This is the Inaugural Post on my First Blog. I’m new to this whole blogging thing and never really frequented blogs before, so you experienced blog readers and posters take it easy on me –for now. I am open to suggestions and helpful hints though, because I want this to succeed.
First, a little about why I’m doing this
Of the non-living things in my life (things other than my wife, my kids, my dog…) there are four things I love the most: photography, learning, teaching and writing. I think this may be a medium that will include all these things and we can have a little fun in the process.
Recently, I did a Google Search on “Photography Blogs” and came back with “About 347,000,000 Results”. If there are that many photography blogs out there what in the world would ever possess me to think my new, amateurish effort could result in a successful attempt. I’m sure there are many other more successful photographers who also happen to be professional bloggers (until very recently I never even knew you could be a “professional blogger”) who have much more professional looking, successful blogs out there.
I guess it all depends on how you define success. I’m not looking to make a fortune at this (again until recently I didn’t even know you could make ANY money blogging). I’m not selling anything or promoting myself. I do have a few sparse and relevant (I hope) ads on my blog in the hopes that I can at least recoup the costs of hosting this site. But no one is expected to purchase anything or even click on those ads if you don’t want to. As we progress, I may discuss a particular piece of equipment, or a technique that entails some accessory and I may place a link to where you can purchase that item –if you want to.
I will not be Shilling Products
In fact one of my foundational tenants about photography is that you do not need a lot of expensive gear to take great pictures. That will be a recurring theme here.
That being said, photography can be a great consumer of your hard earned money. There is always another lens, a better flash, a cooler gadget to spend your money on. Once bitten by the photography bug you can dump vast quantities of money feeding your new passion. On this site, I’ll try to help you make sound buying decisions and know when the right decision is NOT to buy that new camera or gizmo. But, if you do want it, I will try to also provide sources that are fair and honest and give you the best value for your money.
Photography is so much more than owning the right gear
In fact the gear is secondary.Photography is so much more than owning the right gear. In fact the gear is secondary. I believe photography has equal measures of technical know-how, artistic talent and some philosophy mixed in. Without the technical know-how (which I believe most new photographers need the most), you cannot take a decent picture. You can have all the technical know-how in the world, but without knowing the artistic principles your photographs fall flat.
And philosophy? Where does that come in? The philosophy around photography is as varied and deep as there are photographers out there. Every photographer (whether they realize it or not) develops their own unique philosophy. Are you a documenter, or creator? Are you a people photographer, or a landscape photographer? Are you a portrait photographer, or love the unexpected candid shots? Are you an experimenter, or a steadfast hold to the established principles photographer? These and many more philosophies will be covered here. If you don’t know what philosophy you are developing, this place will guide you and aid you along your journey to discovery.
My plan is to explore all these topics, solicit your feedback, and have some lively discussions.
Now, for a housekeeping note:
You may notice as you read through this site that some words have links embedded in them. These links go to educational sites to give more information about them –frequently Wikipedia. Wikipedia is a great resource. You can pretty much find anything you need to know about from Wikipedia! I know that sometimes on Wikipedia there can be inaccurate information, however for the links I put in here I’ve checked each one for their accuracy. Some of my former students will recognize some of the pictures on the links I use as material from my course. I’ve always freely disclosed to my students the material I’ve borrowed from Wikipedia. The topics I use with links will invariably be discussed in more depth at some future point. But for now if you want some additional information feel free to click on the link, or go directly there to look up a new term (just don’t forget to come back!). These links will never take you to an unsafe place, or to a commercial website to entice you to spend your money. If I do link to a commercial site, I will make it obvious in my writing, so you don’t find out by mistake.
I want this site to be an open, safe, interactive dialog among a community of folks who share a common interest in photography. You may be brand new, or a seasoned veteran. You may just be learning and have been intimidated in the past by people who know so much more than you that you are embarrassed to ask a question. I’ve been there –not just in photography, but many other subjects (blogging for one!). I know how intimidating it can be to learn something new. I want this place to be a safe place; a place where brand new photographers can feel safe about learning this incredible medium, and a place where those with more experience can help and guide the new people.
Terms of Service
Every site has a Terms of Service section. It’s usually filled with a lot of legalese mumbo jumbo that makes your eyes glaze over. If you haven’t done so already, go read our site’s TOS. It pretty much sums up my philosophy here.
I have been taking pictures most of my life. A few years ago I began teaching an Intro to Digital Photography Class for my town’s Adult Ed Department as an extension of my photography. I love teaching that class twice a year. Although I am not a “real teacher”, I have worked in a corporate training environment for many years and know a little about adult learning. Every time I teach my course, students ask if I’ll ever teach a more advanced class. I tell them that I really just don’t have the time (I do have a “day job” after all). I view this site as an extension of that class. This will be a dynamic, interactive site where people can learn about the basics and beyond. Others can share their successes (and failures) and provide their hard-earned insights.
I always tell my students that I learn as much from them as they learn from me. So, join me and we will learn together.