Like most journeys, mine began with a single step.
As a normal 9 to 5'er with little extra cash to throw around, I had mostly resigned myself to snapping away with a point and shoot, telling myself that one day when I am big, I would get a DSLR.
Well my 43rd birthday rolled around in November 2009, and I decided I was big enough.
After a lot of internet research I became the proud owner of a Pentax K-7.
At that point it was still very a fun hobby, and as my daughters rode horses, there was a natural attraction to these great clumsy animals brought on by being around them so much. It's fair to say that without my girls riding, I may never have begun to take my photography seriously.
When my daughters finally got to do their first show at the local equestrian club, I was surprised to see that there was no official photographer. To me it seemed a perfect opportunity to start a little sideline business.
And thus the idea of offering equine photography services was born.
It's been a while since we've featured a professional Pentaxian on our homepage, but today, we're happy to bring you an article about Charis Talbot, a talented model photographer from the UK (forum username CharisVega)! Throughout the biography you fill find many samples of her work. We're happy to have her as our first female Pentaxian!
When I was a child I was obsessed with books and stories. My parents photo albums to me were a story to which I didn't know the words. I spent hours looking at old weathered black and white photos of almost forgotten family members trying to work out what they could tell me, hoping they'd surrender their secrets to me. My love of imagery blossomed in my teenage years when amongst my random doodling it appeared I had a startling talent for painting portraits. I went to university to study fine art but soon became disenchanted with painting. Photography rescued me.
I learned photography using my dad's old army issue Yashica and spent endless happy hours in darkrooms tinkering. During my last year digital became a ‘thing’. My work was mostly photographs of abandoned houses in the rural countryside of Wales, I did do a few portraits here and there but because they didn't look magazine standard I wasn't interested and we didn't have Photoshop to experiment with.
After graduating I took the (not so) obvious choice of working in finance, singing in bands, modelling and generally ignoring my degree. This was mostly because I didn’t have any faith in my own ability. Eventually five years later, I’d got a job managing a small photographic shop in the Cotswolds. I was sitting in the repair workshop cleaning out a mouldy lens and thinking about the ‘professional photographers’ who came into my shop and suddenly I knew I could do better. I knew I wanted a Pentax K-x as they were my favourite models to demonstrate to customers. The Pentax rep popped in around this time and recommended the Pentax K-r.
I was immediately sold as it came in white and I loved the features. I believe when choosing a camera it’s a little like Harry Potter in that the wand chooses a wizard and a camera chooses the photographer.
It was really like coming home for me.
Or like the first time I laid eyes on my wife.
It was so comfortable, so right, that I just knew we’d be together for the rest of my life.
That was the feeling I got when I pressed my eye against my Pentax, clicked the shutter, tilted the camera forward slightly, then looked at the image on the LCD screen.
I know that might sound dramatic, but it really is the best way to describe it.
Now, this wasn’t something that happened to me at a tender age either - I was 38 years old.
To understand how I got to this page, though, I need to tell you where I’ve been.
Today we present you with the story of another Pentaxian: Angelescu Stefan.
My father has played a big role in my life since I was a little boy. As a movie director and an adept of the Russian cinematography, he always dragged me to film festivals and photo exhibitions and that, I think, determined the way I see the world through the lens today. He also gave me my first camera, a Pentax MX which I still use today, and that was my first contact with Pentax.
My real love affair with photography started in high school, as those were the days when compacts were regarded as hi tech oddities and DSLRs looked like something out of a sci-fi novel. Back then, I was experimenting a lot, but shooting on film was very time and money consuming, so I decided to get my hands on a compact and from that point on it was a roller-coaster ride. I started winning a lot of local photo contests which allowed me to invest in various Pentax lenses and Pentax SLR bodies. I don’t know for sure, but some of my friends say that I might have a mild form of Gear Acquisition Syndrome :).
It has been a while since we've featured a Pentaxian profile on our front page, but today, we're reviving the series with a story from Peter Charles! Are you a professional Pentaxian? Share your story as well!
Like a lot of kids my age, my first camera was a Kodak Brownie Starlet and I still have it though it’s long past its best days. Film for it was a different matter so it probably only ever had a dozen or so rolls through it. Still, it gave me a taste for what was to come next. In 1969 I had a hankering for a real camera, but I couldn’t afford much. Cruising London camera shops exposed me to wonderful gear that I couldn’t afford, but in one, tucked high up on a shelf of used gear, was an Agfa Isolette III. For the princely sum of £6 it was mine. I soldiered on with that camera until ’81 when I finally joined the ranks of 35mm SLR users with a K1000. I’d like to say that my choice of Pentax was inspired by performance and reputation, but alas it was simply a matter of getting the most camera for the least money. Ironically I rarely blew an exposure with the Agfa despite not having a meter, but trusting the K1000 meter produced a pile of poorly exposed images. First lesson learned. Once started, the gear collection snowballed, running to two MXs, a K2DMD and an LX, plus a Pentax lens collection numbering over 20, ranging from 15mm to 300mm.
I grew up with cameras in the house, of all types, but my first SLR was a Pentax ES, the first ‘automatic’ camera, as it was then touted. My early love in photography was for landscape and nothing else, and I carried that screw-mount body with a 55/1.8 Takumar, a nice 21mm Soligor wide optic and a so-so quality Vivitar 135mm for several years, all through high school in California and college in the American Southwest. Later my favorite Pentax 35mm film bodies were the K2 and K2DMD, the LX, PZ1-P and the fine MZ-S, of which I still hold three in reserve. I amassed a hoard of quality Pentax lenses, from the 17-28mm Fisheye zoom to the 250-600mm beauty that is still superb today. I’ve shot Pentax my entire career, which makes me a rarity among my professional brethren, and I like that.
I've done many things. Machinist, mechanic, carpenter, computer tech, just to name a few but two things have always stayed with me: guitar and photography.
Guitar has always been my primary focus, no matter what else I get involved in, I've played guitar since age 5 and along the way learned several other instruments. I require 3 things for existence. A guitar, a camera and a sense of humor. I started in photography early too, “helping” my father and his friend develop their black and white 35mm shots at around age 7 or 8. I'm prett ysure I was more hindrance than anything else, but at the time I just knew they couldn't do it without me. I dabbled in photography for many years, taking snapshots with instamatic film cameras in 110mm, 126 and 35mm formats, and at times those horrid Polaroids, but never really got serious about photography until someone gave me a 35mm Pentax K1000 SLR around 1980 or so. The K1000 was a great camera, with a built in analog light meter, and the 50mm lens it had did a fine job. I started out by practicing on wildflowers. Great subjects, they don't move except on windy days, lots of color and variation, and no limit to the available subjects. From there I gradually became more and more involved in nature photography in general, and now nature is 90% of my work, along with the occasional sunset, old barn or landscape.
Welcome to our fifth Pentaxian profile. This time we are hearing from Camus Wyatt, an accomplished young photographer from New Zealand!-------
The past year has been a big year for me in photography. After picking
up a camera three years earlier, I’ve recently had my first solo
exhibition, on the back of some of the top youth awards and grants for
photographers available down here in little New Zealand.
Around four years ago, studying history and politics and not long out of high school, I found myself increasingly interested in the photojournalism images accompanying the studies of events ranging from the Vietnam War, to the 1930’s Depression, the Spanish Civil War, to 1950’s France. This lead to what has, in hindsight, been a non-stop interest and learning experience in photography.