“The only journey is the one within” (Rainer Maria Rilke)
I’ve had a fascination for photography since I had a Brownie 127 as a child, and watched my father developing his own black-and-white photos in the bathroom. So my journey began early but scarcely progressed for many years. I enjoyed taking photos of family gatherings, or whilst travelling, but although I had a bit of a feel for composition, I knew next to nothing about the technical aspects of photography. I took some good photos, but it was all a bit hit-and-miss. I remember waiting, full of anticipation for the prints from the processed films that came back from the developing lab at the end of a holiday – only to throw half of them away in disappointment. My father gave me my first digital camera in 2005 and this provided an exciting new opportunity to experiment, to see the results straight away. One of my first photos with this Fuji camera is of a poppy field in North Norfolk.
Norfolk poppiesMy first digital photo
My photographic journey received new impetus on 1st January 2013, when I joined 365project.org, an online community of photographers, amateur, professional and all stages in between, who post a photo each day and comment on others’ shots. The first photo I posted was of the grandfather clock as it struck in the New Year at some friends' house.
2013 beginsFirst post on my 365 project
At the time I was using a Sony point-and-shoot camera on auto, with editing limited to simple auto-fixes. Joining that community opened up a whole new world for me, and I’ve learnt a huge amount from the discussion forums on that site and from the comments people have made on my photos. I’ve bought new processing packages and new gear, including speed-lights and a tripod, and now shoot mainly with a Nikon D7100, using a variety of prime and zoom lenses.
My journey has given me a voracious appetite for reading about things photographic, on online photography sites, in magazines and in books. I’ve learnt about the principles of exposure and of composition; I’ve explored macro, black-and-white, low light and portrait photography. Putting what I’ve learnt into practice has been more challenging: I increase the ISO and omit to decrease it again when the light changes, I forget to watch the shutter speed when in aperture priority mode or I overexpose the highlights. I come home excited to see my shots on the computer and still all too frequently that what I thought I’d captured hasn’t come out as I’d envisaged it would. But I’m getting there: I do have photographs I’m proud of, some of which are displayed on this site. I’ve also found I can bring pleasure to others through my photographs, as well as finding a rewarding, absorbing, stimulating and creative way of spending my leisure time.
My inward journey, often expressed now through my photographs, continues.
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