First Photo

One of the first photographs I ever took was of the stop-sign and telephone pole where Redwood Drive intersects with U.S. 101 in Klamath. I grew up in a home on Redwood Drive and anytime we went anywhere, we had to use that singular intersection to leave our neighborhood.

My parents bought me a Kodak 126 Instamatic, the cheapest camera available at the time and instead of regular film, they got slide-film by accident. I used it anyway.

The class was taught by Mr. Siegel. He was the new 8th grade teacher at Margaret Keating, replacing Mr. Wofford, who had retired the year before.

I liked Mr. Siegel because he was the first teacher who taught something I was truly interested in: photography.

Mr. Siegel was younger than most teachers at MKS.  The girls thought he was cute, the boy thought he was cool and Mr. Fizer thought he was a hippy.

He gave us a basic course on composition, lighting, color and subject. There was no singing, penmanship, math or memorization in his class. Instead he allowed us — he allowed me — to express myself through picture-taking. I had never experienced such freedom before and I enjoyed it so much that I’ve yet to stop taking pictures.

Unfortunately, he taught at MKS only one year.

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