I have always been an artist.
I am a violinist
I am an out of practice violinist but nonetheless, I’m still a violinist.
In grade school I always turned up my nose at art classes and thought of them as useless. Back then I didn’t think of myself as an artist. Art was that class kids took on the back hallway. It was where kids painted and drew things that no one ever saw. It’s just at this moment that I realize that even though my classes weren’t titled “art class”, I was still fully engrossed in the arts program as a child. Orchestra and band are definitely in the arts category. Yeah, yeah, so I over look the obvious on occasion.
I am a Photographer
It wasn’t until I was in my latter years of college that I purchased my first digital camera and fell in love with the visual. My goal was to Capture Today Forever (the old name of my website). I chased the light and wanted to capture how it made me feel, but unfortunately, I didn’t have the technical know how to do it.
Once I realized that I was finally going to graduate from college, I started to think about my next steps and I had a decision to make. I wanted to study film/tv production because of the time I had spent working in my church’s TV production room, but that would have required me to move to Savannah, and Savannah was not a part of my plans. I chose photography instead and moved to Atlanta to study.
It was during my time at SCAD that I learned there is more to the world than wedding photography. You see, l never took an art history course prior to attending SCAD. I knew about Bach, Beetoven, and Viotti, but I had no knowledge of any other artists outside classical music. Now that I think about it, I was a music major at UNCG and even then the closest I came to visual art was playing in the pit in the yearly opera.
Back to the Here and Now
Now that I’m back in Atlanta, I feel settled. After being laid off four years ago, I put down my cameras for any serious photography work and focused on how I would survive. That was four years ago, and only now am I feeling ready to pursue photography again like I did in the past. This isn’t really a decision; it’s more like a feeling I can’t control.
If you follow me on any social media platform, you know that I enjoy photographing my food and documenting where I have traveled. I love photographing food and making people hungry. But even though I enjoy these things, I feel like I’m not doing it at a quality level. I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’ve let my photography become as real-time as my tweets and foursquare checkins. I need to slow down and think about what messages I want my images to convey.
Time to Stop Lying to Myself
Some people say the equipment you use doesn’t matter, but that’s not always true. For the last four years I have been photographing things with my iPhone and I have been telling myself that it should be good enough. I have shunned my Nikon and my Pentax, and even donated my medium format camera to charity. But it is now in this place, and at this time, that I am ready to pick up my “big” cameras again.
In my opinion, I am not at my best with a digital camera. I would much rather shoot with a manual film camera, process the film myself, and spend many hours in a darkroom filled with smelly chemistry than to shoot with a digital camera; that’s my personal preference. I won’t get rid of my DSLR, but I do plan to purchase a new manual 35mm before I buy a new DSLR. I’m considering a Canon. Shhh! Don’t tell my Nikon.
I am going to end this by sharing an iPad/digital capture of my film photography because it only seems fitting at this point. Here is an image of Kevin. He graciously assisted me with one of my first class assignments back in 2007.