Photography

The title catches your eye. “Photography” automatically makes you think “I’m about to see something awe-inspiring, beautiful, stunning, or just plain amazing.”

Well, I hope so, but you really never know how these things will work.

I got hooked on taking pictures years ago. When I married Joann, I took my little Kodak Easy Share on our honeymoon, and I took so many pictures, it took weeks to sort through them all and pick “the good ones”. No, really – Weeks.

Then we got our first Puppy. Mokey T. Fraggle was born in December of ’06. We got her in February of ’07. Joann bought me a shiny new Panasonic Lumix FZ7, and I started taking pictures like I was Mokey’s own Paparazzo. I think my ‘photo crazy’ record was nearly 1400 pictures in 3 hours at a BBQ for the kennel club we were members in at the time.

Were they good pictures? Not especially. But they were memorable, and captured a lot of great moments. That’s really all you can expect from a guy goin’ nuts with a camera.

Mokey has had over 15000 pictures taken of her. She’s been a “Daily Puppy“. She’s had calendars made. She’s a little star.

I took so many pictures of Mokey, when we got Ziggy two years later, I was worn out. Poor little Ziggy has had maybe 100 pictures taken, but they’re all very memorable, and she’s awfully cute. I’m sure she’s ok with it.

And then Joann’s mother came for a visit. September of 2009, Mother-in-Law Pauline said “What are we going to do today?”, and I suggested the Zoo. I’m not proud to tell you that I walked those two ladies into the ground that day, trying to see everything in the Woodland Park Zoo all at once, and take a few hundred pictures in the process.

It was the birth of my new hobby. Two visits later, Joann bought me a new Nikon D5000 – my first D-SLR. It had settings. It had lenses. It was… holy crap, it was complex.

Was I an instant Robert Capa? Did my pictures cause the public to smile happily like those of Alfred Eisenstaedt? Was I ready to give Ansel Adams a run for his money?

Not even a tiny bit.

My first pictures were blurry, indistinct, vague, and could all easily have passed for pictures of Nessie, Bigfoot, or Alien fly-bys. But I was hooked. I bought a tripod. I bought a remote trigger. I bought a messenger bag… My wife got me another lens. I got one of my best friends to give me tips (I still do – Thanks, Brad!).

In short, I got Serious.

I love taking pictures. I love even more when one of my pictures magically becomes A Photograph. I’m a Flickr Pro member – why? Because I take a lot of pictures, and frankly I want to show them off! I spend hours trying to figure out if a picture is worthy of being posted. I-Stock would disagree, but they’re idiots. (That’s my Professional Opinion, by the way.) I’m also on SmugMug – it’s a lot more Professional than Flickr, and honestly easier to use.

I’ve graduated from that wonderful d5000 to a shiny d800, and a bunch of new glass, and things have gotten better by the shutter-snap. The pictures are everywhere, and all I have to do is point the camera at them.

I’ve calmed down a lot from those first days of “Burst Mode” picture snapping (Honestly, sometimes that’s the only way to get the dog to stand still!), and these days a trip to the zoo might include only one or two shots of each animal I see (Sometimes none at all!!!), and I might even leave the zoo with fewer than 50 pictures. Of those 50, perhaps 15 or 20 might make it to Flickr. Of those 15 or 20, I might choose one to put up in the Header of this site now and then (That’s right – keep refreshing the page, and you’ll see new pictures appear), or post on Google+ or Facebook.

More recently, we got a new pup named Basil. Basil (Pronounced Baahzihl) Rathbone. He’s a little bit of awesome and a half. He’s our first rescue, and so cute it’s almost physically painful. Love that little guy! We’ll see how many pictures of him my camera starts taking.

So keep coming back, and feel free to visit my photo pages to see what’s new. (Links up on the top right of this site!)

 

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