Robert Hooper

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My interest in photography began in 1954 at the age of 9 with a Kodak Brownie Bulls-Eye camera. I recall sweltering evenings in the spare bathroom of our Key West, Florida home: developing film and printing it on the contact printer that came with my boxed Kodak darkroom kit. It was magical watching a print image appear in the first of three little plastic trays, illuminated by a single red light bulb. I don't miss the stifling heat of that claustrophobic bathroom, but after spending tedious hours in front of my 13.5' MacBook trying to peel back the layers of Photoshop, I long for the simplicity of my hobby in those days. Photography remained a hobby for me until I graduated from high school in Honolulu, Hawaii and began shooting model portfolios for a fee. My mentor of the time, the late Lawrence Hata, encouraged me to pursue photography as a career, which I eventually did after dropping Business Administration at University of Hawaii and enrolling in Brooks Institute of Photography at Santa Barbara, California. My major was Illustrative Photography, and I graduated from Brooks Institute with a Bachelor of Professional Arts Degree. Since then, my photography career has taken me literally all over the world. Sometimes I have abandoned photography for other pursuits, such as studying to be a marine mammals trainer under the tutelage of world renowned dolphin trainers, Ingrid Shallenberger and Karen Pryor, but I have always returned to the photographic trade, in one form or another. In 1999, I closed my downtown Honolulu studio and retired from photography. Frankly, I was burned-out after 3 decades of professional photography. I didn't pick up a camera again for several years until I read an article about the Nikon D70 and decided to purchase one as my first digital camera. Playing around with the Nikon D70 inspired me to take up photography again. Today, I am happy being a hobbyist once more: shoot what I like, when I like, how I like, or not at all. Aloha, Robert

Country: US