If you’ve read my about page, you will know I’m the type of person who has to master the things I do. I spent the vast majority of my life, from the age of eight until I was 29, literally doing little other than software development. I know how to program like I know the back of my hand, in a variety of languages. It has only been fairly recently that I discovered I don’t really care all that much for programming. It was more of a childhood hobby who’s momentum carried a fair ways into my adult life. Long before actually picking up my first DSLR in 2009, I spent a lot of time researching the field. I learned about the theories behind photography, what makes it all work the way it does. I spent many hours digging though camera review sites like dpreview, the digital picture, and others learning about (and drooling over) all the latest and greatest cameras. I read books, blogs, and other sites on the artistic side of photography, a field that might be as ill-defined and broad as the universe itself.
I’ve always liked art, but could never find my footing when it came to oil painting, watercolor, charcoal or colored pencil. I guess I am not a “traditional” artist. Photography certainly seems to be my thing. I think it appeals to the technogeek inside of me, while concurrently appealing to my artistic spirit. I can dabble with fun, expensive and complicated gadgets, while at the same time realizing my vision of the world around me. I get to create amazing scenes of amazing things in my own personal style. Creation. I think that was what I liked about programming as a child, teen and young adult…I was able to create things. Create my own things in my own vision. I guess the appeal of programming fell away when my creative talents became less “art” and more “job”…creating things for other people in their vision isn’t quite as fun, and certainly doesn’t satisfy my artistic goals (oddly enough, this realization is just coming to me now as I write this…and I’ve struggled for a while trying to figure out why the thing I loved so much years ago I am so bored with, and often hate, today…) In 2009, I decided to focus my creative endeavors on mastering something other than programming. Photography is it, and probably the thing I will spend my entire life pursuing mastery of.
I knew quite a lot about the technical aspects of photography before I ever even owned a camera. I spent years knowing little else other than the technical aspects of photography until very recently. I started taking a journey deep into the artistic realms of photography in early 2012. I’ve learned a ton over the last year and change, and at the same time realized I still have more to learn. More than I could have imagined a couple years ago! Knowledge is an interesting thing. It is very often contextual. I remember reading about Canon’s first re-release of the 800mm f/5.6 lens on the EF mount before I actually owned a DSLR myself, and thinking: “Wow, I can’t imagine who would need one of those! It’s $13,500!!” Here I am today, thinking “Wow, I actually NEED one of those! I wish it wasn’t $13,500!!” It is amazing how much you can know, and still have so much you’ve yet to learn. I find it interesting that you can struggle with something, without knowing that the answers are right around the corner, tucked away in the mind of someone just a little more, or decades more, experienced than you. I find it wonderful that those more experienced individuals are so often willing to share their knowledge, and give you that little gem that helps you stop struggling.
I am by no means an expert when it comes to photography. On the contrary, I am certain there is far more to know than I know already, and that fact will probably remain true for some time. At the same time, I’m sure there are people out there struggling with some of the same aspects of photography, technical and artistic, that I’ve struggled with myself in the relatively recent past. While I may not yet know all there is to know about photography, I would like to share what experience I have with those who are interested in learning. To that end, I am starting the Knowledge Center. Every so often, when I have time, and I cannot spend that time photographing something, I’ll write up something about either the technical aspects of photography, or some tip, tidbit or insight I may have about the artistic aspects of photography. I may just quote another photographer and link to their insights. Either way, I hope to build up a knowledge base for those who wish to learn. I’ll try to use real-world examples when I can, and demonstrate with actual photography to keep things understandable for those who may not have prowess with the technical and technological side of things.
Anyway, I hope this proves useful to someone in the future. I would also like to encourage anyone who has questions about anything I may write here, or even if you have a question about how I may have taken any of the photographs I post on my blog, to contact me using the form below. I’m happy to answer your questions in more depth whenever I have the ability to. And for the times I do not, I’ll try to direct to towards additional resources…books, other blogs, more talented or experienced individuals who may also be willing to share their insight and expertise.