I’ve always loved taking pictures. When I was a kid in a small, historic city in coastal North Carolina, I passed many days wandering around and taking pictures of things that caught my eye. Lots of blurry, strange pictures later, I began to haunt the local camera shop and learned a few tricks. The more I learned, the more my photos improved.
The hitch back in the film days was that photography had an expensive learning curve. One handling mistake and a lot of pictures were ruined. Every picture had a price tag – film, developing, getting the film, etc. And over the years, that price and the general pace of life pushed my love of photography into the background. I had a decent camera and some lenses, and took lots of pictures of my kids and for friends at weddings and baptisms, but I always felt…constricted. I had to save each shot, because each roll of film was an investment.
That all changed with digital photography. I got the Nikon D70 as soon as it came out, and at thirty-something I went back to being that guy who always had the camera around. I loved the fact that digital film meant taking as many pictures as I wanted and printing just the ones I loved. But that little knob at the top of the camera pretty much stayed set on “Automatic” or the preset modes. Every place I looked to for help spoke the same arcane language. There was so much jargon and what seemed like incredible complexity to the “A”, “S” and “M” settings, metering, exposure, focal length, and six zillion other things, it always seemed like I was running into a wall. That hurts, so I stopped trying for a while and kept shooting in the dummy modes.
Three spawn later and with the D70 getting tired, I updated to the Nikon D90. I can’t really say why, but the move inspired me to understand my camera and photography. A few books and websites have been a big help, and this recent journey has me thinking that there are still a lot of people like me out there: Love to take photos, want to know more, can’t penetrate the complexity.
The purpose of this blog is to document my journey – things I’m learning that I hope will be helpful to others, talk about products I like, have used or want to see in the market and show my photos. Check back often – I’m going to start with a quick blog on a couple books that helped me a lot.
Here’s the big disclaimer for this blog: I’m not an expert, I’m going to make mistakes (and learn from them) and I’m a Nikon shooter. I also consider myself a learning beginner (despite over thirty years of having a camera in my hand). Sometimes my topics won’t be comprehensive because I’m still learning – they’ll be from the perspective of what they mean to me at the time, so I may leave something out. I may even get it wrong. Please excuse me on all accounts if any of those impact you. What I can promise is I’ll keep learning and hopefully help you do the same. And I’ll always do my best to provide accurate information and a balanced perspective.
Got a question? Don’t understand something? I’d love ideas on topics! I might not know the answer, but it is always fun to explore and learn something. Maybe we can learn together!
In the meantime, you can see some of my photographs on Flickr.