I just finished writing way too many words and I have deleted every one of them. While I reference a journey, I found that I had written hundreds of words about my journey in photography from the time I was five years old. That is really more than anyone needs to know.
What you should gather from this blog article is that I have been involved in photography for a long time and in that very long period which is about 70 years I have worked as a professional freelance photographer, worked for wholesale camera companies such as Nikon and Berkey Marketing (long gone), worked retail, taught photography, and did a stint as a military photographer in the United States Coast Guard.
One might think as I approach my 76th birthday that I would be pretty much done with all things about photography but that is not the case. I am as passionate about the art of photography, and the storytelling that photography provides as I was when my dad put my first camera in my hands. My dad was a professional photographer at one time in his life.
I have been fortunate to work with some extraordinary photographers, used some of the most wonderful photography gear and had the pleasure of passing on my knowledge and adventures to those who had a desire to learn more than they already know.
Photographers know what they know and do what they do quite well, but in reality, I have never met a photographer who knew everything. The reason for that is simple. As photographers, we tend to move towards a specific type of photography and that might be landscape, portraits, street, industrial, etc. While the rules of dealing with light remain consistent, how a photographer gets from point A to point B with lighting varies quite a bit.
For years, having worked for Nikon and being with Nikon when they first introduced their incredible flash system I came to rely on that flash system and camera metering to virtually handle all my lighting needs pretty much, automatically. I had gone from loving ambient light for many things and manual flash for other things and found myself using more auto flash control to manipulate lighting for my images.
When I talk about a journey never really ending I feel that in time photographers can and should revisIt things they have not used or done for a long time and photographers who have stuck to a favorite way of shooting and never learned beyond that favorite way of shooting should open their minds to learning new things. Sometimes, we do just that because certain things happen in life that might cause us to adjust how we deal with our photography.
That is what happened to me. Back injuries and age wound up taking its toll and I found myself somewhat limited in doing the more adventurous types of photography I loved and suddenly, even though I carried a camera bag with a minimal amount of gear all the time, I was not reaching for it. I was not reaching for it because the shot I wanted to take required more than I could do physically to capture it. What to do?
I decided that there was no way I was not going to produce images, create “art” or tell a story and if working outside was too limiting for me then I would move inside. I set up a studio in a bedroom that was 10 x 10 x 7.5 feet, purchased some inexpensive Godox and Flashpoint studio lighting and Glow lighting modifiers, and spent literally hours watching educational studio lighting Youtube videos. I practiced daily, step by step what I was learning. I learned a lot from the instructors on the Adorama educational channel. They were Gavin Hoey and Daniel Norton.
What you hopefully gather from this first chapter is that there should virtually be nothing that stops you from doing some form of what you like and nothing that would want to make you stop learning something new every day.
Chapter two coming soon. The Studio