Greetings. I’m a nature photographer, and welcome to my very first blog. I’ve been asked to introduce myself and basically explain what these twice-weekly posts are all about. So, here goes…
First off, I’m not just a nature photographer, I’m a professional nature photographer. Now, I was told recently this makes me sound a little pompous and supercilious. I disagree. I think it makes me sound a LOT pompous and supercilious. But it happens to be the truth. I’ve been selling photographs for fifteen years, so that makes me a professional. It also sounds outrageously cool when I introduce myself at parties. Hey, it could be worse. I used to introduce myself as “Time Magazine’s Person of the Year”, so I think you’ll agree this is progress. Plus, we’ve established that it’s actually true.
So, what can you expect from this blog? First off, let me explain what you should not expect. You should not expect a bunch of technical mumbo-jumbo. I know how to use a camera. It does not mean I know how a camera works. To me, it’s a bunch of black magic. I never went to film school and I never had a darkroom. I wouldn’t know a pentaprism from protoplasm. I really hope my doctor does, but I do not.
And I’m not a camera buff. A guy walked into my professional nature photography gallery recently, gazed at some of the decorative antique cameras on display there, and his face lit up:
“Guess what?? I just inherited my grandfather’s Graflex Crown Graphic 4×5!! And it’s got a Wollensak Optar 135mm 4.7!!!”.
I nodded slowly and stared at him like his face had just turned into a peanut butter whoopie pie. I had no freakin’ idea what the hell he was talking about. So, I just said what I was thinking, which was:
“I can’t wait for the final season of Game of Thrones. You know winter’s coming, right?”
So, don’t expect technical stuff. But do expect for me to regale you with sublime tales from my photographic adventures, and for me to encourage you to get out and have a good time with your camera. And that’s the point of all this. I do what I do because – hold my beer – it’s FUN!!
So, here’s some advice: Drop the Doritos. Get off the couch. Go outside. Play with your camera. Shoot. Practice. Try everything. Learn by doing. Have fun with it!
Example: About two years ago, after being very, very afraid to try it, I started shooting the Milky Way. At first it was really daunting to consider. Incredibly technical, right? Uh, not really, as it turned out.
Sure, it took three attempts, and they were some of the longest nights of my life, and yeah, I froze my niblets off, but eventually I produced this:
No, not the most technically sound image, but plenty good enough for me. And – spoiler alert — this could be YOU! Also remember – winter is coming.