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09-02-2014, 07:42 PM   #1
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Greetings from Sunny Los Angeles!

Hi, everyone!

My name is Derzy, but you can call me Derzy ;). I am a first-time photography student and the proud owner (as of about 3 hours ago) of a beautiful Japanese-made Pentax K1000! I purchased this baby on eBay for my black and white photography class at College of the Canyons because it turned out that my never-used Nikon N55 isn't manual enough, ugh. My intention was to use my father's Pentax MX (he still has the original receipts and boxes! We...might be entry-level hoarders.) but it got lost in our big move and I needed something ASAP. (Fret not, friends, for the MX is still with us...we just don't know where right now.) This forum was extremely, immensely helpful in helping me find the K1000 that I actually wanted to buy, so thank you all for your contributions to the serial number list!

Despite having been around -- and owning -- cameras since I was old enough to walk, I had never enrolled in a photography course until now. It's not entirely for lack of trying: in my high school, Photography 1 was always the first class to fill up so, if your name wasn't pulled for the first round of sign-ups, you could kiss your darkroom dreams goodbye for that year. High school was also the time that digital cameras became widely available and affordable, so I sort of put the idea of film photography classes on the back burner and never picked it up again.

My life began in front of and around cameras. My father was a pseudo-professional photographer in Los Angeles in the late 70s to early 80s and my mother just never wanted to let an event slip by undocumented. I was born an adorable camera hog who loved nothing more than to have my parents prop me up on things and fuss around me with cameras. I had a brief stint as a baby model but that was cut short when my younger sister was born (and I had a meltdown on the set of a Huggies commercial). Even though I was so young, I recognized the joy a camera brought to both parents and so I wanted one of my own. Thus began the saga.

I started snapping as a toddler on a Kodak Star 110 (which I loved because I was young and dumb) and was forcefully upgraded to a Vivitar point-and-shoot 35mm (like this but lime green) in late elementary or early middle school when I started demanding a "real camera like Mom's"/when 110mm film became difficult to develop. Somehow -- probably through my role in the Morning Announcements -- I was drafted into my middle school's yearbook committee, and for two glorious years I got to use their top-of-the-line digital cameras to capture dances, sports, and everything in between. My best friend and I thought we were honest-to-God professional photographers then! It's funny how fancy gadgets can really go to your head.

Unfortunately, the computer geek within me chose this time to surface and the idea of having instantly-accessible images was just too tempting. Around age 12 or 13, I wore my parents down enough to win my first digital: the Olympus D-380. Digital zoom only, proprietary memory card...but by golly, it had a screen on the back. I was hooked. My best friend named it "Superfluous", I covered it in gum wrapper foil and stickers, and together we took it everywhere. I've been an artist since I first figured out how to hold a crayon, and around this time I got deeply into Photoshop -- and what goes better with Photoshop than instant photos of yourself and your friends? Time passed, digital cameras got better and cheaper, and I got jealous of my younger sister's newer camera. Enter "Superfluous II", an Olympus D-560. More of the megapixels, all of the zoom. Supie II probably took the worst beating out of all of my cameras, bouncing around in my backpack and purse from about 2003 to 2008. The sliding door started to come loose and the zoom got sluggish, but I didn't even consider replacing him until XD cards became prohibitively expensive (and correspondingly hard to find).

In early 2007, I was given the Nikon N55 as an incentive to get back into "real" photography, but life happened and the camera went first up on a shelf, then into the closet. A well-meaning boyfriend bought me a beautiful Sony CyberShot in 2010, partly out of embarrassment that I still used a camera with less megapixels than the average cell phone and partly out of a desire to rekindle my love of photography, but the ship had already sailed for me. I still have the Sony and I suppose you could consider it my main camera, but I just don't use it very often. It probably doesn't help that I never charge the battery, so it's almost always dead when I actually do have a reason to use it. I was, until about 3 years ago, an early adopter of the latest technology, so I had various camera phones on my person at all times. With how easy it was to disseminate those images, I saw less of a reason to use my digital cameras and they eventually ended up in drawers or boxes. A sad fate for my former companions, but it's at least comforting to know that every last one of them, even the Star 110, is still fully functional.

You don't quite know what you have until it's gone -- that's how I'm feeling now about setting down the camera. I loved taking pictures of anything and everything, and I also loved having my picture taken. Not so much, anymore. Self-esteem is a strange beast, indeed; even though I wasn't ever teased for my face-eating acne, it slowly became all I could see when I looked at myself. It's a little ironic that, as cameras became more widely available and easier to use, I took fewer and fewer pictures. Sure, I take quick snaps of things and text them to close friends, but I haven't taken a picture that I would consider public-post-quality in years. How does an extroverted shutter-bug morph into a reclusive phantom? Life happens.

So, it's very much an understatement to say that I'm looking forward to this photography class. Not only will I learn some of the things I didn't quite pick up through osmosis, I will actually get to develop film by hand! I will finally -- hopefully -- realize my dream of taking quality film photos! Seriously, I'm pretty freaking excited. I never would have guessed that a prerequisite class would bring me so much joy.

Some other quick facts about me before I end this seemingly-endless post: I'm an actor/voice talent/singer/songwriter/model who's also a college student, an aspiring real estate agent, and a perpetual on-and-off sketch artist/painter/seamstress. I love cars (classics, tuners, and imports), parrots, electronics, video games, and antiques. Really...there's not much I don't like, and I'll talk about anything with anyone as long as they're interested. Call me the Perpetual Blather Machine.

Here's the tl;dr: I'm Derzy, proud new owner of a K1000 that's older than I am. I'm taking my first black and white photography class as a prerequisite for my film production degree at CSUN (California State University, Northridge), and I'm happy to be here on the Pentax forums!

See you all around!
-Derzy

09-02-2014, 11:43 PM   #2
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Welcome to the forum, glad you could join us here. BTW a nice extensive introduction.
09-03-2014, 11:57 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by derzy Quote
My name is Derzy, but you can call me Derzy
Welcome to the forum, perhaps I'm missing something here.

Apart from that I feel I've known you for years with that intro.
09-08-2014, 09:49 PM   #4
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Whoa... That was quite the introduction! Welcome to the forums, Derzy. Since you live in sunny Los Angeles county, you should check out the California Pentax Users group on this forum. The group gets together every so often.

I picked up a K1000 last year; I haven't really used it as much as I would like to. The times when I did use it, I found it to be a joy. I guess it's the whole process of shooting on film that intrigues me.

09-08-2014, 09:53 PM   #5
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Hello Derzy (if that really is your name) and welcome to the forums from another Angeleno
Derzy is so hard to pronounce... mind if I call you Derzy?
09-08-2014, 10:11 PM   #6
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That was a doozy of a dandy intro, derzy! Welcome and enjoy that class!
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