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January 06, 2013

Photography – My New Year’s Resolution


Growing up I was enthralled with photography!  It's my New Year's Resolution in 2013 to continue to develop my photography skills and to keep my DLSR with me whenever possible, if not a point-and-shoot, and at the least my iPhone.  I want to develop my artistic eye and to capture the objects, the subjects that tug at me.

My dad, although he had a regular full-time job, was a professional photographer.  On weekends, and weeknights during the long summer days, he’d be off taking family portraits or wedding portraits.  I of course wasn’t allowed to accompany him to the wedding sessions, but would often go as his assistant to shoot family portraits.  I’d be the “sit-in” before the clients arrived.  He was great!  I’d sit there in awe, especially when it came time to developing in the dark-room and retouching by hand. 

For himself personally though, he’d prefer the abstract concepts of photographing everyday items found in unusual places, or landscapes.  I’ll have to dig out a copy of my favorite piece, it’s a close up of a doll he’d found laying on the ground with runny make-up.  He traditionally shot everything in black and white. 

For my 16th birthday he bought me my first film camera, a Nikon D50.  I was so super excited by it!  I had been taking photography classes at school and was spending all my spare time using one of my mom’s old cameras.  Throughout the next couple of years I’d play with the camera, never spending lots of time to perfect the skill.  You know how busy highschool can get in your senior years (I was taking advanced classes and lots of extra time went into homework, and I began playing more sports).  Photography went by the wayside for a while.  Then something happened, I’d lost my mentor when my dad passed away.  I’d played with the camera and in the darkroom for a while.  Until the chemicals that were on-hand expired.  There was no sense spending the money on the chemicals when I was living 50 minutes from the family home, in which the darkroom was located. 

I continued to take photographs when travelling with my film camera, some photos I loved, some were okay, others (most) I was frustrated with that they were “noisy.”  Getting good film, with decent ISO,  in South East Asia was apparently hard.  So that was it…the D50 was put away and the small digital point-and-shoot was bought.  I’d lived with the point-and-shoot for nearly a decade before I decided it was time to buy a DSLR.  Last spring I began to realize that I was missing something, and now that I had time to spend on my own hobbies I wanted to get back into photography. 

Last spring before heading off on another trip to Europe in the summer, I was adamant that I was going to get a DSLR for a birthday gift to self.  I didn’t get the camera I ultimately wanted, the Nikon D7000.  I just didn’t have the money to buy it nor could I justify spending the money on a camera I knew I wouldn’t need while I was learning to photography all over again.  Instead I bought myself the older version, the Nikon D90.  My choice was between these two cameras so I could continue to use my old lenses, without having to start my collection from scratch again.


Shot of Mont St Michel from the Emerald Coast, France.  ISO 3200; Shutter 1/3200; Aperture f14.0; Focal Length 78mm

This fall I enrolled myself in a ten-week Beginner’s Introduction to Digital SLR course with Vancouver Photo Workshops, a great place to learn.  Throughout those ten weeks I reviewed some concepts I was familiar with, and learned many that I was not familiar with.  I’ll share some of these photographs at a future date.


Shot of Downtown Vancouver from Granville Island.  Aperture Priority; ISO 200; Shutter 1/3; Ap f4.0; Focal Length 35mm; WB Auto

And here we are today, the start of a new year.  I was going to continue taking photography classes, although I realized that this term was going to be a busy term with my teaching.  So I decided that I would need something to entice me to keep my camera in hand and out of the closet gathering dust.  I am going to challenge myself to take the CameraShyTake52Challenge.  My goal will be to complete the weekly challenges and post the photographs here on my blog.  (Please note that the photographs posted will have little to no editing done, since my computer lacks any memory space to actually work on the photographs and install any editing software).

Wish me luck!  And good luck to those of you participating in the challenge.

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