Photography

In my youth, I was never a fan of cameras or film - too much bother. And, it didn't help matters that I was lacking in skills - cutting off someone's head, images generally out of focus. Even with a polaroid, my street intersection photos (during my very brief career as a insurance claims adjuster) were bad. Ripping open that Polarid film I splashed developer on my favorite clothing. What a mess.  My parents gave me a compact film camera to document my World travels -  the camera took nice photos...film=relatively few photos per roll. I gave that camera to an army corps camp host in Bolivia while marooned there by landslides. I replaced that camera when I got home but smothered it with sand a few years later on Hawaii beach. The timing of its demisewas good: digital cameras were available, so after a bit of research seeking options for digiscoping, I got my first camera capable to document unusual bird sightings. My Nikon point and shot took amazing photos! No longer inhibited by 32 expensive exposures with a long wait between shot and when they were developed. Now I could experiment. This was the beginning of my exposure to digital editing and manipulation. I started taking pictures in addition to just scenery and birds: insects, rocks, fungus - and just about everything that caught my eye. But the Point and Shoot was too slow - a shutter speed unable to capture motion and especially, birds in flight. A Harris's Hawk in flight remained out of focus - nearly the final straw. Of course, it was actually an incident with a  cup of coffee that forced the next iteration. I moved up to a Nikon D80 DSR camera and 300mm zoom lens. That camera opened up a whole new realm of possibilities - it still took very nice close-ups and I could now get birds in flight - in focus! I could get those shots of fleeting rare birds - in flight too! After that camera received a soaking in a heavy thunderstorm (as you may have guessed I am hard on my equipment) and while it was in repairs, I stepped up to a Nikon D300s and a 400mm zoom. That camera forced me to learn a few more photography basics no longer could I choose between an image of a flower or mountain. It is a good camera and remains my go-to until I splurge on the next iteration or a larger lens. Fortunately, it's also more resilient to abuse and damage - bounced to the floor of an ATV once - and survived! That rig is substantially heavier than the D80 with 300mm lens - so when I switch back to my old camera - it is featherweight. I'm sure professional photographers would snicker at the light weight of either those camera set-ups. 

 

My photos not only document unusual bird records but form the basis of my artwork. I also incorporate photos taken with my iPhone, which takes seriously nice 'high speed' photography - scenery shots out the car window at 70 mph (I'm not driving) - not to mention macro-shots of lethargic critters. A few photos show the range of my interests. I may have a creative eye - but the camera still does the heavy lifting. I'm along for the ride.