My loved ones weren’t being cruel. The question seamed to come from left field, given the context of MOTU’s exposure to me. I’ve never considered myself a writer. In fact, other than some correspondence. Internet comments and long ago school work, that post is the only writing that I’ve ever done. So, since MOTU only knows me from from my postings on MDW; the request was very flattering.
I only dabbled in the performing arts. Since I never judged myself to be more than adequate, at best, I drifted away from performing before high school. The visual arts were always frustrating for me. I always had a good eye. I knew how a piece of art should look, but my drawing ability ended at remedial stick figures and my attempts at sculpture all looked like the ghosts from Pac Man.
Photography was always a different story. As a little kid, I discovered with my Mom’s Instamatic, that I could take a decent picture. This small talent was rewarded one Christmas when Santa gave me a Polaroid. From that point on, I started taking photography seriously. I eventually progressed to my Father’s 35mm and then my own. In high school, I started developing and printing my own B&W pictures. As a senior, I started experimenting with color transparencies for the year end slide show. Then the wheels came off.
After high school, I discovered that I couldn’t afford to continue progressing without the free darkroom and occasional free film that I had access to. I still took pictures, but I grew bored with the guy at the drug store doing the work and drifted away. Then a couple of years ago, I got my mitts on a decent digital camera. I could shoot to my heart’s content! I could do simple editing, in the camera! I could process the pictures on the computer, without the smelly chemicals! It was a miracle! I’m still learning how this brave new world works and I’m not using the best equipment, but I’m having fun!
Doug Abramson lives in Southern California and is waiting to win the Lotto.