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First blog entry, a little background

Well this is it,  my first blog!  I never thought I would succumb to the peer pressure!

But things have changed, my life is in a new season.

This will be about my passions as a photographer,  how I got here and what I’ve learned along the way.

This isn’t because I have something unique to say about it or that I am expert, but more that what I’ve gone through may resonant with others.  It may inspire them to pursue photography or it may just give them a better understanding of what my vision is.

So let’s get started.

Like most, I had a camera as a kid, some sort of Instamatic I think.  I never really understood the technical part back then.   But all that changed when I went to Vietnam, back in 1969.  Now in Vietnam, you could spend your combat pay monies on women, liquor, stereo gear or cameras.  I spotted a big bulky SLR, a Topcon RE Super with a 50mm/f1.4 lens and thought it looked good.  Seriously, I didn’t by the Yaschica 35 next to it because it didn’t look like substantial enough.  I soon was traipsing about the city of Nha Trang, like a Pied Piper, local children in tow.  Man was I naive back then.  Entering the unsecure areas, I was at risk of getting picked off by local Viet Cong sympathizers. For some reason I wasn’t worth the attention it would get I guess.  But God must have been watching over me.   I soon figured out the light meter & the split prism focus and managed to take a lot of  “blown out” pictures but I was having fun.  The base hobby shop had a photo lab & chemicals, all you had to do was supply your own paper.   I managed to make some decent B&W photos after a while, but sadly I don’t have the negatives anymore, just some poorly processed prints for the memories.

Here are posted a few later for nostalgic types. These were scanned a few years ago.

Lady in Áo Dài dress, marketplace

Child behind barbed wire

Children playing on sidewalk

Not much technique here, just focus, get light meter in the middle and shoot.No thought about S/S, depth of field or whether the scene might require exposure compensation. Then there was how to manage things in the darkroom and care of the negatives.


About Dan Swiger Photpgraphy

Enthusiastic Amateur Photographer Landscapes, child photography & events


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