Confessions of a Photo Addict
with Allan Babbit
I WAS A KID WHEN IT STARTED - a mere innocent. My folks got me a Kodak Brownie Hawkeye - my 1st camera. "Here kid", they said. "Enjoy it". What they should have said was, "Here kid. first one's free."
It was nothing at first, a 12 exposure roll here - couple of flash bulbs there. Before I knew it, I fell in with a fast crowd - hanging out in dark rooms!. Experimenting with CHEMICALS!!
It was then I started to break the rules. I began ignoring "NO TRESPASSING" signs. Sometimes, just for the thrill, I'd tilt the camera so the horizon WASN'T HORIZONTAL!!! Finally, I had to get a paper route & sell seeds door to door to feed my habit.
I did try to seek help. I joined a therapy group for photo addicts based on the "12 Stop" program. It didn't click. Everywhere I looked, people were selling film, never once asking for an ID. Soon I was out on the streets again, always angling for that next shot. Oh, I'd do anything to get high - climb trees, poles, fences, stairs - I had no pride. It got so I didn't care what people thought as I lay in the street with my wide angle lens stuck out there for all to see.
I hit bottom in Amsterdam. In a Koda-crazed state, I strapped on every piece of gear I'd brought - 2 cameras, 4 lenses, 4 kinds of film, light meters, filters, batteries and a tripod - and walked into town to shoot. Powerful images everywhere - wonderful architecture - smiling faces - magical light - scrumptious french fries. I couldn't crank a frame.
Today, of course, I can see it for the classic photo overdose it was - the dazed, crazed and glazed-over, pack mule photographer - unable to make a decision. At the time though, it was devastating. I was a broken man - deep in denial - with sore feet.
From then on, my shame knew no bounds. When the urge to shoot became too big, I'd go hang out with tourists so I'd blend in, Then I'd sneak to the lab at night and secretly savor my prints in private. Then, finally, a breakthrough. The day every photographer dreams of - I saw the light. But wait! It was coming from a computer monitor! And before I could say, "dot-com", I was caught in the Web.
The Web has really helped me take responsibility for what I'd become. The only way out was to shout it to the world from the highest rooftop (where I had climbed to get a good angle) that I WAS a ph.... ph.... PHOTOGRAPHER and PROUD of it!! Whew, there, I said it.
The only thing that bothers me is that computer store clerk who threw in a CD of Internet software and said, "Here kid. This one's free"
Editor's Note: Alan sells his high quality, archival prints at reasonable prices. Any of his creations would make a superb addition to your home, or as a gift to someone who appreciates truly fine visual images. We encourage you to visit Alan, and take a look around!
Note: Alan sells his high quality, archival prints at reasonable prices. Any of his
creations would make a superb addition to your home, or as a gift to someone who
appreciates truly fine visual images. We encourage you to visit Alan, and take a
Alan Babbitt -- Fine Art Photography
- Art Opportunities
- Photo Printing... need help?
- Real Digital Photography
- Aging Photos... with Doug
- Confession of a Photo Addict
- Camera Review: Taking Better Pictures
- Swimming with Sharks...could this be happening?
- Dennis Curtin: Digital Photo Course
- An In-House Digital Photography Studio
- Take more pictures! with Doug Clifford
- Summer film handling with Doug Clifford
- Art Opportunities with Doug Clifford
- Invent the Future with Doug Clifford
- Doug's Welcome a message from Doug Clifford
- Digital Art on Canvas
- Photoshop 5 still works great
- Workshops: The Sony Mavica
- Shooting Chrome tips & Tricks
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Photoshop 911 Call Reports
Here comes this month's batch of reports from the Photoshop 911 call line. The most interesting is how one user solves the problem of removing the background from multiple shots of a rotating product for a 3D video... there are seven others, and you'll want to read them all:
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