up the “grand staircase” was hung a large print – probably 20x24 – of Ansel Adams “Moon Over Half Dome.” I was mesmerized, I was dazzled. I nearly fell backwards down the stairs. I had never seen a photograph – or any other piece of visual art – that hit me that hard.. I started haunting the public library for books of photographs and discovered a whole new world.
It took me a while (quite a while actually) to figure out what kind of photography I wanted to do but I knew it was out there somewhere. It took even longer to gain the skill to make my prints look the way I wanted them.
Do I miss making music, or drawing or would I like to paint or sculpt? Sure. But there are only 24 hours in my day too.
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