Who am I and What do I Want?
If you call me and get my answering machine it will boldly tell you: “This is not an answering machine it’s a questioning machine. Who are you and what do you want? The age old questions.” Perhaps you’d like to know a little bit about me. (Perhaps not, but if you continue reading, you’re going to find out anyway; and yup, that’s me on the right on New Years Eve 2006.)
As a Computer Programmer and a Consultant in Southern California; specifically LA, I get tired of sitting behind a computer screen and talking on the phone all day. In the winter I spend as much time as I can on skis in the deep powder of the Sierras and occasionally I expand my horizons to include a few other western ski habitats. This includes the champagne powder of Utah’s Wasatch range, Montana’s Gallatins, Wyoming’s Jackson Hole, Idaho’s Sawtooth range and of course Colorado’s rockies. Most of my skiing is done in Mammoth on my annual season pass.
In the summer, you’ll find me back in the sierras. When the snow melts it’s time to hit the trails on foot and mounted on a mountain bike. The camera is almost always with me. Although they may or may not like it, my friends are often mixed in with the rest of my photographic subjects from mountains (both covered with snow in winter and covered with flowers in summer) to deserts to old ghost towns to squirrels, chipmunks and of course the high country marmots. The beauty of being the photographer is I’m very rarely in my own pictures; I like it that way…
About Landscape and Still Life Photography
Still life and landscape photography is exciting when your pictures turn out, but disappointing when the colors and photos are not close to what you actually saw. Sometimes what appears in the camera and on prints doesn’t seem quite how you remember the shot. Learn to use your viewfinder as your window on the world. And remember, you can ALWAYS modify your photos post production with photoshop or even some of the less fancy photo editing software that’s available.
To be a good photographer, carry your camera with you at all times. Whether digital or film, store it well. If it uses film, keep extra film handy. If it’s digital, make sure your batteries are charged and your memory card is empty. If you like snapshots, include people for interest, but don’t pose them in front of landmarks or buildings. When taking landscape pictures, include some of the foreground to add depth to the pictures.
Consider taking pictures of signs (e.g., Next Services 127 miles…) because they always add good titles, chapters, or divisions as part of the scenery, and because you’ll always know what you’re seeing or where the pictures were taken.
I’ve become a convert to digital, even with it’s drawbacks because I don’t have to get my film developed. I bought my first ‘real’ digital camera (a Nikon Coolpix 5700 6 MP) at Christmas in 2003, I’ve took and saved over 3,500 photos. Yes; a lot are pretty crappy, but I’d have NEVER taken that many shots with film. Developing costs a lot, and I used to throw away pictures from a roll. Now I save every single photo on my computer; often so I can see what not to do. The cost savings in film and developing easily justify the price of a digital camera.
I’m now shooting with a Nikon D70s. Lost my 5700 skiing at mammoth when it fell out of my backpack. The D70 is a great camera. The shutter and the auto focus are FAST! I’m now shooting only in the RAW mode and am printing on an Epson 2000 which makes prints as large as 13″ x 19″.