A Little Bit About Me
My interest in photography started when I was in my pre-teens, when I bought my first camera, a Kodak Brownie. I didn't get very good results, but saw the value of picture taking. In 1959, my Mother returned from Germany with an Agfa Optima. For a beginner like me that was a fine camera. What it really did for me, though, was help me feel the need for more advanced photography. The 35mm SLR was just becoming popular and I tried out several. I fell in love with the Asahi Pentax H3. From then through about 1999, I used a number of Pentax cameras, including the LX and 6x7. Results were often unsatisfactory and I longed to produce photos of quality like that I saw in Pop Photo and other magazines. With no formal photography education, I was really 'shooting in the dark' when it came to improving my skills. I read a lot of books, and still have many of them. They helped but progress was slow. I have been studying photos that impress me, trying to determine easy steps that can lead to similar results. I think I am making progress. In fact, I am putting together a booklet with five easy steps to quality photographs, primarily to reinforce them in my mind. If it turns out well, I may make copies for others.
In 2000 I began to feel the need for help in focusing. The eyes just weren't what they used to be. I wasn't too impressed with newer Pentax cameras, so I switched to a Nikon F100. What a camera! Not enough people appreciate it. And the autofocus and matrix exposure metering were such a blessing. When Nikon brought out their digital SLR's, I dreamed of owning one. Retirement was coming soon, so I thought now would be my last opportunity to own one. I bought one in September of 2001 and it has been a boost in the improvement of my photography. The D1X renewed my love of photography. With digital, I have a much higher percent of successful shots than ever before. Along with the opportunity to shoot more, I had the chance to think seriously about photography and the skills needed to get quality results. I have come up with five easy steps to quality picture making, and will share these on the website as I can. I am having so much fun with both film and digital cameras.
In the 1970's and 80's, I got good people pictures with a rangefinder Canon QL17. The rangefinder camera is great for that purpose. I have also enjoyed using the Russian Leica copies, though infrequently. They take me back to the old days when I was forced to determine exposure settings and focus. However, since 1959 I have preferred using SLR's. Presently, I own and use both film and digital Nikon SLR's, among them the N8008s, N80, D70 and D50 and the fine D2x. But now I have my pride and joy, a D3, which is my favorite camera of all time.
I enjoy all these cameras, but what I value more is the improvement I have seen in my photography. I am still not where master amateurs and professional photographers are with artistic expression. But I am much more pleased with what I can do. It is about time. I am now retired and it has been a long time coming. All this should encourage you to never give up if you are dissatisfied with your photography. Don't expect too much of yourself, and be pleased with the progess you see. Then, go out and try to outdo yourself!
THE D3 AND DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY
For me, the D3 opened up new vistas in photography. It is a wonderful instrument for honing photographic skills. Since retiring, I have set out to take a walk every day and I love using my D3. When I get back after sometimes shooting a hundred photos, I load them in the computer and analyze them. Failures are discarded and those that catch my eye are refined in Adobe Lightroom. Some are loaded on my website at www.pbase.com/fotabug for family and friends to enjoy. I have found regularly participating in photography has been a great asset for improving the quality of my photos. I get a chance to see what works and what doesn't, what I seem to have a knack for and what I don't do well with. Photography is like physical exercise. It helps to fine tune and develop the senses, and makes one more aware of real photo opportunities. It also helps one to walk on past what really has no creative value, looking for what arrests attention. Then, it helps one to think about how to frame and shoot the photo in a creative way.
This is the value of digital. My darkroom now is my computer. It is readily accessible. No messy chemicals and so convenient. I am shooting many more photos than I could before. This mental exercise, with the ability to study results and learn from them, is bound to help one improve. I shoot so much more now and can see some improvement in my perception and results.
I have other Nikons that I enjoy using as well, including film cameras. With them, I usually shoot negative color and have it put on CD's. This way I can get them on my computer and make the prints I want. Digital is the up and coming thing, and will only grow dramatically. But film will continue to be used. It has a unique quality that can't be matched by digital. I love both and enjoy putting these cameras to use continually.
THANK YOU FOR VISITING
I hope you enjoy visiting my Web Site, and that you will visit often. Please recommend that others visit too. FEEDBACK is most welcome. I would enjoy hearing from anyone who visits.
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MAKING USE OF MY PRECISION TOOLS
I take daily walks as much as I can. I usually have a case with my Nikon D3 over my left shoulder. At time I will also have one of my other Nikons along. What fun the walks are! I have had more exercise shooting pictures in the last few years than in a number of years before that! Photography is fun again and I am getting better results, partly because my skills have improved due to practice, which my walks have provided.
My advice to others is to get excited about the equipment you have. Even though the important thing is the result of you artistic endeavors, your photo collection, having equipment that you enjoy and delight in will contribute to your success. This can motivate you to get out and use it. Find the equipment that works for you, camera and accessories that fit the way you do things. You will find it frees your mind for attention to creative pursuits. I suggest you try out different cameras, find the one that fits you. When I first went to SLR's back in the late 50's. I tried out several cameras and settled on a Pentax H3. It just seemed to fit right in my hands and the controls worked for me. I have searched for that match in my equipment ever since. Today, Nikon equipment fits me like a glove.