I have had an interest in photography for most of my life. I think I was 9 years old when – at Christmas in 1982 – I got my first camera: the Kodak Disc 4000:

400px-Camera_Kodak_Disc_4000_with_disc_film

I don’t think I knew how to do much more than push the button (not that there was much more to do – its allure was its simplicity), but I knew then I loved taking pictures, and know I took at least several hundred pics over the next few years.

Three or four years later – in 1985/1986 – I got my first SLR: the revolutionary Minolta Maxxum 7000:

Minolta-Maxxum-7000-1

I was in hog heaven! I still didn’t know too much about photography at the time, but for the first time I began to delve into the settings and experiment with various types of photography. It was with this camera – and the photos I began to share – that I first began to hear feedback that I had a propensity for photography. Some of the photos – like this one of the 4-wheeler jumping – warranted a print bigger than 4×6.

The year was 1985...

So with some of the photos, I had them enlarged – some as big as 2’x3’ posters. It was then that I learned of the graininess caused by enlarging the photo beyond its native size. I remember asking how this could be avoided, and being told about “medium (and large) format” cameras for the first time. I was highly intrigued, but the $2000-$3000 cost (in 1980’s dollars) was far more than I could fathom as a teenager. I knew it’d have to be a dream I’d have to shelve for several years, but something I wanted to come back to when I could. I continued to shoot SLR for several years, even managing to lug it around Europe during a summer college trip in 1993.

For Christmas 1999, I got my first digital camera – the Canon Powershot S10. I was one of the first people around to have one. I remember people being absolutely amazed that you could immediately see the picture on the screen. And delete it. And retake it. As many times as you wanted. I knew right away it was the future of photography. Over the next several years, I owned several digital point and shoot cameras – all Canon Powershots – as quality, features, and pixel counts increased.

But all along – even as digital began to take over film – I still had that itch to go back to film and get to use a medium-format camera. (At the time, film still carried a quality advantage over digital, and the megapixel counts were still below that of the equivalent film size.) So, I eventually got myself a brand new Mamiya 7II rangefinder (shown here with my polarizing filter):

Mamiya 7II

Wow – this camera was huge! It used a 35mm-dwarfing 6x7cm medium format film that could be enlarged many times over my old SLR. I had most of the film developed into transparencies/slides and viewed them via a loupe – what an amazing way to view photographs. Over the next few years I took hundreds of photos and even managed to take the camera along my honeymoon through Cinque Terre, Italy and Santorini, Greece, and take pictures like this one:
Santorini Greece, 2005

Eventually, the advantages of digital – coupled with my impatience of having to wait for film developing – led me to trade in the Mamiya for my first DSLR: the Nikon D300. It was later that same year, 2008, that I discovered flickr. I found the shared knowledge and love of photography from fellow members was highly educational. I learned more about techniques in the next few months than I had in all the time before. For the first time, I felt a true understanding – dare I say mastery lol?? – of my camera, its settings, and how to take the exact shot I envisioned.

Today I shoot with a “full-frame” D800 and love all types of photography, but I specialize in ultra-high resolution panoramic and time-lapse photography. Below are a few of my favorites.

Thanks for reading. -Jim

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Star Trails 8

San Antonio, Texas - Summer Skyline

Super Casey: A Cavalier King Charles Spaniel goes berserk.

Houston Skyline - Optically Clear

solitude

9 months

San Antonio Riverwalk and Tower Life Building v2

2009 BMW 328i by Jim | jld3 photography

Photos of Jim | jld3 photography (3)

  • Curtis' 7th B-day Portrait by Jim | jld3 photography
  • Jim's Pier - South Padre Island TX - Vintage by Jim | jld3 photography
  • 4-Wheeler Jumping Self-Portrait by Jim | jld3 photography
 

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    lee.stephens says:

    "Jim is an inspiring friend, he is a wonderful artist, creative and funny too. With a wide-ranging photostream I await each posting with eager anticipation.

    He may be busy from time to time with the real world, but when he returns I always see it with a stream of insightful and well thought out comments. He's also not afraid to speak his mind - and I really appreciate that.

    He's also a Texan but hey, you can't have everything... :)"

    September 29th, 2009

Name:
Jim Drought III
Joined:
November 2008
Hometown:
San Antonio
Currently:
San Antonio, USA
I am:
Male and Taken
Website:
jld3 photography
Email:
photo [at] jld3.com