Thirty years ago I started taking pictures with my father's ancient Speed Graphic. I had to use a heavy wooden tripod and expose the 4x5 paper negatives I used for at least a minute in the hot Texas mid-day sun. What that camera yielded were wonderful, grainy black and white images of carnivals, houses and tractors. I processed them myself because I had access to a huge darkroom at East Texas State University - where I was in graduate school in another field. I also used a Pentax I bought at Sears for $200. All black and white. At the time I even made a pin-hole camera out of a cylindrical oatmeal container. I had a lot of fun.
Eventually I moved to Florida and lost my darkroom privileges. I started my teaching career (I'm an English teacher) and gave birth to my son. Photography consisted of taking snapshots of children with color film in my Pentax. I had to get them processed, so I didn't have as much fun as I had in Texas.
My son is 23 now. In November of 2012, I decided to buy a digital camera, a Nikon D3200. Up until then I had pretty much turned my nose up at digital cameras unless they were point-and-shoots. I just didn't get it; photography was about film and darkrooms to me. So I have been learning a lot in the past few months!
First I had to learn my camera, and I am still learning. Thank God I still remembered the scoop on aperture and shutter speed. Then I bought Lightroom and installed it over Christmas break. Another challenge! I had to finally get my son to set it up so I could publish to SmugMug.
So, as you can see, I'm really a novice. I went on a cruise to the Caribbean last week, but was disappointed, from a photographer's point of view, because you never get to wander around the "real" parts of the islands, or Belize, or Mexico - so my images, I feel, are limited. I started shooting in RAW, too, so that I can do more processing in Lightroom. Hopefully, I haven't overdone the color. Anyway, I'm having a ball! I'd like to join a community, to join a local camera club, and to do a little book to give friends next Christmas. These are my photography goals for this year.