Thursday, May 2, 2013

Photography In My Life During A Season Filled With Natural Imagery: Celebrating National Photo Month

                 2013 represents my twentieth year as a photographer. It was something that was mainly self taught. Which is interesting because it exactly coincided with the first year I began a home schooling program with my parents due to lack of interest on the part of the public school system on severe bullying. It was an entirely new way of looking at life. All of a sudden some people I'd known my entire life scratched their heads-thinking my family and I had all somehow lost our minds. My words didn't seem to have much truthful impact anymore. My first camera was a used Pentax K-1000,a 33mm SLR that allowed you to see through the lens what you were photographing. Even though my earliest photographs were of hurried still lives and snow covered trees,the learning experience and my intentions did seem to come true: if people didn't want to see what I had to say,they'd at least see my photographs.

               The first months of spring have always been my favorite times for photography. Mainly because of the abundance of plant life and flowers in bloom, and the color it provides to the atmosphere. With Maine tending to be a very summer oriented state in terms of tourism,a lot of outdoor decorations of photographic interest begin appearing this time of year as well. During my first decade as a photography I had the personal fortune,likely for at least semi-homeschooling oriented reasons, to be included in family vacations to New Hampshire, Quebec City and later Montreal. Along with many visits to Acadia National Park. This gave me a great deal of practice as a photographer as I was growing up. Towards the beginning of the new millennium,though already on my second 35mm camera (a Pentax P30T   model) something new was on the horizon already: digital photography.

              While image quality was excellent in the 35 mm format, it also tended to be an extremely taxing financially. High quality film development was usually overpriced,and if there was a sale stander 3-5 day printing services were seldom guaranteed. By the time I was in my early 20's,photography was looking to be an enormous debt creator in my life. Digital cameras,even with the first one I had,produced fairly low quality images-in the 3-4 megapixel range. And the built of the cameras were usually thin and clunky,not to mention relatively small lenses-hence the low quality results. The first quality digital camera I purchased was the one you see above you: the Olympus E500 8MP digital SLR. It was sold by the now defunct Circuit City with two zoom lenses: a wide angle and a telephoto one. 

              Though many advances have been made in megapixel level and features since I got the camera eight years ago,the arrival of the digital SLR has really allowed me to come into my own as a photographer. Economically its a dream. Its now possible to create above 35mm quality images in the hundreds rather than being limited to between 12 and 36 exposures of film. Also it provides for me to be able to do something I never could with 35 mm film: bracketing-the idea of taking several angles of the same subject to see which works best. I would also have to say that in the last several years in particular that the photography that I've been doing has reached a very significant peak. And even though many people nostalgically reminisce about the "simple,good old days", the newer digital camera technology has really liberated my ability to practice the type of photography I always wanted to yet for a long time wasn't able to.


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