This is a fish's eye view of family at the beach—my parents Vern and Irene, and my best friend Steve. I have fond memories of family vacations spent camping and swimming. I used to practice holding my breath for as long as I could. I'd swim as far away as possible in order to scare the crap out of my parents when I didn't come up for air, and then come walking nonchalantly down the beach. That's a kid's idea of fun. In an effort to make a slightly more interesting photo, I decided to shoot this image from the water. The image was taken with a Kodak Brownie.
I think this picture was taken around the time that I discovered photography. When I was eight or nine I came across a beginner's darkroom kit while walking through the toy department at Sears or Montgomery Ward. The kit contained a 2 1/4 x 3 1/4 contact printer and three trays (red, white, and blue) for developer, stop bath, and fixer. I built a darkroom in my bedroom closet and began making contact prints from old family negatives. Eventually, I began making my own photos. I know it's cliché, but the magic and alchemy involved in developing my first prints really did change my life.