In 1968, I got my first “real” camera, a 35 mm Minolta rangefinder. This got me started “taking pictures”, a move up from the “snapshots” I had taken using a Kodak Brownie. As I became more interested in “photography”, I bought my first single lens reflex, a Nikon F801. While I enjoyed shooting and was pleased by some of my images, I had a lot to learn. I did a lot of reading and took courses at a local community college (darkroom techniques and portrait lighting). This led to setting up a very basic black and white darkroom, where I could lose myself for hours, sometimes together with my then 5-year-old daughter. Seeing an image appear in the developer bath was always special, which is not quite matched by the first look at a digital image appearing on a computer display!
In 2001, I joined the digital world and with a basic “point and shoot” digital camera – all of 3 megapixels. The convenience of being able to see images immediately after shooting and the ease with which they could be edited, printed and shared with people, made digital photography very appealing. I was sold. It was not long before I progressed to the digital SLR. I am now using my third DSLR, a Nikon “full frame” D800 and have added lenses, a solid tripod and various accessories.
I often hear people comment that one needs high-end expensive camera equipment to produce good images. One need only look at some of the excellent images that are produced using simple cameras, including smartphones, to realize that the most important aspect of making an image is the ability to visualize and compose an image. Of course, the higher-end equipment does offer significant advantages – higher resolution, better quality sensors, etc.
In recent years I have become more serious about photography and have learned a great deal from the programs and workshops conducted by Steve Simon and especially Rick Hulbert’s 4-day workshops. I pay more attention to the nature of the light, especially the“golden hour” when the sun is low in the sky, producing interesting lighting effects, use high dynamic resolution (HDR) photography to expand the tonal range of an image, take long exposures at night to catch light in motion, have tried macro photography, etc. The images on this site include many examples of images made using these approaches.
This website replaces one that I set up several years ago. It uses Backlight, software developed by The Turning Gate. Images are published to the site using Lightroom, an Adobe product that is very popular with serious amateurs and professionals.