My introduction, and how micro 4/3's changed my life.

Discussion in 'Welcomes and introductions' started by tillman, Jul 13, 2012.

  1. tillman

    tillman New to Mu-43

    Jul 2, 2012
    Hi all,

    After lurking for a while I finally decided to join all you fine people, I find myself spending more and more time on this site! I thought I'd introduce myself by sharing my story. I have been actively involved in photography for about 15 years, starting out shooting mostly B&W with manual SLR's, developing my own film and prints and learning the finer details of composition. Throughout high school I was involved in film and photo programs and enjoyed free film and access to a well supplied darkroom. I worked at a small collectible camera company that is now a much larger collectible camera company, and during my early years involved in this hobby I developed an appreciation for the older equipment. I enjoyed shooting with my Canon FTb, Nikon FE2, Pentax Spotmatic and SF1, as well as a Rollei 35 and a Rolleiflex, to name a few.

    When I finished high school in 2000, I no longer had access to free film and darkrooms, so I resorted to using the digital equipment I could afford, which was mainly point and shoot cameras, which frustrated me. Shooting film was not something I could afford either. I did not do much with my photography for a few years, and I found that due to working in retail environments (Best Buy, Ritz Camera, local photo labs, etc) as a salesman that I really loss my passion. I was tired of selling cameras to people who wanted to know which camera had the best auto mode, which one was the lightest (ie, most plastic) had the biggest zoom or whichever gimmick feature they had become convinced would make them the best photographer in their neighborhood without all the pesky learning. I got to a point where I had absolutely no desire to pick up a camera.

    By 2004 I had switched gears and had completely removed myself from photography, pursuing a public works career and focusing my efforts on sewer system repair, of all things. Around 2006 I happened across a fantastic deal on a Panasonic L1, which was a great camera and much better than that plastic garbage I had been mucking around with, however it was bulky and I found that I left it at home fairly often. I enjoyed using it, but I didn't make it a point to use it and it mostly gathered dust. I was feeling as though I had lost my way and really didn't feel like I was living the life I wanted to. I woke every morning at 5:30 in the morning, and drudged on to work feeling more empty about my life than the day before. I was miserable, and it was difficult because I was also very good at the skilled technical work I did and made a good living at it, so leaving seemed idiotic. I tried having relationships, but the things that made me interesting or that I was interested in just seemed to be gone. I felt like an empty man.

    I lost my grandfather (a former pilot who talked passionately about aviation and had many great stories to tell) to cancer in 2009. Shortly afterwards, one of my best friends was diagnosed with terminal cancer at age 28. these two events effected me deeply. After much deliberation, I quit my job to pursue a direction that I felt was more in line with who I was. I put my steel toe boots in the closet and wore nothing but sandals or went barefoot for the next year. I spent each day doing whatever I woke up feeling like, and spent a lot of time reconnecting with friends I had become distant from while I was off having a career. This resulted in a renewed passion for photography which had been missing for a number of years, and at this point I sold my L1 and purchased a Panasonic GF1 with the 20mm F1.7 and a G1 with the 14-45 zoom. Micro 4/3 cameras were exactly what I was after, I wanted control, I wanted compact, and I wanted quality, and this is what I got. I had forgotten how much I had loved to take long exposure shots, or how a shallow depth of field and great bokeh could make all the difference between an amazing photo and something mundane from a point and shoot.

    At the moment, I am finishing my training to be an aircraft mechanic (something I had attempted after high school but flunked out after one term due to lack of dedication), working part time at the same collectible camera company I started at, and learned my lesson about trying to turn hobbies into careers, or trying to make a career out of something that holds no passion for me. I lost sight of what was important to me and what made me happy, and in doing so I made myself miserable and lonely. Now days I carry a Panasonic LX3 with me at all times to make sure I don't miss any shots in my normal day to day, and take time to go out and use my m4/3 equipment because it's fun. Aside from photography and school, I have found my new direction includes a fiance and a role as a father to her two young children from a previous marriage who are becoming very interested in photography themselves!

    I realize this is pretty rambling, I honestly didn't start out with the intention to write all this, but thanks for reading, I'm glad to be part of this group!

    • Like Like x 14
  2. TexChappy

    TexChappy Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 30, 2012
    Welcome. Thanks for sharing and wish you luck with your training and your passionate hobby.
  3. littleMT

    littleMT Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 8, 2012
    Real Name:
    Lucille Sanchez
    welcome and share some images with us...
  4. nueces snapper

    nueces snapper Mu-43 All-Pro


    Its ironic how many people begin young with photography and drift away ... but come back as they get to know themselves ... realizing how much they need to express something within themselves through their photography.

    I'm always most at piece with myself when I shoot regularly and share my images with others. I should get back to printing. :smile:
  5. hanzo

    hanzo Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 22, 2010
    Real Name:

    its an inspiring rambling :biggrin:
  6. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    Welcome and please share some images with us. It's a great community where someone is always willing to help.
  7. addieleman

    addieleman Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 5, 2010
    The Netherlands
    Real Name:
    Welcome. When I first saw the length of your story I thought: "I'm not going to read such a long introduction". But I did and I found myself wanting to see how this would end up. Don't know (yet) about your photography, but your writing is quite entertaining!
  8. emirabal

    emirabal Mu-43 Regular

    Awesome story, I was playing background music for you while I read the whole thing. awesome that you area also switching careers like that. good luck and posts like yours are why I ended up joining this forum.
  9. dagaleaa

