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On the Fence

chain-link fence with vinesI’ve dabbled in, played with, and pursued photography for many years.  To be sure, I’ve come a long way from where I started: pointing my parents’ Pentax at everything in sight, and spending all my money on film (if you can jog your memory far enough to remember what that stuff is haha).  And while I have improved (and hopefully continue the trend), I still find it slightly odd, perhaps alarming, that in recent years other photography enthusiasts have been coming to me for advice.

Family and friends now ask me what cameras and lenses they should purchase, people actually request that I critique their images, I even have someone who has appointed me to be her mentor (which I still find truly baffling), I have judged photo competitions, and somehow I wound up with the puzzling position of President for our local Camera Club.  To put it most mildly, I’m extremely humbled and honored that these individuals seek my opinion and think that my work has such merit.

To be honest, I’m no expert – nope, not in the least.  I have simply been at this awhile and when in doubt, I always ask my other professional photographer friends for their opinions and help.  That’s the beautiful thing about photography: it’s almost like we are all part of an unspoken club and we like to help each other.  We understand the passion that goes into this hobby or career.  It’s so much more than just taking pictures…

And in case you might be in the same shoes as all of the folks I just mentioned above who have come to me seeking advice and feeling overwhelmed, I’d like to share something important with you…  As long as you are having fun with photography, that’s all that matters.  It’s true, it can all be very technical, intimidating, and there will always be somebody who is more talented than you are, but if you enjoy taking pictures, then don’t quit.  You will find that you will never stop learning or growing – which is hopefully true in all aspects of life.

Now that my words of encouragement have rambled on long enough, I suppose I’ll say a little something about the image I chose to post this time around.  The thing about art and photography is that it is all so very subjective.  My grandmother would look at this image and give me a great deal of grief over how ugly it is (haha!).  An honest and tactful professional photographer would likely tell me it’s not my best work.  I, on the other hand, enjoy its simplicity.  The things that tend to catch my eye, and ultimately my lens, never cease to amaze me.  That’s the fun part.  The point: you can love it or hate it; what matters is that I like it.