Member since 2013
“Bernie at the Grand Canyon”
What came first, the photographer or the birder?
Honestly, I don’t remember. I was always fascinated by the pictures of exotic places and the animals in National Geographic Magazine. I think I became interested in birds because of my Mother, and trips to Florida as a kid. As I grew up into a full-fledged (pun intended) science geek, my interest in birds expanded into all things nature. Somewhere along the way, I started taking pictures, sometimes with the family Polaroid to pester my older sisters, and then later with a 35mm Kowa while on trips with the family. I was also the photographer for my high school yearbook.
Unfortunately, life (college and career) got in the way. During 33 years in the biotech field, time and energy available for photography was usually limited to family events and vacations. My old 35mm Minolta sat in the closet for many years, supplanted by a point-and-shoot for convenience.
Eventually, an early 3mP Olympus Ultrazoom got me into the digital world, and as a result of the more or less instant feedback, quality improved. Also, for me, the fun factor increased since I no longer thought about the cost of each photo. Vacations resulted in decent travel photo with family photos looking better and better. A Nikon D40 worked well for few years, but I still wanted better results. I didn’t know what was missing, but if I wanted to improve, I needed to get serious. A colleague suggested classes, but I came across the Hockomock Digital Photographers first. Since joining in late 2013, I have learned so many things, little tips (proper cropping), and major changes (shooting RAW instead of .jpg). I never knew how to look at a photo critically, now I can see details in pictures that I would have missed before. Results have improved, but by seeing the incredible work of others in the club, I can also see how much more there is to learn. Sure, I can take nature photos all day, but I have a long way to go in the architecture and portraiture categories. As a science geek, the artistic side of my brain is as yet undeveloped. The club competitions and assignments continue to challenge me to try new things, and will hopefully make me a better photographer.
I am grateful for the continued help, knowledge, and experience of the club members.