    dagaleaa Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 4, 2011
    Naples, Fl
    Real Name:
    Welcome and glad to see another happy Micro 4/3 user! When you began your introduction it sounded alot like my introduction too. I also grew up with photography, cameras, darkrooms, and so much equipment at my finger-tips. I developed a real passion from my dad and his passion for collecting such items! I still carry that passion, and it has waned and waxed for many years...sometimes due to life circumstances or as a way of getting in the way sometimes. I must say that my first venture into digital photography probably saved me from going crazy! I was taking care of my grandmother ( in her 90's) who had suffered from many mini-strokes, and I basically became a prisoner in her home ( by choice). I never knew how difficult it was going to be or how lonely I would feel. She could not be left alone for any length of time of more than a few minuites. I did have one uncle who lived in her area and he would come over once a week and take her to breakfast and then would sit with her for the afternoon so I could leave her house and buy grocercies, etc.. Anyway, I bought a point and shoot Olympus camera and joined a photography website ( DP challenge) and it transformed my existence. I learned the camera....started entering the photo contests and found something to occupy my time. Almost all of my photos were taken in my grandmother's house or in the yard...try that for a real challenge!! Anyway...that was about 10 years ago, and several cameras later ( including a LX3) and here I am finding new inspirations with micro 4/3! Sorry I posted something so lengthy to your post....I was inspired by it!!!! Welcome again.....
  10. snkenai

    snkenai Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 5, 2010
    I also, have had many events, career changes, including A&P (aircraft mechanic) and private pilot. Variety is the spice of life!
  11. RevBob

    RevBob Super Moderator

    Jun 4, 2011
    NorthWestern PA
    Real Name:
    Welcome! Photography is such a meaningful hobby because it is not only creative but it allows us to preserve moments and memories as well. The chance to capture beauty and meaning or to tell a story is a powerful experience. Glad to have you with us and look forward to seeing your photos. :smile:
  12. tillman

    tillman New to Mu-43

    Jul 2, 2012
    Wow, thanks for all the responses! I didn't realize anyone had even looked at this much less responded until today, I haven't figured out all the things on the site as far as notifications! I've added some photos for you all to look at, thanks for all the kind words!

  13. spatulaboy

    spatulaboy I'm not really here

    Jul 13, 2011
    North Carolina
    Real Name:
    Welcome and thanks for sharing. Perhaps I'll make a post about how m4/3 got me back into photography as well... Maybe tomorrow. :smile:
  14. aragorn1980

    aragorn1980 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 10, 2012
    Athens Greece
    Real Name:
    Hope you enjoy your time here!Welcome!
  15. Fmrvette

    Fmrvette This Space For Rent

    May 26, 2012
    Detroit, Michigan
    Real Name:
    Tillman, welcome aboard!


  16. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    Tillman : you write a heart-wrenching intro story, let it lie for half a year and then Necro with your second ever post!

    Welcome! :bravo-009:

    Would that all six-month lurkers had such a buildup. :smile:
  17. tillman

    tillman New to Mu-43

    Jul 2, 2012
    Well, to update you all....

    I got married in December and I am now nearly finished with my training to be an aircraft mechanic, all the while taking pictures and trying to be a good step father. I have reduced much of my Micro 4/3's setup as I've been pulled over to the dark side of Sony. I purchased a SLT-A37, it is a good camera and I'm excited at all the glass I can get for it that I can actually afford! I'd love to have an OM-D and all the spendy primes, but alas, I am still a poor student.
    I lost a close friend of mine to cancer in October after he had fought it for two years. I found myself in quite a slump that I'm just getting out of, just didn't feel much like taking pictures with a heavy heart, but life goes on and I've got much to be thankful for. In a round about way I have my buddy whom I lost to thank for me getting together with the woman who is now my wife, so even with the bad there is some good.

    All depressing things aside, I am trying to find more creative ways to apply myself towards earning a living, photography being a facet of this, but I'm also dabbling in woodworking and other creative pursuits. I still feel like I've been reawakened inside, and this desire to create things is still growing, and it's something I find myself having a difficult time denying, it just has to flow!

    I still am carrying my trusty LX3 with me, it seems to get all my really good shots since it comes along on my adventures!

    Hope all are doing well, take care.

  18. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    Hey the old Minolta50mmF1.7 is a great lens for the Sonys, autofocus is reliable and quick, I bought my friend a sony DSLR to use with his bag of oly mediocre lenses and the 50mm basically stays on it most of the time.

    If you're now a fully trained aircraft mechanic why would you dabble with other earnings?
  19. tillman

    tillman New to Mu-43

    Jul 2, 2012
    I am planning to take my certification exams in February, so at the moment I'm not employable as an aircraft mechanic just yet.

    As far dabbling in other earnings, there isn't a real easy answer. The thing with working on aircraft is that there isn't a great deal of creativity involved, there is more or less a way or procedure for almost everything, it's an industry that is quite literally "By the book" for very good reasons, but right now I want to explore my ability to create, and I also really like the idea that I can have more control over my income then to just try and work more hours. It's an experiment. In addition, where I live there is a fairly low demand for aircraft mechanics. I started my training before I was married and had step kids to think of as well as everything else that is involved in joining your life with someone else's, and at the moment relocating isn't ideal. I hate commuting, which is what I've been doing for a couple years to attend school and would likely have to do to be employed in the aviation maintenance field. When I started, I figured I would move to wherever the work was, maybe take an overseas assignment, but life opens doors and shuts others. So, I'm trying to find ways to put my training to work in other fields, and in the meantime maybe figure out a way to make a living from home.

    I was just looking at that 50mm you mentioned on KEH earlier today but I opted to order the 28mm f2.8 and the 70-210 f4 "Beercan" for now. I like the FOV I get from the Panasonic 20mm and I was hoping the 28mm would be a good approximate to that, I tried the Sony 35mm f1.8 but I think I may return it, it's a bit on the long side for my tastes (53mm equivalent in full frame).