Milky Way – Take 2. Hunting Island State Park

One of my goals this year has been to learn astrophotography. Well, at least to begin to learn. I suspect I will spend the rest of my life on the process. I had my first opportunity to photograph the Milky Way last month, and I was relatively pleased with the process. By that I mean you could actually see the Milky Way and it was reasonably in focus! Those are low expectations, I know, but they were realistic.

I wanted to get back out as quickly as I could to try to build on that first experience. My wife and I headed to Hunting Beach State Park in South Carolina for some dark skies on a moonless night last week. The forecast called for clear skies on Friday with clouds moving in Saturday morning. I hoped they would hold off until just before dawn so that I could capture the Milky Way followed up by a nice sunrise. Continue reading “Milky Way – Take 2. Hunting Island State Park”

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Why Go to a Photography Workshop?

Let’s face it. There are a hundred ways to learn new things. Well, maybe there are really only three or four, but one of those ways is “online”, and there are hundreds of places online to learn just about anything. Want to learn math, or cooking, or French or how to change your oil? No problem. A quick Google search and a few YouTube videos later you are on your way.

Of course you can still learn by taking a class, or reading a book, or watching someone else in real life. You can even pick up the old “trial and error” method if you would like. You’ll learn something.

But, for me at least, there is very little that replaces the accelerated learning process that happens at a workshop. My biggest strides in photography – or at least what I have learned about photography – have always happened in a group educational session. Especially when that session involves “hands-on” opportunities. I’ve taken a few classes that are set up that way, attended an outstanding lighting class with Tony Corbell at the South Carolina Lamarr School, and have even done a couple of group activities around Charlotte. Continue reading “Why Go to a Photography Workshop?”

Your own backyard

Iceland, Croatia, Norway, the Faroe Islands, Peru, Oregon, Utah, the list could go on. In no particular order, these are places that I would love to visit with my camera. I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to spend a small amount of time in a couple of those spots, and those visits did nothing but whet my appetite to return. You’ve probaly seen breathtaking photographs taken in some of those places. There’s a reason that so many photographers spend so much time and money to get to them. So, I find myself relating to the duck in the picture above, trying to paddle my way back to Mt. Hood.

The reality, however, is that those kind of trips are few and far between for me. I will never see some of the places that I think about visiting. And that’s alright. There’s plenty of stuff to shoot right around here. Continue reading “Your own backyard”

It’s a new year

I am, by anyone’s definition, a hobbyist photographer. By that I mean that I do what I do because I enjoy it. While I am not opposed to the idea of receiving money for my work, I can’t ever imagine myself as a full-time, professional photographer.

Because my photography falls into the category of “hobby”, I find that it is the thing that I do when all of my other responsibilities are cared for and I find myself with some free time. In other words, photography is – generally speaking – at the bottom of the priority list. I’d like to change that. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not planning on skipping out on work, or family or keeping my house in order. I just want to find a way to bump my photography a little higher up the chain. Continue reading “It’s a new year”