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To be honest, I’m not sure how far my interest and fascination with photography goes back. I have nebulous memories of messing around with a brownie camera as a youngster but I can’t tell you which of my siblings actually owned the camera, nor do I have any evidence that I actually actuated its shutter mechanism.
One thing that is very clear in my head is that I always looked forward to the monthly edition of National Geographic in my formative years. The pictures, the places, the people, and I loved the maps! To this day I am a map junkie. (My wife used to call me “map boy” before Google Maps came on to the scene.) Reading maps is a skill I learned in geography class in seventh grade from Mr. George Cassidy and I remain forever grateful to him. You never really know a place until you’ve been there, but if you know how to read a map it might give you a chance of having an idea of what it’s going to be like once you get there. That has become extremely useful as I’ve gotten deeper into photography, especially landscape photography.
I have always been more of a creative/artistic type of thinker than analytical person. I like to create. Whether it’s music, photography, or writing. (Perhaps one day I will combine all three.) But this is supposed to be about photography so let me get back on subject.
The first time that I remember creating anything “worthy” photography wise was in the early 1980’s. At the time I was living with a woman who owned a 35mm SLR camera (sorry, I don’t remember what brand). One day I asked her if she wouldn’t mind if I borrowed her camera and went out to take some seasonal shots of winter in New England. Well I recall getting the slides back from that trip (I remember her preferred method for reproduction was color slides because they were cheaper to reproduce at the time) and being blown away by one of those slides. It was a picture that I had taken of bubbles of air in a frozen stream. I can see it in my head as clear as it was yesterday (but I’m not sure if I still have the slide) and it just blew me away! I thought it was fascinating when I took the picture but once I saw the slide I was amazed that I had actually captured something that (by then) had long since faded away from existence.
I ended up using that camera a lot back then, but when our relationship ended so did my photography pursuits. Back in those days photography was an expensive hobby to have. Cameras were expensive, film was expensive, developing the film was expensive, and framing your prints was (and still is) expensive. And at that point I was young and trying to find my way in the world which meant I didn’t have much money. So for a while, a long while, photography became a distant thought to be filed away. Sort of...
I did have cameras after that. An Olympus point and shoot film camera that I got some pretty good shots with. And, (perhaps more importantly) a Kodak EasyShare DX7440, with a 33mm-132mm (Equiv) AF 4x Optical Zoom lens, 4 MP camera! Which wasn’t considered a bad camera at the time, for the times. But it was something that made a whole lot of sense. No film, all digital, all computerized and gussied up and stuff! I no longer had to print out pictures to see how lousy they were. I now had instant disappointment at a fraction of the cost.
The time for me was November of 2007. Just picture it (pun intended), a vacation across the Pacific Ocean, destinations that I had never seen or experienced before. What could be a better? Let me see if I could actually do this thing called “photography.” Let me see if I could capture an image again that could actually move me the way that frozen stream did so long ago. If I couldn’t, oh well. Just let’s see if I can and...
Capture I did! A lot! And not just images but so much more. I found myself with a creative outlet I hadn’t experienced in years. A way of seeing, talking, feeling, understanding, appreciating, I felt alive!
Until I went to order some prints. That’s when I found out I could only blow up prints to 11” by 14.” It was that realization that launched me fully into the pro world of digital photography. I was not going to be satisfied with small prints, I needed megapixels damn it! I wanted poster size production. But here’s the thing, I now had the bug. I wanted to take more pictures. There was no turning back. I needed another camera.
I shoot Nikon now. (That is not an endorsement so much as a equipment admission.) I went out and bought a Nikon D90, with a 18-200m, f/3.5-5.6G zoom lens, and a 35mm,f/1.8G prime lens. And went back to New Zealand. Sorry, I forgot to mention that the first cross Pacific trip actually brought me to New Zealand and Australia. No wonder I got hooked! Those are some beautiful places!
I moved up to the Nikon D90 and was not disappointed. Along the way, I was taking more and more pictures but I still had a lot to learn. I started reading more about photography, learning more about different styles, listening to photography podcasts, you name it. At some point I realized that I would never know everything and that if I wanted to try and be successful I just had to go for it, which pretty much brings me to the present day.
The photography pages you see before you now are a cumulation of the last 17 plus years of my obsession. Some of them may not be the greatest photographs you’ve ever seen in your life but there are some others that I think are pretty damn good and I’m really pleased that I’m able to share them. I’ve upgraded my equipment again and now I shoot mostly with a Nikon D850. I like the depth of field I get with a full frame camera. And I own a 50mm, 1.4f lens, and a 28-300, 1:3.5-5.6G zoom lens. I’ve also found it useful to rent different lenses from time to time, including a 14-24 mm, F2.8G wide angle lens that I really liked a lot (and now own). I still use my D90 and it’s become my back up camera should anything happen to my D610.
I hope that you will look at my website and check back often for new entries. And if you’re so inclined, perhaps you will purchase one or two of my creations or offer some comments. But by all means, enjoy your visit and come back often. Thanks for stopping by.
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