1/1/06: Duane Dill of Stockton takes time to take a photograph of the sunset along the deep water channel at Buckley Cove in Stockton (Camera: Nikon D2H. Lens: Nikkor 17-35mm @ 17mm. Exposure: 1/25th sec. @ f/16. ISO: 320).
Rule No. 1: Always have a camera. Back in the days when I took photo courses, two of my instructors at Sacramento City College, Dick Fleming and the late Andy DeLucia, came up with the 10 rules of photography. It was all done in tongue-in-cheek to give their students a chuckle, but if you thought about them, they’re all sound principles. All but one of them hold up in the digital era.
3/10/06: Kathy Manely of Washington state, left, and Dianna Pasco of British Columbia, Canada, protect themselves from the rain while taking a picture of a ship traveling down the deep water channelin Stockton. The pair were staying at Riverpoint Marina RV park while on a road trip through California (Camera: Nikon D2H. Lens: Nikkor 300mm. Exposure: 1/250th sec. @ f/4. ISO: 400).
1. Always have a camera
2. Always have light
3. Always have a lens
4. Always use a shutter speed
5. Always use an aperture
6. Always have a subject
7. Always have a foreground
8. Always have a background
9. Always have batteries
10. Always have film (No longer applicable in the digital age)
4/7/06: University of the Pacific music student Nora Plutizik, right, has her portrait taken by fellow student Tina Brehmen. Plutzik needed a new photo of herself for an upcoming audition in San Francisco and had Brehmen, who plans to make a career of photogrpahy, take her picture on the university’s south campus in Stockton (Camera: Nikon D2H. Lens: Nikkor 80-200mm @ 200mm. Exposure: 1/250th sec. @ f/8. ISO: 200).
The first rule, always have a camera, sounds simple and obvious enough, but from pinhole cameras to cellphones that take pictures, from film to digital, no camera means no photos. I can’t count the times that I’ve heard people say: “Oh what a pretty sunset, I wish I had a camera” or “That’d make a great picture, I wish I had my camera with me” or “Look at that! I wish I had a…” you get the idea. You can draw a picture, splash water color on canvas or even write an essay about a scene or event, all of which are valid means of capturing them, but it just won’t be photography.
6/20/07: Eight-grader Taylor McCann 13, right, takes a picture of herself and fellow students Nicole Huber, 14, left, Colby Duplichan, 14 and amanda Tillis, 13, on the next to the last day of school at Webster Middle School in Stockton (Camera: Nikon D2X. Lens: Nikkor 17-35mm @ 17mm. Exposure: 1/250th sec. @ f/11. ISO: 200).
A couple of years ago, I attended Dick Fleming’s 69th birthday party, and I broke that first rule of photography, I didn’t have a camera. I don’t know what I was thinking. Maybe I was a bit worried about being late, but my wife and I hustled out of the house, me without a means of taking pictures, not even a little point-and-shoot.
11/13/07: Student Michelle Hernandez, 10, takes a picture of 9 WW II pilots who were honored at French Camp School in French Camp as a part of the school’s Veterans Day observance Camera: Nikon D2H. Lens: Nikkor 80-200mm @ 200mm. Exposure: 1/500th sec. @ f/8. ISO: 200).
A small group of us gathered at the Chevy’s in Elk Grove to celebrate Dick’s birthday. He has been teaching photography for more than 36 years at Sacramento City College. He and DeLucia not only taught me the technincal aspects of photography, but they taught me how to see pictures and gave me the love of the craft. There are many things I learned back then that I still use today.
9/18/09: 15-year-old Jonathan Delira of Stockton, takes a cellphone picture of a car at the Pacific MEChA club and radio station Mega 100.7 FM car show on Weber Avenue and El Dorado Street in downtown Stockton (Camera: Nikon D300. Lens: Nikkor 17-55mm @ 17mm. Exposure: 1/250th sec. @ f/8. ISO: 200).
For some after-dinner entertainment, Dick’s wife, Oralia, hired a marachi band, Marachi Tequila, which they had come across in shooting some weddings and quinceneras. As the band performed, with a broad grin on his face, Dick began shooting them with his camera. He was having a great time. He stood on his chair to get a better angle on them. I wished I had a camera to get a shot of him to show that even at 69, he is still spry enough enough to think of different angles for his pictures.
3/19/08: A Lego statue of a tourist in Legoland in Carlsbad (Camera: Canon 20D. Lens: Canon 16-35mm @ 16mm. Exposure: 1/250th sec. @ f/5.6. ISO: 200).
Then he put down his Canon 20D digital DSLR and picked up a video camera and started shooting with that. I borrowed his still camera to get shots of him, and he asked me where mine was. I sheepishly replied that I left it at home. He chastised me for not bringing my own, citing the “always have a camera” rule. After I was finished shooting, I gave the camera back and with a discerning eye he reviewed the images that I had shot. A broad smile lit up his face and with a twinkle in is eye, he said that I had redeemed myself.