My first camera was a Baby Brownie. I loved that camera. I was maybe six or seven years old when my father gave it to me. I used to create still lifes in the backyard and photograph them. I loved creating pictures. My parents upgraded me to a Kodak Instamatic and every Birthday or Christmas I looked forward to getting film and flashcubes.
My father was into photography for awhile and built a darkroom in our basement. He taught me how to develop and print B&W film as well as Ektachrome slides. These are skills that served me well over the years. Up until the world went digital, I always had my own darkroom in the house, no matter where I lived.
When I hit my late teens and had a real income (as opposed to baby sitting money), I bought my first SLR. I bought a Pentax ME. The Pentax ME is an aperture priority camera. This turned out to be very useful when I started shooting concerts and live music in clubs. I later added a Pentax MX which is a one hundred percent manual camera. The MX is also my all time favorite camera.
Fast forward to the digital days. I held off on buying a digital SLR for many years. I know how it works. First you buy the camera, then you want this lens and that lens so on and so forth. I already had quite a few good lenses and other accessories sitting around doing nothing. I decided to go with a Sony Mavica as I liked how it recorded images directly onto small CDs.
Eventually Pentax came out with the K100D and I bought one. Like all Pentax DSLRs, the K100D can use my old Ashai Pentax lenses. I eventually bought a K10D as well. For the most part, I now shoot with the K10D exclusively.
Cameras: Baby Brownie, Pentax ME, Pentax MX, Pentax K100D, PentaxK10D.
Lenses: way too many to list. The majority are Asahi Pentax M-Series lenses. I have a few modern day Pentax lenses and a Tamron or two.
If anything has been consistent throughout the course of my life, it is my love of music and photography. The first concert I shot was the Patti Smith Group at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. I learned an important lesson that night. I learned if you attended a concert with an SLR and a telephoto lens, it was very easy to get right up front as it was assumed you were a pro. Not so these days. Times have changed and you are lucky if you can get any kind of camera into a major show.
It would be another two or three years before I shot another show. Once I started however, I didn't stop for quite awhile. I used to go to clubs in San Francisco and Berkeley and just shoot whoever was playing. I often made friends with the bands and traded prints in exchange for getting my name on the guest list. I didn't have a lot of money and neither did most of the bands I shot, but it sure was fun. I even managed to get published now and then.
I wound up moving to South Florida in the mid-eighties. Coming from such a diverse and thriving scene as the one in the Bay Area, South Florida's seemed like a musical wasteland. At first it seemed like there was nothing going on other than Top 40 Cover Music. Ahhhh!!!!
In my boredom I decided that South Florida needed a music magazine similar to B.A.M. I decided to create one. Remember, this was back before most people owned a pc. I put the first issue of "Gold Coast Live!" together using a typewriter, stencils and a photocopier. The first issue was more about Bay Area bands than South Florida bands as I had yet to discover a scene.
Once the first issue was printed I went to work looking for material and advertising for the second issue. In the process I met Kim Fredericks (a.k.a. Kimberly Scorch) and the rest is history. Kim knew how to find the good local bands. Together, with a few other people, we went to work documenting the scene.
I spent most of my time writing, editing, working on design and layout, distribution, etc etc. I left the photography to others. I sort of regret that now. (Regret the part about putting my camera down and not doing any photography).
BTW- I am into manual focus and rarely ever use auto focus.
Eclypso.com features the work of catharine j. anderson. All photographs on Eclypso.com are copyrighted and may not be used without permission.