I've been reading my childhood journals, which I brought back to England from my mom's house in Florida. In the years since I wrote them I've forgotten so many events, so many people -- neighborhood kids, a boy at school who traded beer cans with me (I brought beer cans to school?!) and others. I filled the journals with drawings, stickers from bananas, wrappers from Easter candy -- you name it. They make for fun reading.
I was especially struck by this passage, from Sept. 23, 1978, when I was 11:
We are going to take pictures today. Sometime this afternoon, Dad says. Although I think the shadows would be better this morning, Dad's the boss! I want to be a photographer when I grow up, I think. I took some pictures a few weeks ago which Dad says are great. I took some of peaches, flowers, insects, spiders, plants and lichens. Shadows make things all the more interesting.How about that? I was paying attention to shadows even then! The photos I took "a few weeks ago" included this one, which I took using my father's 35mm Minolta camera. I don't think I have any from Sept. 23, though, and I wonder whether we ever did take photos that day.
By that time I'd had my own camera for about four years. It was a crappy little Magimatic, nearly useless for any attempts at art, but I kept it until 1983 when I finally got my own Canon 35mm.
Maybe I was paying more attention because I'd taken photography at summer camp in 1978. In fact, I won an award!
(Photo: I don't have any old, old photos at hand, so here's another from Anna Maria Island -- an interesting wall on a house under renovation.)