I am a fine art photographer from Sacramento, California. Almost 40 years ago, at the age of 10, I bought my first camera. It was a little Kodak Brownie Holiday. Getting the prints back from the Photo Hut drop off location was always the most exciting experience.
Unfortunately, my mother placed it in the family garage sale a couple of years later which pretty much ended my ability to continue doing photography. Until I was about 10 when I took over possession of my father's Yashica 35 electro rangefinder, also known as the poor man's Leica, in my early teen years. I still have this camera. I photographed anything that was interesting. Flower arrangements on the dining room table, buildings downtown while laying on benches leaning back to get upside down photographs and more. I guess my love for abstract was there from the beginning.
Forward to 1998. I purchased my own film camera, a Minolta Maxxum which I also still have somewhere. The circuits fried and the repair was more than a new one would cost. My photography was dead in the water yet again as my job at the time was not enough to enable me to afford a replacement.
Forward, once again, to 2000. A friend purchased a digital camera for me. An Olympus e-10. This is when I really got serious about my photography. I photographed some weddings and really got into fine art photography. But even to this day, digital has been a challenge for me. Digital never seemed to give me the same satisfaction as film without plenty of editing in Photoshop.
In 2011 I was declared permanently disabled with the downside being that my income was significantly reduced, and it wasn't much to begin with considering the costs of living in California.
Although I have a newer basic digital camera I still long to get back to film for my fine art photography, and just using digital for anyone who may demand it.
This is where GoFundMe comes in. Not long after being declared disabled I was gifted a Rolleiflex 3.5 which has some interesting historical provenance. It was originally owned by Hollywood composer Alfred Newman who also happens to have his own U.S. postage stamp in an American composer series released by the United States Postal Service in 1999 It came with extra lenses, lens hood, the original leather case with strap, and filters. The couple I received this camera from are in their early 80s now and when this camera is overhauled, the first shoot I would love to do with it is a portrait session with them.
Later I was fortunate enough to become the owner of a 3.5F Rolleiflex which also uses the same accessories as the 3.5. These are the two film cameras I want to use for my resurgence into the world of film photography again. The problem is, these 2 cameras need to be refurbished. I found a semilocal camera tech who can do this for under $200 each which is less than 25% of what the big name legendary camera techs charge.
Then there are other things I will need such a computer monitor. I work with a laptop but laptop screens are horrible for photo editing and printing because they are next to impossible to properly calibrate. I will need chemicals for developing in various processes, and paper for printing. I do have 2 full darkrooms in storage but as I plan on doing mostly black and white I can develop that without a dark room.
Your donation will go toward these costs which will, in turn, enable me to get closer to making my dream of being completely self-sustained through my photography.
To view some of my digital photography please visit my website: http://www.raycornett.com