cameron ingalls

Photography 101 (8.23.97)

Posted on 08 Mar 2011 Comments Off

As soon as I enrolled in the local community college I signed up for a real photography class. Black and White Beginning Photography. I couldnt wait for day one. I still remember my teachers words that first day of college. {Photography is one of the most expensive electives offered here at Cuesta College. If you cant afford to invest in equipment and supplies leave now and give your seat to someone who wants it more than you do.} I felt a rush of nervousness flood through my body. I didn’t have money! I couldn’t afford to buy equipment and supplies on my part-time paycheck from Sears Automotive. But I also couldn’t ignore my love for photography. I was in.

Our first photo assignment was a portrait. Take one person and shoot 2 rolls. I was thrilled at the challenge! At the time the most interesting human being was my friend Toby who happened to wear sharpie eyeliner, black nail polish, a black trench coat and fishnet stockings on his arms. Since he was going through a full-blown Goth phase I thought it appropriate to photograph him in a cemetery. Truthfully I was afraid that my teacher would be offended by the images I was pulling out of the darkroom.

“Ingalls, lets see what you got.” I gulped as I handed him my tray with a freshly exposed Gothic Toby. “Wow, this is good; real good!” my teacher exclaimed. “I love the composition,” he continued “and look at the depth of field here with the gravestones in the front and back of the subject.” I had no idea what he meant but I was on top of the world!

I learned that year one important thing from my B&W photo class, that I loved photographing people. Unfortunately, by the end of the year my camera began leaking light, which is fatal in the world of film. Sadly, I gave up my love for photography because in reality I was just a poor college kid changing tires and waiting tables who really couldn’t afford such an expensive hobby.

It all changed when I came home one day from work and noticed something out of the ordinary sitting on my dinner table. A brand new Canon Rebel G (the Andre Agassi version). It had a note attached that read, “God told me to buy this for you. Love Chris.” I don’t know about you but I always thought that when God tells people to buy things for others its normally like a bag of groceries for a family down on their luck, a tank of gas for a traveler passing through town, or even a Christmas present for an orphan kid in India. Not a brand-new Canon rebel camera for a community college student. I called Chris to tell him that I didn’t think he was that “tuned in” to the voice of the Lord. ;) And that I gladly accepted his gift.