INTRODUCTION, BACKGROUND, & TECH ASPECTS
INTRODUCTION & BACKGROUND
I was slated as a child to be a visual artist of some kind; trying to draw long before I could print my first wobbly block letters. I can clearly recall that urge to get down on the page something that totally captivated my eye and resonated somewhere deep inside me. In my teens that got shunted largely into poetry, but I never totally deserted the visual arts. Still doing the occasional sketch, painting, or collage.
In early 2008 I moved from my life-long home in New York city to a retirement community in South Central California. By early 2009 I was producing the community's monthly newsletter and being a photographer came with the position. I'd never taken any pictures before and photography was definitely not love at first sight. In fact, I was intensely embarrassed by the results for quite a while. Then somewhere along the way I got hooked. And although I still have less sense of myself as a photographer, say, than as a poet, I've grown to have a passion for "writing with light."
Note of 11-14-15: I'm back to my sold Samsung SL30 "Beauty Shot" ISO 1600, 2.5" intelligent LCD, ISO 1600, 10.2 megapixels (see MY CAMERA below). The new NIKKON mentioned in the next below paragraph is in what I'm afraid is a terminal coma. (The lens froze in the open position -- even though it's retracted against the body of the camera -- and won't turn back on. I've been looking in to what the problem might be and have found no effective solution yet.)
Note of 8-15-15: I am now using another camera, a new one I just treated myself to despite the complaints from my credit card that I should not. It's a NIKKON Coolpix S6900, 16 mp, touch screen (which is about to drive me nuts getting used to!), an adjustable angle 3" view screen, and an attached camera stand. I think, however, for all the frustration involved in adjusting to its ways, I'm going to be quite happy I stretched the limits of my budget to get it. However, most of the pix I post here will still largely be from my Samsung, as I have over 10,000 taken with it and continue to work on them.
Note of 1-30-14: The colors and even some details of these photos are not always as I edited them to be. There have always been occasional minor discrepancies among various programs in which I view/work on my photos, and even in how pix appear when printed online or by my printer. But the biggest problems sometimes show up here when viewing pix posted to this blog. Differences that I find frustrating because they misrepresent my careful and time consuming work on a photo. Sometimes making the photo look sloppy (though I hasten to admit many might look that way to some folk anyway, given my often quirky editing style :-D). I have researched other blog hosts and may try out a post or two on one, but don't hold out much hope for the kind of consistency I seek. For instance, I recently had to get a second browser in which to work on blog posts at all due to a conflict between Microsoft/I.E. and Google/Blogger. If these computer folk don't care to get their programs to play and work well together, I'm sure they aren't overly concerned with color discrepancies.
I realize my greatest weakness is still with the technical aspects of digital photography. I've read through my camera's manual at least twice. But I find it not so much hard to understand, as hard to apply what I've read. When some wonderful sight is urging me to dig my camera out of my purse in a hurry, the last thing I really want to do then is fuss with camera settings. So I always just let it auto-focus and deal with the consequences "post-production." Yeah, I know. I should -- and will someday -- take a photo walk just to try out various settings. If there weren't so many things one can do with a photo once it's on the computer, I'd probably have done this long since. Though one might also think that the many "great shots" I miss because of poor lighting would have also urged me to "get technical" a lot sooner. And only partly in my defense, my camera is not a really good one. E.g., it tends not to do well with indoor shots, under any of the auto-settings, under any lighting conditions. And focus, overall, tends to be somewhat chancey. However, I do think it'd do somewhat better even with the glitches if I'd get on the "tech wagon." Sigh. I'm the same way with computer tech stuff. Only learn it if I absolutely must.
As of May 2013: Photoshop Elements 11, Microsoft Picture Manager (new version), and Paint (new version). Prior to that really old versions of: a small freebie Adobe program, Lexmark printer editor, Microsoft Picture Manager, and Paint.
Note of 11-1-15: See TECHNICAL ASPECTS above; I'm back to my old Samsung as the NIKKON mentioned in the next below paragraph is comatose, and it may be terminal.
New camera as of 8-15-15: NIKKON Coolpix S6900, 16 mp. However, the vast majority of photos I post here were taken with a Samsung SL30 "Beauty Shot" ISO 1600, 2.5" intelligent LCD, ISO 1600, 10.2 megapixels that I have mixed feelings about. However, a considerable number of earlier photos were taken with an old Gateway which in some ways took better pictures. I have also occasionally used a friend's camera, and try to remember to mention it when a photo I post here was taken with that one or the Gateway. Also in February of 2014 I was given a surprise gift of a FUJIFILM JX520 Wide Angle lens, 14 megapixel refurbished camera. Every so often I take it out and try working with it again, but haven't yet found its wide angle capacity more than a nuisance.