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I grew up in a small rural town in Rhode Island. Through most of my childhood, I had the pleasure of running through the woods, swimming at the local lake, camping, and being outdoors during all four seasons. I was a typical boy; fishing, looking for frogs, playing some sports, etc. However, I knew there was one thing that was not typical, and that was my desire to find the unusual in things. I could see images in clouds that others couldn't, saw things differently than others would see them, was fascinated by the legends of certain areas, loved nature and wildlife, and I always wanted to make things. The school system I went to did not have the support for the arts per say. Oh we had our typical art classes in grade school making finger paintings, we had band in high school, and some theatre.. Through high school we had the usual home economics, woodworking, etc but for some reason there was no introduction to photography.
I also had a natural draw toward pictures and using pictures to express or tell a story. One of my teachers said that I seemed to put more pictures into my literature projects and essays, than I did words. After all I was a very visual person. Through school and my teen years, I was always being pressured that art was not a real profession, so I entered computer programming as a career. Although my career took me through 25 years, the more enjoyable part was when I was writing the documentation that went with my projects. This was because I could use pictures to express the idea and instruction we needed to convey. However, I still dreamed of the day when I could write and expand into photography.
As I grew into my early twenties, I spent a lot of time outdoors hunting, fishing, and camping. Since I never had any real luck at either, I spent a lot of the time watching others, watching the song birds, and taking in the scenery around me. I tried my hand at writing poetry to express what I was seeing, but I always seemed to get stuck for words. Whenever we took trips as a family, my photos were always more of scenery than of the people I was with or the activity I was in. Rather than participating in a lot of activity, I often sat on the side observing. I guess all that time I spent gazing, spending time alone, and watching the world around me, is what stirred my natural tendency toward nature, wildlife, landscape, and still life photography.
By the time I was 25, I had accumulated a lot of pictures. Unfortunately most were film; and back then most of the storage mediums had an acid base, so most of my pictures suffered the fate of time. Also in 1995 the apartment building I was living in burned, destroying most of my photos and almost all of the video I took. I was only able to save a small portion. About this time, digital cameras were just starting to come on the scene, and that was when I started shooting more, as I no longer had to pay for film or processing. After taking a few classes, and doing a lot of reading online, I began to look at photography as an art rather than recording and preserving what was around me. Yes, I still shoot pictures of scenes we are losing (like our rural heritage), but I have gone back to looking at objects to see what others may not, and portray those images. Because I still have a desire for creating artistic images, I may shoot a scene that may seem ordinary to some, then render it into artistic renditions.
Being out in our natural God created environment is my form of relaxation. Creating art from it, is a vision into my soul. The images and stories I will be bringing you, are the world how I see it; and sometimes how I would like to see it. I will be capturing some of what we are losing, like our rural areas, old buildings, and mom and pop stores. I will also be capturing what others may miss that is around us. As we become a busier and busier society, we do need to sometimes stop, smell the roses, and just take in the images around us. After all, history may repeat itself, but nature and time does not. Once it is gone, it will never comeback the same. Also, no two people can look at an object and see the same thing, have the same emotion, or interpret something the same way.
I will agree not all my or your images may be appealing to everyone of us. Art is subjective - which means it stirs a different emotion to each one of us. To some it is a memory, others a fantasy, some a sentimental moment, others hope for a better day, and to some it brings out desires and emotion that may be bottled up. Art also expresses things that we cannot put into words, and sometimes a world we wish we could live in. Art can make things peaceful. I am sure we have pictures we look at that brings down our blood pressure and offers us a little serenity. And then there are those images that just wow you.
Besides a look into my world and soul, some of the images and blogs I will bring you will also be some of the techniques I use, reviews of software, review of gear, and things I see in my travels, etc. After all, the more we learn from each other, the better artists we can be come, and the more we can share with others.