About PPTPhoto.com
"My name is Dave Pierce and I am a photographer..."

Sounds like a man in need of a twelve-step program, doesn't it?

If GAS (Gear Acquisition Syndrome) counts as an addiction, maybe I do.

My dependency started when I was about eight with my Dad's old Kodak Brownie Hawkeye. I remember little of the camera except that the first package of eight or so badly exposed black and white images from the little pharmacy next to Herb's Hardware changed my life. It actually recorded what I saw so I could look at it again and again! Well, sort of...

I subsequently learned to use an ancient GE selenium-cell light meter to get more consistent exposures than were possible using the "Sunny 16" rule or the tightly folded, rule-of-thumb instructions supplied with every roll of film. I learned about f stops, film and shutter speeds and all those little details that the newer cameras do for us without thinking nowadays. I became obsessed by the technology and couldn't learn enough soon enough. At about twelve, I was given permission to use my Dad's WWII vintage Leica IIIc. Wow! It had interchangeable lenses and took amazingly sharp photos; 24 or 36 of them per roll! This amazing leap in technology led to low-light and high-speed (1/1000 sec.!) experiments and along with reading sci-fi, was responsible for a great deal of enjoyment in my early life.

On my fifteenth birthday, I received (and paid for part of) a Minolta SRT-102 which served my needs as an on-again-off-again photographer faithfully for the next thirteen years. On my birthday in 1986 my wonderful wife, Kim, presented me with a brand new Maxxum 7000! It focused ALL BY ITSELF! Wow again! That lit a fire under my photo hobby and I re-discovered how much fun it could be. We still have some framed wildlife photos on the wall from that time that I am proud to say I took. In 1989 I went to a 7000i and in 1992 added a 7xi as my primary camera. Photography became a regular part of our lives again. We had developed a new dedication to travel about this time and photos were a big part of the enjoyment for me (and, of course, another budget item when planning a trip). I did a couple of weddings and some commercial stuff, but never really pursued photography as even a part-time career (despite pressure from family and friends). I was content to drag my camera around to family gatherings and on trips taking photos just for the love of it. Until December 2000, when everything changed.

For our 25th anniversary, Kim and I took a once-in-a-lifetime (well, twice now...) cruise from Florida to California through the Panama Canal. We toured Aruba, transited the Canal, saw monkeys in the jungles of Costa Rica, cliff-divers in Acapulco and took 20 rolls of film to document the sheer joy that the trip provided. Sometime along the way, my 7xi succumbed secretly to age and humidity and the shutter stopped opening. All the noises and film transport were normal, but we got home to find that 14 out of 20 rolls were unexposed. I was crushed beyond words. I didn't take a picture or even pick up a camera for six months.

In July 2001 I made a decision that altered photography for me forever. I bought a Kodak DC-4800. It had enough resolution to print "real" pictures and considerable manual control over the picture-taking process. Most importantly, it let me know right away if I got the shot or not. Never again would I have to open a pack of photos only to stare in sick disbelief at 36 clear frames! It went along as our only camera on a cruise to Hawaii that next spring and that was all it took. I am now a "Digital Photographer" and there's no going back! Never had photography been so much fun! This must be what the "pros" felt like in the pre-digital era...just shoot what you feel like shooting and experiment until you get the look you want, never worrying about the cost of film once!

Four years later, I launched this site to share some of what I have learned and what photography has meant to me over the years. Maybe someday this can be my job, though I'd hate to lose the freedom to shoot at my leisure. Maybe a hobby that pays for itself will be in the cards. I remember a quote that went something like: "There are things in life that you must do to earn a living and things you do for enjoyment . If it turns out that they are one in the same, then God has indeed smiled upon you!" That may not have been it exactly, but you get the point.

Enjoy the website and for heaven's sake, go take some photos! It's so much cheaper than therapy!