I Want To Talk About Photography

Celebrating 50 Years With A Camera In My Hands

GE McKerrihan


Bamboo growing in a straight line.
“Curated Bamboo” — Image by Author

Fifty years ago, I was introduced to Edward Weston’s Daybooks. This is a two volume set of his daily morning writing. Several pages into the first volume, I was hooked. Both on Weston, and life as a photographer. I was 22 years old.

I was living with a couple of friends who were taking photo classes at one of the community colleges in Phoenix. I was attending another community college, studying ceramics and sculpture. I was as hooked on these two subjects, as much as they were on photography. I had never given much thought to photography.

Not long after this, they set up a makeshift darkroom in a bedroom closet. It was here that I was introduced to the magic of this medium. I was quickly enthralled on what was possible in the dark. Weston’s books gave me the final push.

Empty park bench in strong shadows.
“Come Sit In The Shadows” — Image by Author

My friends loaned me an old Sears 35mm camera to play with. And play I did. Soon I was out with them on Saturday mornings, photographing in the seedy industrial areas of Phoenix.

Not long after, I was developing my own film, and learned the rudiments of printing in the closet darkroom. My whole world was soon turned upside down.

A year or so later I received a Mamiya Twin Lens camera for my birthday. The beginning of a long journey into medium formate photography. I’ve never been of a fan of 35mm cameras. The medium format felt right at home in my hands.

Two young girls dancing in the Zocalo.
“Dancing In The Zocalo” — Image by Author

In 1978 I moved to Eugene, Oregon to study photography. I had a small portfolio I had printed in my own closet darkroom. These images were deemed worthy enough to get me accepted into the photo program at the University of Oregon.

Three years later I graduated with a degree in Photography and Visual Design. I was fortunate to have two great instructors during my three years at the UofO. The first was Milton Halberstadt, who had spent years in San Francisco running…



GE McKerrihan

I’ve been using the camera for nearly 50 years. I write about Photography, Art, Travel, and Life. Top Writer in Photography, Art, Creativity, and Inspiration.