♦Welcome to another edition of the Open Book Blog Hop!♦
Show us a photo (Or photos) you took that
you’re most proud of. Tell us about it (them).
Welcome back to another Open Book Blog Hop! The authors included in this ongoing series wish to thank you for your reads. We appreciate, even more so, when you share our writings with your friends. If you’re new to the series, welcome aboard. The authors engage and impress weekly. Prepare to become a regular reader.
This is a great prompt! My hobby is photography. It’s probably one of the most important side hustles I run. It saved my life.
I’m not exaggerating. Going photo mode was something I always wanted to do, but found myself constantly roadblocked. Whether I was told I couldn’t get into the class in junior high school, making me ineligible to register for it in high school too, to the cost of film and processing (not to mention quality equipment), one reason or another would prevent me from going photo mode.
Then, in 2005, with digital photography at the height of new technology curiosity, I found my way onto deviantArt. There I met a great group of new friends and the encouragement to pursue my art. Writing was never received as well as visual art on that site, so the focus toward photography pressed on my desires. At this time, I was through college and working an adult job that paid decently. Although I had bills now, there was a little money leftover to start saving.
Under this situation, I purchased my first digital camera, an olympus. Filters and software came next. It wasn’t the best camera. I had a lot of work to do to make photos come out all right. It reminded me a lot of my point-and-shoot 35mm film camera. However, the Olympus did zoom and it did take alternate lenses. I also purchased a film camera, which never became a tool I favored, due to the cost of processing, lack of settings, and poor quality.
After a few years, and a lot of practice, I splurged for my Pentax. I love that camera. I use it today to shoot. The lenses are interchangeable, and I can make a lot of important adjustments to the settings, as needed. I still have a lot to learn about the settings. If only I could have taken that class in junior high!
My favorite subjects to shoot are found in nature. I tried portrait work, but I didn’t find a lot of joy in document people. I do like certain kinds of street and architectural photography, but favor plants and animals. My gallery at deviantArt reflects this, alongside my digital graphics work.
Pursuing photography helped me avoid the dangers of a bad depression. Frustrations of all kinds had roosted and finding a way out from under those problems was seemingly impossible. Photography allowed me to focus on a goal, accomplish things, and it provided distraction from the gray/black thoughts filling my head. I had new friends and socialized more. Photography lifted me up, got me out, and showed me a brighter path.
Maybe that’s why I was so drawn to photo mode for all those years. On some level, I knew what it would mean to me. Sharing my captures is icing on the cake. People love a nice photograph. Visual art is much easier to consume than a book.
I should also mention that one of my photos provided stock for my first book cover. Cavalry Soldier is one of the best images in my gallery to this day. It’s mostly a photograph, except that the background had to be painted in to make it look right for the era. (I’ve become quite skilled in photoshop over the years.)
While working for Empire State College (SUNY), many of my photographs graced the annual calendar. Then they asked to use one for their Christmas card. Being recognized as an accomplished artist and to have your work distributed to thousands felt amazing. I’m most proud of this photo. The image captured my favorite subjects while also showing the tenacity of life against the elements. In this image you see my struggle and the joy that saved me. You see the tenacity of life.
But–I don’t think a lot of people see that when they look. Not exactly. How could they know? Take a look for yourself. What do you see?
Hop on over to see what images the other authors post when they are in photo mode…