Photography – A Lifetime Dream Emerging From Its Cocoon

Ram Hot Air Balloon GlowFor as long as I can remember I have wanted to learn the art of photography.  More than 20 years ago I bought my first 35mm SLR, a Pentax SF10.  Oh, how I loved that camera!  But my love affair with my Pentax was more about its potential than its actual practical worth to me.  You see I never invested the time or money to know my camera and as a result I snapped many photographs of everyday life and happy events in full auto mode.  Unfortunately, many of which never even saw the light of day.  You know what I am talking about.  Admit it, you have that cluttered, catch-all drawer full of dozens of rolls of undeveloped film from heaven only knows when, right? 

But with the dawn of the digital age I was suddenly transported to heaven on earth!  Gone were my film phobia days.  No longer did I $hudder when I depressed my $hutter release!  I could snap, snap, snap away all day long without fear of those oh-my-gosh-what-on-earth-was-I-thinking-when-I-took-THIS-shot! moments.  One look at the LCD at those horrifying shots and, BAM!  I deleted that trash right into oblivion and not a penny wasted!  Perfection!

But those point-and-shoots never quenched my thirst to explore the photographic artist inside me that was just yearning to be set free.  So, a couple of years ago decided to take things to the next level.  I purchased my first DSLR camera.  Once again I was in heaven!  Oh, the joy of holding this technological marvel in my very own hands.  Pure elation!

I was finally going to be the most amazing photographer the world had ever known!  Well, maybe just in my little corner of the world… Or perhaps just in my own home.  🙂  I was finally ready to tackle this elusive art, no matter what.  I devoured my camera’s manual and spun the mode dial to any and all settings…. except auto, and began firing away.

Imagine my surprise when all I could see on my LCD were those oh-my-gosh-what-on-earth-was-I-thinking-when-I-took-THIS-shot! photographs!  Ughhh!!!  I was devastated and so discouraged.  I read my manual after all, and I had the most amazing photographic machinery at my disposal, so what could possibly be going wrong?

Well, admittedly when I read my manual I found very little there that I actually understood with regard to the art of photography.  ISO, metering, aperture, shutter speed, white balance, exposure compensation… huh?  This was all still Greek to me.  And once again as the busyness of life happened, I never got around to investing in understanding my camera and photographic technique.  So, though I sometimes tried to bring my camera out of auto, my results were less than stellar and I once again succumbed to the camera’s dummy-proof mode.

But several months ago when I received a Groupon deal for a photography class I knew it was time.  I seized the opportunity and have since been fully engaged in learning everything I possibly can about my life-long dream of learning photography.  My camera is never in auto mode anymore!  I have challenged myself on a couple of occasions to go 100% manual and have been flabbergasted by my success.  No, I am not yet a photographic genius, but I am beyond excited that I have finally started to grasp the concepts of aperture, ISO, metering, exposure, etc. and I am having a wonderful time attempting to put it all into practice.

I have watched countless hours of YouTube videos, taken an online photography class, read books and articles on photography, and joined a photography club in an effort to learn absolutely everything I possibly can about the art of photography.  My inner artist is skipping and hopping and dancing with joy!  I finally know what I want to be when I grow up: A PHOTOGRAPHER!

So, now that I’ve given you the Reader’s Digest version of my photographic journey, I welcome you to my newest adventure.  I don’t know where this journey will take me, but I am beyond excited that I am finally realizing this long-time dream.  I hope you’ll enjoy my photos and please feel free to leave your comments, critiques and suggestions below.  My hope is that you’ll share your honest opinions of my work so that I can learn and grow as a photographer.  So, tell me what you like and tell me what you don’t like.  And if you’re an experienced photographer I welcome your suggestions for improvement.  I know I have a very long journey of learning and growing ahead of me and I can’t wait to compare my first photos with the ones I will take in the years to come.

Here are some of my favorite shots I’ve taken in the last few months:

A couple of my favorite shots from a recent car shoot.

Cadillac Hood Ornament

I tinkered with this in Photoshop.  I didn’t know how to use my polarizing filter until after the shoot so there was a lot of annoying glare in my car shots.

Red Car

Classic Cadillac

Another photographer from my club pointed out that I should have changed the angle of this shot to avoid the driveway reflection in in the hood ornament.  Lesson learned.

Rolls Hood Ornament

Here are a few shots from a recent hot air balloon festive in Germantown, Ohio.

All Glow700


Ram Hot Air Balloon Glow


Inside Rainbow Hot Air Balloon

Rainbow Hot Air Balloon

Ram Hot Air Balloon

Balloon Top700

This was taken midday at a local metropark so I need to go back and shoot this one in the evening or morning for better, less harsh lighting.

Cox Pond1

So that’s all the photos for today, but I would hope to add a photo or two every day to keep challenging myself to look closely at my surroundings and, bit by bit, improve my photographic skills.  Thanks for joining me in my journey!  Please feel free to add your comments and critiques below.



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