I have read that approximately 80% of all information that we perceive, comprehend and remember on a daily basis is based on visual stimuli. I think that is why I am so drawn to photography. It connects with our most intrinsic and natural means of understanding and interpreting our world. I truly believe the cliche that "a picture is worth a thousand words." Sometimes however, we need words to fill out the other 20% of our life experience, so here is a thousand words about me (ok, not quite a thousand):
The first camera I ever used was an old twin-lens reflex camera that was discovered in a box of old stuff in my dad's garage when I was eight years old. I was hooked on it and a year later my dad bought me a brand new Fujica 110 camera to record our journey through Asia. Having been born and raised to that point in California, I remember being excited by the many new and interesting sights I was recording in Asia with my little 110 Instamatic. My parents quickly became quite "unexcited" by the mounting costs for film and processing. The camera however, never left my side and, within a year, now living in Europe, I moved up to using my father's older Olympus OM-1 SLR full time (the serendipitous result of my father's acquisition of a new Olympus OM-2 at the time).
I adored the Olympus cameras, first the OM-1 then the OM-2. They accompanied me through many travels as my father's work took his family from one corner of the globe to another. They continued to always be by my side through many adventures during my high school and college years. Eventually my hobby took a back seat to the pressures of starting a new career and family, but I never lost the enthusiasm or appreciation for photography. My kids were born as the era of digital photography and digital darkrooms hit the mainstream. As with many people, having kids brought be back to the desire to have a camera with me at all times, ready to catch each special moment in their lives. I stuck with film for awhile, using my trusty Nikon N80 to record my first born's' first years of life, but I eventually succumbed to the digital era and embraced the thrill of learning the nuances of the new digital medium. As my kids got older, the "bug" continued its grip and I found myself shooting every sporting event in which they played and any other event in which they participated. It wasn't all about my kids either. I shot every kid on their teams & clubs and started making elaborate galleries for the parents to enjoy to the point of it being overkill. It definitely got crazy for me but I learned a lot and loved doing it. Although it is still challenging with a career and family, my kids have recently reached the age where I can now find more time to pursue other photographic interests besides kids sports and family activities. That has landed me here...my small place on the web to display my small but growing collection of work.
© Matthew Brandalise | Photography