“I think that I shall never see a poem as lovely as a tree …”, words by Joyce Kilmer about his love of the outdoors. Given a good digital camera, a suitable subject, and the latest version of Photoshop, however, I think we all might easily see a photograph as lovely as an actual tree. A passion for photography will do that to your thinking.
I have a passion for photography. Taking pictures, using Photoshop, reading about photography, talking about photography …. I enjoy it all. And I enjoy sharing all those interests with other like-minded people. Headquartered in Bloomington, IN, (as am I) the Bloomington Photography Club allows me an outlet for that. If you are close to our fair city, check out the club’s web site. You can find a link on the right side of my blog, and it will give you information about meeting times, focus groups, and how to attend a meeting (free of charge, of course).
I am retired from the Bloomington Police Department, the majority of my thirty years spent in the detective division. So now I am happy to photograph almost anything … as long as it is not bleeding, bruised, or surrounded by a chalk outline. I belong to the LAWN (landscape, architecture, wildlife, and nature) and Portrait focus groups with the BPC. That covers about every subject we all might run into, and I am happily engaged in learning more and more about more and more. Perhaps something you read or find on this site will point you in a similar direction.
The image above is one of my favorites … for sentimental reasons. Our girls are gone now, lost to the ailments of encroaching old age. But their memories, exemplified by this photo, remind me of the joys of family, life, and documenting that life with camera in hand. Whether it be posting photos of events or families or places, I hope to spotlight a little bit of whatever is going on at the time. My interests are varied, as I am sure are yours. Together we may find and discuss something new and exciting … or maybe just something old and comfortable. In any event, we shall do so with camera equipment in hand.
I am a Nikon shooter … but never fear, some of my best friends use Canons. I use Epson printers and paper, but I have owned and printed with Canons in the past. I am building up my equipment inventory, having just saved up for a Really Right Stuff ballhead to go on a decent Bogen-Manfrotto tripod. I have a couple of Singh-Ray filters and love them (they are worth saving for). Think Tank makes some great bags, and I usually travel with everything stuffed inside one of their backpacks. My main lenses are a Nikon 70-200 f/2.8 zoom and a Nikon 12-24 f/4 wide angle. For walking around the Nikon 18-200 is better-than-convenient, and it is the lens I have on my D300 more often than I probably should. Photoshop rounds out the process, no matter what the equipment may be. That and Lightroom, buttressed by Nik’s Color Efex Pro actions, make up in some large part for my lapses in camera technique.
The BPC has many excellent shooters, and some of them have mentored many of us. Kip May of Bloomington puts on several photography workshops each year. If you are in the area you are guaranteed to learn much, laugh much, and enjoy yourself completely at any of his classes. Check out his website, kipmay.com, for a schedule and a glimpse at what a fine photographer he is. I was fortunate to attend a workshop in Savannah in 2009 put on by landscape great Bill Fortney and Photoshop/Lightroom guru Scott Kelby. It was an incredible experience; both are as down-to-earth and friendly as they are talented. It was a great learning experience, and I urge any reader to explore workshops/classes in your area or throughout the country to improve your skills and expand your circle of friends.
Photography is one of life’s joys. It fits most lifestyles, ages, and environments. It lends itself to most philosophies, including one we all should aspire to: You never go wrong by doing the right thing. Especially with a camera in your hand.