Many people ask me how I got interested in digital photography and they are surprised when I tell them that it all started with Steve Wozniak, the founder of Apple Computer. Yes, the Woz himself!
I was fortunate to meet Steve more than 25 years ago, back when the Apple II was still in the Apple lineup and digital cameras were not available yet. We became friends back in the late 1980s. I think it was my love of technology and my "early adopter" mentality that formed that common bond between us. It clearly was not my level of intelligence or math skills!
On one of Steve's many trips to Tokyo, he came back with a couple of, at the time, cutting edge digital cameras, called the Ricoh RDC-1. This thing could take a digital picture at a whopping 640x480 resolution. That's right...not even one megapixel. :)
I think that the camera sold then for about $1500 and the LCD was an option. The camera used the old SmartMedia cards and I think I had about 5 of the 8MB (not GB) cards. Woz gave me one of these cameras and the rest is history. I was amazed at the immediacy of digital photography and used the camera often. After that, Woz and I would make numerous trips to Japan to shop for the latest and greatest digital cameras. Those trips were fun!
So...it is due to Woz's generosity and kindness that I got the photo bug.
A couple of years ago, my daughter had to do a school project on someone famous and she picked Steve Wozniak. What could be better than going directly to the source for a school project. While we were up at Steve's house, I shot off some images for her project board.
This was my favorite shot from that day, with Woz and his reflection.
Here is Ali taking copious notes for her school project while Steve patiently waited and answered her questions. He is every bit of the nice guy that you all saw on "Dancing With The Stars".
Not only do I credit Woz with my early interest in digital photography, he also ignited my interest in high-tech gadgets, cool cars and countless other fun stuff. Thanks Steve!
Oh - and Ali got an "A" on her report. :)
ADDED JULY 2, 2010- RESPONSE FROM THE EVER HUMBLE WOZ: "Way too much credit. You did much more to get me into 'good' cameras and the like. And the skill is in yourself. The right thing is to thank friends for being along as you went in certain directions. "