Linda’s Camera: a gift that launched a passion

Christmas 1974.  Look what is under my tree, an Asahi Pentax camera!

This camera, one of my all time favourite Christmas gifts, launched my passion for photography.

Image by Danny H on Pixabay 

In the early years, I loved taking photos of people, especially children.  As young parents, there was no shortage of nieces and nephews and neighbours to practice on.  

Here’s one, this photo of my niece Lisa, is around 50 years old!

At that time, film was sent to Winnipeg, Manitoba to be processed.  As I recall, it took two or three weeks or more for the prints and negatives to end up in our mailbox.  I would eagerly open the envelope to find some wonderful photos, some disappointing photos, and on at least one occasion, blank negatives!   

It was also around this time that Community Colleges opened across Saskatchewan, offering all kinds of non-credit and for credit courses.  I eagerly enrolled in a photography class at Cypress Hills Community College, enjoying the hour or more drive there and back.  As an aside, the Community College system was a huge gift for me, feeding my passion for learning.  I took my first three University courses at Cypress Hills Community College.

I have been sifting through boxes of photos that were taken with this camera.  What a great memory trip, and so many stories. 

For a while, I enjoyed being the photo person at weddings and birthdays and other special occasions.  But over time my primary interest shifted to photos of nature.  It can be a big deal to carry camera equipment on a visit or a trip, but as I look back at those photos, I am grateful I was carting that equipment around.  These photos also tell a story.

This photo was taken nine years ago this week, between Prince Albert and Nipawin, Sask.  One of those exquisite winter days, where the frost on the trees against the blue sky inspired awe and a stop to take some shots.

We were on our way to the funeral of my grandnephew, Aaron-james. Every time I see this photo, and it turned up this week on a FB memory, I think of Aaron. I see his smile and tenderness. A photo is only a fragment of a story, but an important one.

So, photography is not just a passion, it is a memoir.