I Want To Talk About Photography

Celebrating 50 Years With A Camera In My Hands

GE McKerrihan

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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…

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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.