I started taking pictures before I was 10. My dad was an avid hobbyist and taught us how to shoot and process film from camera to prints. We had a nice little darkroom setup in our basement.
My first “real” camera was a 1939 Rolleiflex twin lens reflex camera that had been my grandpa’s. I obtained a Voitlander Besa L rangefinder at some point. My first SLR was a Pentacon Practika LTL that I got when I was 10. I had an Olympus SLR in 1979, and in 1981 I got a Minolta XD5 for Christmas. I still have the Minolta and do use it on rare occasions.
During high school I took 2 years of photography courses with Jay Smith, a former Senior Combat Photojournalist for the First Infantry Division covering Saigon and North Saigon in 1968-1969. He was an inspirational teacher and an exceptional human being. He died tragically several years ago when he drowned while on a fishing trip in Round Valley Reservoir.
Some time in 2003 I stumbled upon my first photoblog; Kathleen Connally’s A Walk Through Durham Township, Pennsylvania. I didn’t know anything about photoblogging, I had never heard of it before, but I was hooked. I started every morning with a peek at her blog. I’ve had the opportunity to meet her and shoot with her as well as being a subject of one of her “flour” shots. Kathleen is fabulous talent and she's a lot of fun to be around.
Being a mom and keeping up with all my kids’ activities caused me to put my stuff on a back burner. In 2005 shortly after my oldest son enlisted in the military I decided to pick up the camera again after 20 plus years of neglecting serious shooting. My husband got me an Olympus E300 DSLR for our anniversary. In February 2006 I started this photoblog. In July 2006 I bought a Nikon D200. I currently shoot with a Nikon D700 full frame digital camera and an assortment of lenses. I also have assorted studio equipment to handle larger projects.
I am happiest doing landscapes still life images, and macros, but I enjoy shooting portraits, occasional project assignments, and casual events as well. In addition to this blog I have done stock and assignment photography and publicity work for several local orchestras and individuals. I've dabbled in some freelance photojournalism locally for human interest stories. I have also done small scale promotional materials for several local organizations as well as doing web gallery and catalog photos for local artists. I have sold stock photos that were used in TV and print advertising as well as doing assignments for large and small organizations but I am not a full on pro and do not aspire to be one, however work does come my way now and then.
I post process using Lightroom and Photoshop CS2, but I try to keep my images looking as "organic" as possible, not overly processed with a few exceptions. I try to obtain results similar to what could be achieved with traditional film shooting and processing. I am not a fan of producing overly processed photos; it’s just not my thing. That doesn’t mean that I think all heavily post processed shots are “bad” since I find some to be quite lovely, but generally, I prefer a more subtle organic approach for my work. I do think there is a point at which it becomes more about computer graphics than photography, and while a great deal of talent, skill, and time goes into that, I prefer to spend my time behind the lens rather than in front of the computer.
If I’ve learned one thing, it’s that I still have a lot to learn. It’s most important to have fun with it, and to have a passion for it. If you don’t have fun and passion, it will show in your work. I've also learned not to take myself too seriously and shoot for myself. If I am always out trying to please others it will often lead to frustration. I rarely publish things I've done professionally here on this little website. I mostly only publish things I did for fun with a few exceptions.
I don’t think of myself as a great photographer, I may never be a great photographer; but, I am definitely loving what I do and I'm always striving to become a better photographer today than I was yesterday. And sometimes I just like to be silly!
If you like my style and are interested in more information about my approach to photography, post processing or work-flow you can always contact me through my contact button. I'm sorry but I do not do weddings.
Please visit my other photoblog Capturethisphotography.com. Photos posted there are the same as on AM3, but are higher quality and landscape orientation images are much larger for better detail.
Nikon D700 FX (Full Frame) with MB-D10 Multi-power Battery Pack Grip
Nikon D200 with MB-D200 Multi-power Battery Pack Grip
Nikon 28-70mm f2.8
Nikon 70-200mm f2.8 VR
Nikon 85mm f1.8
Nikon 50mm f1.4
Nikon 60mm f2.8 macro
Nikon TC-20EII Teleconverter
Tokina 12-24mm f4 DX
Nikon 10.5mm f2.8 DX
Nikon 24-85mm f3.5-4.5 (I don't use this one at all not sure why I keep it. Probably not worth trying to sell.)
Tokina 80-200mm f2.8
Fuji HS10 compact super-zoom bridge camera for when I don't want to carry the big ones.
An assortment of UV, polarizing, ND, and Grad ND filters.
Op/Tech Camera Straps and rain sleeves.
Nikon MC-36 cable release
SMDV RF-N3 wireless trigger
Several Tri-pods, mono-pods and ballheads my favorites being from Gitzo (although I very rarely use a tri-pod).
Assorted gear bags and backpacks. My favorite being the Tamrac Expedition series 4 and 5x.
2 SB-800 Speedlights, 1 Vivitar Thyristor 285HV with slave trigger. Bowens 1500W/second 2 light studio lights, 1 Photogenics 750w/second studio light. Various light stands and umbrellas, reflectors and modifiers. 3 pocket wizard Plus II radio controls.
Assorted other gadgets and studio equipment too much to list here.