April 6, 2021

Tuesday Takeover: Your Camera Takes Great Photos- Part 1

By Lydia Kuniholm
Welcome to Photo Start Takeover Tuesday! Every first Tuesday of the month, we will be turning over our blog space to a guest and allow them to share their thoughts on things photography, education, charity, life, and so much more. To kick us off and set the tone, Lydia Kuniholm takes over. Lydia is an educator who describes herself as a visually oriented and digitally distracted communicator. She also loves photography and has been taking photos all her life. Lydia was born in the U.S. but raised all over the world, and has travelled extensively in her work as an educator, taking beautiful photos along the way. Take it away Lydia!

Your ‘Film’ Camera Takes Great Photos! – Petri Film Camera

Whenever people ask me about getting started in photography, one of the first questions I’m asked is about my camera gear. Equipment is definitely part of the photography puzzle, but it is just one of the many pieces. There are so many other elements that go into a great photo – most of them unrelated to equipment.  I have been taking photographs since the age of 26, when my parents gifted me their old Petri film camera with a wide-angle lens. I had no background in photography, but as an adolescent/young adult, I would pore over magazines, from National Geographic to Vogue, glued to the pictures and seldom getting beyond them to read the text. I also loved drawing, and in college I took all of the art classes available (sculpture, life drawing, painting, etc.).  When I received my first (film) camera, I was living In Houston, Texas. I would walk around the neighborhoods and remember taking many photos of cats looking out of windows, appearing as if they were prisoners. I moved to Japan shortly thereafter as part of an educational exchange program and my subject matter included the students and staff at local schools as well as the members of the small town where I was assigned.  I continued to focus on people with my various film cameras and moved from Japan to Morocco to Egypt for work. Most of what I learned came from working alongside people who were passionate about photography, and in many cases had more advanced skills than mine. I learned a lot from seeing my own photos, something we all waited eagerly to do in the days of film photography. Whenever I endeavored to shoot in a new environment (i.e., night shots, sport events, etc.) and failed, I advanced my technical skills until eventually I got what I was after.   

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