How long have you been a member of BetterPhoto?
I just had my one-year anniversary at BetterPhoto and am currently taking my fourth course and looking forward to my fifth course with Tony Sweet in October.
What kind of photography do you most enjoy?
I like to create abstract images of things found in nature. I also enjoy landscapes, architecture and wildlife photography. Just about anything but people! My favorite time to photograph is twilight, so this was my lucky month!
How long have you been a photographer?
My parents bought me my first camera when I was 10 years old - before a trip to Hawaii. I loved that little camera! I took snapshots with it for years. When I was 20 years old (over 20 years ago), I wrote for the student newspaper at university and bought a used Canon AE1 to take photographs to complement my news stories. I created a darkroom in the bathroom of my apartment and even used to roll my own film. After university, I did quite a bit of travel photography.
I used to love working in the darkroom. Seeing the image slowly appear on the paper was magic. I did photography as a hobby for about 5 years or so. Then somehow my career took over my life and I had less time for photography. When digital came out, I gave up altogether thinking now everyone could make a perfect photograph. A decade later, I finally realized that just wasn't true and I bought my first DSLR just under one year ago.
What inspires you?
Seeing how photography has changed my own life in the past year is what inspires me to continue on this path. It has helped me define myself in a way that is not limited to my career. It also helps me focus on "what is right with the world", as photographer Dewitt Jones says. Twenty years ago, I took documentary photos that focused on the darker side of life. Now I only photograph what is beautiful, and it makes me a happier person.
What are your photography goals?
Eventually, I would like to switch careers into photography. I have been self-employed in the software development field for 15 years. I enjoy it, and it has served me well. I am going to continue with it for the next eight years or so, which coincides with when my house will be paid off, and then make the switch into photography. During the next eight years, I would like to establish myself as a photographer by selling some of my work and getting some photos and travel articles published. In the shorter term, my goals include getting a Photo of the Day and a Masterpiece of the Month!
How has BetterPhoto helped you attain them?
I have seen a significant improvement in the quality of my photography over the past year. In addition to the great lessons and constructive feedback from the instructors, having an assignment due every week or every month keeps me out there photographing. The assignments also push me to photograph outside of my comfort zone - like this month's people photography assignment.