© MICHAEL HAMILTON FOTO

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About Michael Hamilton

I got a title with this transfer as the Photo Chief of "The Bayonet" - the official newspaper of the 7th infantry Division. I loved this assignment and had the added benefit of meeting and being mentored by an officer who had been a photographer at National Geographic. I was like an intellectual vampire with him as I sucked up every bit of knowledge I could from him. Over the years (50 of them) I quickly lost track of him and long ago forgot his name. 

When I was released from service, I worked for a time shooting for some community newspapers and for a time shooting and managing another photographers studio. Alas my children began to appear on the scene. That stork is hard to avoid when you are young. Anyway, they needed food, clothing, housing and education.. My photography income wasn't cutting it so I chose to make them my priority and got a "regular" job. For better or worse I could not afford to shoot much, so eventually photography fell by the wayside.

A camera just like this was my first camera. I bought it at a church rummage sale back in 1959. I believe I paid .50 cents for it. I did not take a lot of pictures (to expensive) and they were not particularly  noteworthy. The biggest appeal that it had was that I was the only kid I knew who had his own camera.

 

It was not until I was 21 and the army sent me to the Far East, the home of many good cameras at ridiculously low prices, that I bought some Nikon equipment. Our battalion had a photo lab for the troops and I spent all my extra time in it. Learning, teaching myself photography at a break neck pace. Within several months I got transferred to a photo lab in a Signal Battalion where I did a lot of shooting for the Commanding General and CID. That was to be my assignment for several more months until I managed a transfer to the post newspaper office.

Although I had a brief affair with sports photography and shooting my kids soccer action, it was not until around 2000, with digital photography well established and my children grown, I began to gear back up and start shooting again. This time around I had a profession and could afford to be arrogant enough to shoot what pleased me. If it sold okay and if not it was still okay. I just wanted to shoot what I wanted to shoot and to edit. I love editing.  Where before I was mostly photographing people and events, I was now excited to be shooting scenery, wildlife, still life and nature. I sell some, contribute to a few publications, contribute to Department of Interior as well as win, place and show in national competitions.

This is me and some of my gear now - not from a rummage sale.