I can trace my interest in photography back to a few events early in my life. I remember an aunt – a professional portrait photographer - taking my picture when I was quite young. I was amazed with the equipment she brought with her. She would peer down into her camera, push a button and later - magically - I would see my portrait. How did that happen?
I remember as a child looking at photography books and magazines. The places, people and events were fascinating. I wanted to go there. I wanted to take pictures. While I may not have pursued my photography/travel interests as much as I might have liked as a young person my desire to go places and take pictures persisted.
When I spent a summer in Europe in my late teens I took my first real camera with me. A Yashica J7. Taking pictures on that trip reignited my interest in photography. A year later while attending college I signed up for a number of photography classes. I learned about my camera, how to take a well-crafted picture, and I spent hours in the darkroom.
Unfortunately life/career got in the way. I continued to take pictures but mainly while I was on trips. Because I wanted images that were better than just snap-shots, I would think carefully about composition. But beyond that there was little chance for me to “develop” my images because I did not have access to a darkroom. Digital photography changed all that.
Now I am a former educator who has discovered photography - again. After years of not having access to a darkroom, digital photography has allowed me to explore an art form that provides a myriad of opportunities for travel, exploration and creative expression.
Getting to where I am today as an artist has not been without some challenges. Digital photography can make almost anyone a photographer but not an artist. Over the years I have worked to improve my ability to use a camera and to “develop” my images using both Photoshop and Lightroom. However, true artistry comes from within and not from a camera or a computer. And it has been that journey – discovering the artistry within - that has been both challenging and rewarding.
No longer is a camera taking pictures for me. I am using the camera to take the pictures that I first feel and then see. It is, for me, about authenticity. I want to create art where the process starts in my soul and not in my head. My camera and the software applications on my computer are tools, like the paintbrush for a painter or the chisel for a sculptor. They are just the vehicles that help me express my vision of the world I see.