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  • Hobbyist Photographer
  • More than 52 years experience
  • I work for either pay or trade depending on assignment
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50 YEARS OF PHOTOGRAPHY!

by Imran Anwar

My Father gave me a camera when I was 6 years old when cameras were expensive, and processing film even more so. From simple black and white films I had to use pocket money in Karachi to develop, to the amazing Nikon D300 DSLR I got for my 46th birthday, a lot has happened. Forty years of life, 40 years of photography. Hope to see and capture a lot more, God willing.

So, I started with a nice Japanese camera my dad gave me as a kid. I also used my Dad's Argus (that still works!) and captured our lives as we grew up in Pakistan.

I then "borrowed" (permanently) my father's awesome Yashica Electro 35 camera. That was amazing in its own right - telling over and underexposure from its orange and red LEDs! Wow.

Unfortunately, some of my work from the late 1970s to mid-1980s is lost forever, burnt when USA and Reagan-Bush backed Taliban type fundamentalists ransacked and burnt my stuff at Lahore's University of Engineering & Technology. (Now they are called terrorists, then they were "mujahideen"). The Electro 35 was stolen. Even terrorists know how to use a camera.

I started carrying a portable camera in my car when working for Jang Group Newspapers in Lahore, and took slice of life photos called PIC(K) OF THE WEEK with a caption that made people think. 

I then came to America 32 years ago (January 1989 to be precise) on a scholarship to get an MBA at Columbia University in New York City. My parents came to visit me a few months later (Abu had to go for some higher studies on a scholarship). When my Dad went off for studies (Utah State) Mom and I went around town (Manhattan) from my Columbia University apartment.

She wanted to buy me a camera but my dream Minolta 7000i was too expensive for me to let her buy it for me in 1989.

I bought it a few years later and took some beautiful pictures of beautiful places, gorgeous faces, during my Manhattan years, especially when I was living an amazing life at The Monterey (on the Upper East Side of Manhattan) or visiting loved ones in Washington, DC, and friends in California.

(I scanned some of what I can find but have not gotten around to posting or even straightening them on the MacBook Pro yet. I am currently undecided whether to do the rest of my photography work just in iPhoto, Apple Aperture, or iPhoto for management and Adobe Photoshop CS# for editing.)

Anyway, along with the Maxxum 7000i, I became one of the earliest users of digital cameras when the first Apple QuickTakecame out. Even have some of its pictures on my website, [url removed] [link removed] . I upgraded to the next model up and still have it. It's part of my Apple collection of ColorOne scanner, StyleWriter, and LaserWriter equipment that still reminds me of my love affair with Apple and its technologies. Maybe I will give it to a museum someday (if I don't end up having to sell everything in this economic downturn, that is!!)

I invested in, and loved, a Minolta Dimage X 2MP until I either misplaced it or lost it on a plane (missing an iPod 30GB since then too, so maybe it was stolen).

During this time I got the 5MP Nikon Coolpix E5700, which took some of the amazing West Palm Beach and Singer Island photos you see here. I still use it with an amazing panorama lens. Hundreds of panoramas of Paris and other places still to be processed and put online. Though, I was disappointed that the Nikon one day went blank as its screen showed TV-snow effects. It was sent to Nikon as it was a known defect and it was repaired free. (My friends and old classmates Oscar Freitas and Mohsin Shad also have the same camera and I think one of them also had similar problems).

I also added another Nikon to the mix. I replaced the lost Minolta Dimage X with a Nikon S6 (slightly bigger than the S1/S5 but had WiFi built-in, which never really worked right).

I still have the camera (but this too was sent to Nikon for repairs as apparently this too has a known defect which makes the screen remain dark when a sensor covering stays stuck. I have a 50 page PDF of just one forum listing people who had problems with this same camera series - do a Google search). So, Nikons take great pictures - but be wary of their tendency to have known manufacturing defects. 

Then I was in a quandary on whether to move from Minolta (Maxxum 7000i film and Dimage X digital) to another Minolta, their newest DSLR, or complete the migration by adding another Nikon to accompany the E5700. Minolta made it easier by selling out to Sony. For a while, I even found the Sony Alpha a better deal (see an old review I wrote) but I did not make the jump.

Even at 4 AM today, when I ordered a digital hi-def all-solid-state video camera, I went Canon VIXIA, not Sony. I refuse to indulge Sony's choice of forcing us to buy expensive Memory Stick and not regular SD Secure Digital cards that are so great and cheap. Anyway, on the photography front, though I did not get the Sony Alpha DSLR, nor did I move to the Nikon ship. I found the D40 and D60 not enough of an advance to make the jump. 

I finally did - when the Nikon DSLR D300 12.3 MP camera came out and I got it as a birthday gift from a then beloved girlfriend. She also invested in some additional lenses and flash, etc. and I love it. Sheer magic for many years and still going strong. [url removed] [link removed] has the photos to prove the magic. Check them out. 

So, there you have it. My 50 years journey in photography so far. And, my own way of capturing that journey, for myself, and, I hope, online, for others. It's there, now. Forever? I hope so. That is why I started nEternity so that even after we photographers and our web hosting services are gone, there is some insurance the content will live online forever - a record of our having seen the amazing world I saw, we saw, with our eyes.

Since then, after nearly a dozen years of keeping my D300 as the primary camera, it was the Nikon D850 which had the right combination of video and photo resolutions which made me get it... Lucky for me, it was a different beloved with almost the same name as the girl who gave me my D300. I guess consistency comes naturally! 

See you, and I hope our visions are seen, for an Eternity.

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© 2020 IMRAN™

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