Friday, December 23, 2011

Twenty Years of Photography

Growing up, I occasionally took pictures, primarily with a Kodak Instamatic and similar automatic cameras of that era. My interest in photography grew when I was in college, when I borrowed my roommate’s Minolta X-700. In 1992, I decided it was time to purchase my first SLR camera, a Minolta 7000i with 35-105mm lens. My primary purpose for the camera was to document my experiences, including travel, family, backpacking, and life’s other special events. I have fond memories of photographing castles on the Rhine River in Germany, people on the beaches in Australia, the beautiful Sierra Nevada mountains on backpacking trips, and the kids roasting marshmallows on camping trips.

My Minolta 7000i experienced a failure along the way and I took it to the local Wolf Camera store for repair, but the camera parts were no longer available. The camera couldn’t be repaired and they generously replaced it with a refurbished Minolta XTsi. I shot the XTsi for years, but I just didn’t have the same attachment to it as my original 7000i. It joined me on backpacking trips and family camping trips nonetheless.

In June 2008, my lovely, beautiful, intelligent, charming, and generous wife surprised me with a Nikon D80 for Father’s Day (and I’m not just saying that because Christmas is coming up). The D80 reinvigorated my interest in photography. It took a while for me to learn the nuances of digital capture, but over the course of time, I eventually figured it out through discussions with other photographers and lots of research on the Internet. In March 2010, I started a 365 project, which in retrospect was a significant inflection point for my photography. I believe shooting every day is the single, most effective way to accelerate the learning process. Furthermore, digital capture provides instant feedback, which also accelerates the learning process. One can experiment with different camera settings and see the impacts immediately. While I’m not an expert, I feel my photography skills improved significantly as a result of the project.

Upon the completion of my 365, I thought I would try to create works of art in 2011. I thought I would take my camera into the mountains and capture sweeping landscapes and dramatic sunsets. I thought about a macro lens to capture intimate close-ups of nature. No, as it turns out, that isn’t me and that isn’t what I did. Instead, I used my camera to document life’s experiences. I shot my son’s high school basketball games and track meets, my daughter’s softball games and hula performances, my niece’s birthday party, my snowshoe and backpacking trips, and other family activities. I did exactly as I have done since 1992….just better.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas and a great 2012!

Kami and Sammy


Boys 4x100m Relay

Budding Photographer II

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