Greetings to all, I am a non-professional (serious addict) photographer from WV, I am a lifelong resident of this fine state. I currently live within 5 miles of the home I grew up in. I would have to say that my first exposure to photography was like most people, family vacation snapshots. Even from a young age I always seemed to have an interest in photography. To this day I still have the first camera I ever used, a Kodak Brownie that was my father’s since the early 50’s.
I have an AAS degree in drafting technology, and I started my first job as a draftsman while attending college. With my earnings from my first summer work I bought my serious camera, a Canon AE-1 Program. My technology background has a great influence on my photography also as I tend to think outside the box often and like to devise different ways to achieve the finished photo. I think it is this background in engineering that helps the technical part of my photography. I tend to be a perfectionist, which can be both good and bad. I believe without a doubt, I am my worst critic.
I receive inspiration for my photos from the little things in life, the fleeting moment, the sunset that disappears all too quickly. Once one stops and looks closer at things it is amazing the scenes they have missed so many times. I love macros for the view of an unseen world most people don’t even know exists. I also spend a good bit of time shooting the typical sunsets, and other landscape photographs. Over the past several years I have been involved in a lot of concert photography. I have even had the privilege of a few being used for promotional work and CD covers. The one type of image that seems to bring me the most personal satisfaction would be long exposure night photography.
I have never been much of a person to take portraits but I do on occasion, mainly for different local charities in my area. Being able to do what I can to help others out is another very satisfying part of photography for myself. I am currently serving my 3rd year as president of our local photography club.
I reside out in a very rural area of West Virginia on 56 acres of wooded property which also gives me ample opportunity for abundant wildlife. Having few neighbors and lots of room allows me room to experiment with many photography techniques!
As for the gear I use, that has varied widely throughout my obsession with photography. I started with a Canon SLR in 35mm. My first DSLR was a Nikon D100, this is what re-lit my passion for photography. When it came time for an upgrade I did plenty of research and made my choice with a Pentax K7. I still use this body as a back-up to a newer K5II. The K7 has topped well over the 100,000 shutter actuation mark and still going strong! I am a firm believer in the theory that it isn’t so much the camera that makes a great photograph, but the imagination behind it. In the past 6 months or so I have expanded my photography into the IR realm. I find this to be a welcome break from the normal and tends to give a very unique look to even the otherwise ordinary scene!
I have seen information become so much easier to obtain of the past 20 years with the ease of internet access. In my mind this is a great thing, it makes learning new ways of being more creative so much easier. There is rarely a day that passes that I do not learn something new about photography. We must keep learning if we expect to grow and improve. I have come so far in my creativity and abilities in the past few years. I also know that as I continue working and studying I will progress even further.
“Success is not a destination, but a journey”