Until quantum mechanics finds a way to allow humans to travel back through time, photography is the closest thing we have to a time machine. It is a snapshot of how things were at a particular place, in a particular time, and from a particular point of view. It is a unique moment that can never be recaptured again in the same way. And unless it is caught and frozen on a still, it is lost forever. Pictures provide a way to bridge the past with the present and evoke memories that may have faded away without a visual representation to tether us to a points of time either in our lives or the lives of others. Perhaps that is why cameras are almost as ubiquitious now as mobile phones. There seems to be an elemental need to capture moments that we perceive to be important to us and hold on to them for the ages.
It is in this light and mindset that I have been taking pictures as an amateur photographer for a number of years. Ever since my first solo jaunt to Scandanavia in the late 90′s, I’ve been learning and growing as a photographer with everything from disposables to basic point and shoots to the latest Digital SLR cameras. The process has been both educational and enlightening. My photography skills have certainly improved considerably since prancing around the fjords of Norway in the winter of 1998. I still remember the exact moment when I realized that I needed to really improve my photography skills. It was after I returned home from Europe and was excited to see how one specific set of pictures came out. My camera was still an old school 35mm Fujifilm point and shoot camera. The pictures I had taken were shots of the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) that I had taken from the deck of the MS Lofoten ship well north of the Arctic Circle. As I opened the pack of my pictures and flipped through them to find these particular ones, I noticed over half a dozen shots that were completely black. After flipping through the deck a couple more times, I realized these black pictures were the ones I had taken of the Northern Lights. Needless to say, I was pretty disappointed. Here I had seen one of the most amazing sights in my life that I was captivated by for well over an hour in subzero temperature with icebergs in the foreground and the lights shimmering overhead in a curtain of iridescent green filling the sky, and all I had to show for it were a half dozen totally black images. That’s when the education began.
So, this blog is to continue down the road of that education. I don’t plan on becoming the lead photographer for National Geographic or the next Ansel Adams, but I hope that by showcasing and discussing my own learning curve and getting feedback from other amateur and professional photographers, that there will be a positive discourse on this topic and it will be mutually beneficial to me and my readers.
I look forward to hearing from you and I will certainly respond to all inquiries. Feel free to send me an email here.