Sunday, August 12, 2012

Picture This

Me and my Nikon, posted on Instagram
I have had a number of hobbies over the years.  Like a lot of kids, I collected a lot of things; baseball and football cards, stamps, and coins.  When I into my teen years, I moved on to playing the guitar and some organized sports.  One of my more favored hobbies over the years involved photography.  Photography really became one of my favorite activities.  I took a lot of photos back in the on a variety of subjects.  My favorite subjects, however, were sports and landscape photography.

During my film photography days, I started off with a completely manual Pentax K1000.  I loved that camera and it took some pretty good photos.  That camera went with me just about everywhere, especially to sporting events.  I bought as many telephoto and zoom lenses as I could so that I could take decent photos at various sporting events that I attended, mostly baseball and football, but also a few hockey and even a trip to the Ice Capades.

I read a lot of photography books and magazines back then to try to come up with new ideas and techniques to try out.  I experimented with a lot of different films and techniques to see what kind of images I could create with my camera.  The Cokin Creative Filter system became one of my favorite tools.  They had so many different filters that I couldn't get enough of them.  Black and white film was another fun thing to play with.

At one point, I actually considered trying to make a career in photography.  I had a friend who started taking ballet lessons to meet girls.  He had a recital and invited me to take some photos.  I shot a few rolls of film and he took them in to show people in his group.  A few of the people in his group liked them so much that they paid me for copies of the prints that they could have for their portfolio.  Unfortunately I never pursued it seriously as the guaranteed money of a steady job won out.

After I got married, and especially after my son was born, I lost interest in photography.  My camera pretty much set unused for months at a time.  During a particularly tight financial period, I took my now seldom used cameras to a camera store and sold them for some much needed cash.  Most of my photos at this point were simple family photos that could be taken with a basic point and shoot camera.

Then came the digital age.  A few years ago, I decided to take the plunge and buy myself a digital single lens reflex camera, a NikonD40x.  With our love affair with the Bowie Baysox, I decided that I wanted to get back into photographing sports again.  There isn't a bad seat in the stadium so we are always able to get fairly close to the action.  We also were a part of the Bowie Baysox boosters which gives scrapbooks to all the players.  Some of my photos have been parts of those books.

About a month ago, I received an email from one of my trade journals.  They said that since I was subscribing to the trade journals, I qualified for a free magazine subscription.  I had been thinking a lot more about my old photography hobby and decided to try a subscription to Popular Photography.  I have received two issues so far and have read them cover to cover.

I was talking to my friend at work recently, the one that I talk about Bathroom Boy and Ms. Spectacular, about wanting to do more on the weekends.  With my son being away at school, I have been wanting to do more things on my days off.  In particular, I want to go out with my camera and see if I can create great photos instead of just snap shots.  At least, that is the goal.

I discovered that there is a photography club nearby in my neighborhood.  They meet on Monday evenings at 7:30 pm.  Their next meeting is on September 17th.  I am going to try to attend the meeting to see if it is something that would interest me.  Their annual dues are $25, which won't break the bank.  They also have several photo competitions throughout the year.  Their website says that visitors are always welcome so I can check them out with no obligation.

I have recently purchased a new camera bag that will allow me to more readily have my camera with me at all times.  Later this week, the family is heading to Ocean City for a few days before my son has to go back to school.  The camera will be going as well.  I have also started following a few different photography blogs in the hopes of getting some good pointers.

If all goes well and I follow through with all these grandiose plans of improving my photography, I hope to post photos here.  I am also considering starting another blog strictly dedicated to my photography.  If and when that happens, I will be sure to post about it here.  I have already created the URL in blogger.  I am leaning towards using one of Blogger's dynamic view templates for it.  Stay tuned for more.
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