September 03, 2013

"test of time" 3 of 30 - developing my vision, 1961

photo by Donald Kinney

Working as a bookkeeper, my dad didn't pull in a large paycheck, but he managed to make ends meet. Handouts and an allowance were out of the question so I had to scramble for my own spending cash. I quickly realized that photography was a rather expensive hobby.

I had jobs from a very early age--there was money in pulling weeds and babysitting. At age 12 I went to work as an independent contractor for the Monterey Peninsula Herald, delivering newspapers daily except Sunday to about 130 customers, netting me a steady $40 per month; which I dutifully spent on film, chemicals, printing paper, and photography magazines.

The Monterey Peninsula offered me a wealth of photo opportunities, but the buzz-phrase of the day was "learning how to see", so I was constantly framing up scenes with my fingers or a cardboard rectangle in efforts to isolate important elements. If the composition met my approval, I would then reframe it in my viewfinder and commit it to film.

Then one day I saw it--the artful ends of all those newspapers I had just rolled. A bit of side-lighting for contrast, and there it was; the alpha and omega--my vision and the resulting photograph.

CLICK for 40 photos on what I call my "big site";
CLICK for "Photographing Marin County"; my Marin County exhibit.

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