Tinkering with electronics, computers and photography/videography equipment, seems like something I’ve been doing since I was kid. This may be because when I was a baby, I put one of my mom’s hair pins in the wall out let and survived to talk about it. I guess that experience left an electric impression on me.
One of my earliest recollections taking apart, and sometimes putting (successfully) together various electronics and gizmos is when I used to fool with my dad’s old Panasonic VCR camera and video cassette player system. After a while it stopped working, so I would constantly take it apart to adjust a mechanical gear or belt inside it to keep it running. I made one of my first stop-action videos using this system pressing pause and record while moving a liquid paper bottle in circles on the living room carpet.
Of course I did the pinball and video arcade games thing spending hours upon hours playing Missile Command and Space Invaders.
Eventually I began tinkering with some of the earlier computers such as the Vic 20 and the Commodore 64. My first computer system was purchased from Radio Shack. It was a Tandy computer system that didn’t have a hard drive and only had two 5 1/4 disk drives.
My first digital camera was an old Panasonic point-and-shoot which I still have sitting in a box somewhere. Because of the little to no expense required to take pictures digitally, I was able to freely explore covering events to my heart’s desire. At first I gravitated toward photojournalism style coverage of events such as local protests and demonstrations around my local community. I then branched off my imagery interests from there.
I graduated from point-and-shoot cameras to my first DSLR, an Olympus D200 and kit lens package. Since, I have used Nikon cameras and lenses. I have also put together the lights and gear needed to do both on and off camera lighting projects to include typical studio work.
Camera equipment is only half the solution. Keeping up a with adaquate computer equipment and software needed to tie it all together in post-production is an ongoing challenge. And who said going digital made things easier?
As far as my training is concerned? Most of training is self-taught. What I didn’t know or needed to find out I researched online.
Most of my photography and video production and editing skills, to include, digital image and video editing software knowledge and techniques, have been acquired through research and self-training by tapping in to the teachings of today’s leaders in the field also through the wealth of tutorials and other information online.
Some of the leading photographers I have followed include Frank Doorhof, Joel Grimes, Peter Hurley, Niel Van Niekerk, Roberto Valenzuela, Jerry Ghionis and John Paul Caponigro. In any case, once you think you’ve reached a degree of competence, there is always something new to learn in this field.
And of course acquiring the knowledge is just part of it. Getting out there and pursuing real projects, working with people and the elements, to include a military stint covering an aviation battalion in Iraq, has exposed me to the practical side of image acquisition, adding another tool or piece of information to use for the next project.
I particularly enjoy covering artists in order to expose their works to larger audiences. I also enjoy pursuing various projects that have an historic or other significant value worthy of documenting.