My first camera the poor mans Leica was actually a Agfa-Ambi. I started borrowing it regularly from my father when I was seven, right after we bought my first pair of glasses at Tinder-Krauss-Tinder.
Ralph Eugene Meatyard was my optician. A philosopher and photographer with a zen for abstract expression.
My mom kept me enrolled in photography and film classes at the Living Arts and Science Center. Dark room experience at Lexington Catholic High School on the yearbook staff. It was a fun way to stay after school and hang out with boys. Stop and Smell the Stop Bath!
Still using my dads camera, we switched over to the Olympus Pen half frame. There was a focus guide and light meter inside the viewfinder. You also got 72 slides on a roll of 36, it was decadent.
I bought my first and only enlarger at garage sale. I thought I'd turn the coal bin in my parents basement into a darkroom, that never happened.
Saved the money I made parking cars to buy a camera I did not have to share with dad or any of my sisters. It was a black body Olympus OM1.
Most inspiring classes the "History of Photography" in college of architecture and Photojournalism in college of communications both at the University of Kentucky.
Over the years my drawing and painting really taught me about process, discipline and how to see. Now enjoying my 25th year in the advertising business, where I have studied and critiqued the work of many accomplished image makers.