Guest Speaker: A. Cemal Ekin
I started my photographic journey by playing with my father’s Leica without fully appreciating what I was holding in my hands when I was around eight years old. It surely felt different from the box camera that my mother occasionally allowed me to handle. It was one of the early Leica models and the bottom loading the film was a challenge. We took photographs off again, on again with that camera with very mixed results mainly, I now believe, due to the available film quality and poor developing.
I continued taking photographs with these cameras and tried to borrow, at least to look at them closely, different cameras from family friends. I once borrowed a Voightlander from my uncle when I took a trip to a village to visit a friend. That trip was epiphany, the year, 1962. The photographs I took received many favorable comments starting with the photographer who developed and printed them for me. This was followed by favorable comments and encouragements from family and friends.
Encouraged by this, I proceeded to make plans to buy a larger format camera, like a Rolleiflex. Of course it was way out of my reach and I had to settle for an imitation, a Flexaret which I still own. It was 1963. I visited the same village and took many more photographs some of which you will see among the ones here.
The Flexaret remained as my main camera for some time until I ordered, through some family friends in Germany, a “state-of-the-art” Exakta Vx 1000. That carried me through 1972 when I made the switch to a Canon FTb and still remain a Canon user after many models of Canon cameras, lenses and so on. The only exception to my Canon affinity was my Nikon Coolpix 995 since when I made the purchase it was the best one for me. Now, I use a 5D Mark-III with an assortment of mostly Canon lenses, and a Canon T2i converted for IR. I no longer own a practical film camera as I have fully switched to the digital environment. But I own a small collection of film cameras because I like their design and ties they provide to the golden past of photography.
I retired as a professor of marketing emeritus from Providence College in 2012 after 36 years of service. Teaching has been a great experience for me and affected in many ways my photography and how I share what little I know. Additionally, I do Web design for a small group of clients, including some photographers.