Persuing the impossible
I have been taking photographs since the age of nine. My father gave me a camera for my 9th birthday - a gadget I had expressed great wishes about having - and I was indeed thrilled and excited. I immidiately ran out and took my first roll of film (well, my first cassette, to be exact) photographing everything I cared for. My parents, our house, our dog, my bicycle - that sort. Then I waited in anticipation for three days to see the prints, and I was happy! I knew right away that this was just me! I´d struck gold! I still have these prints - and they are still a treasure to me. On them I can see my father (who´s dead now, alas) smiling proudly at me from the picture. Wether he´s proud of me or of his succeeding in finding a perfect present for his son, I can´t tell. But because of the sentiment about him and the situation, I consider it being one of my best photographs to this day.
This shows one of the two main reasons for me to have been making photographs for most of my life. Photographs are excellent memory-catchers. Help you remember your past, your family´s history, what the house looked like twenty-something years ago. All that private stuff. Everyone knows that, and I reckon that most people owning a camera have it for that particular reason.
Already when taking my second roll of film, I started experimenting with an other sort of photography. I started persuing the "good photograph", meaning a photograph interesting and meaningful to other people than me and my family. My first attempt was very traditional; the sunset over the sea! But at that early stage I knew already that this was the part of photography that would probably be just as - or even more - rewarding to me than the memory-keeping sort. And right I was - it has been true to this present day.
Today photography is a passion. Not like a raging fire - more like envers, sometimes in flames sometimes glowing, constantly releasing energy. I produce one or more acceptable photographs every week - and part of my annual income origins from photographs. Once in a while I am able to execute a great photograph. That´s very rare - but like any other addict I am ready to go through fire and water to get that rush. That drive is basically the same I had 37 yeas ago snapping the picture of the sun setting in the sea. The differences are more experience, better technical skills and more expensive equipment. Not to mention digital! But the feeling of it remains the same.
The search for the perfect photograph continues.