Tuesday, April 8, 2008

A fresh start

Hello! I'm Travis and I'm a Strobaholic.

It all started last year when I found this website about some bloke up in Baltimore who did these really cool things with flash. I instantly became green with envy. And then sad. Really, really sad. You see, I had this Fujifilm S7000. It's one of those cameras that bridges the gap between dSLR and P&S. My wife and I had bought it on a trip to Florida with the kids to visit family. For it's time, it worked reasonably well.

But, as I read more and more of this "Strobist" thing I began to realize that it would probably make life a little difficult. I mean, I couldn't even change lenses on it. How limiting! So, I went forward in a one-man battle to convince my wife to spend money on a new camera, one that would be the basis for my hobby going forward. After weeks of intense negotiation, she finally agreed to let me spend $1500 on new camera equipment. It started going down hill from there.

Should I get Canon? Should I go Nikon? This Hobby guy, he was doing Nikon. I want to be like Mike! ... err, David. So pillaged camera sites for a few more weeks looking for reviews and opinions and information and ... well, you get the idea. I settled on a Nikon d40, a 55-200mm lens, and a small light kit, and a Nikon SB-800. And that's when things went from bad to worse. You see, I was suffering from a common illness, only I didn't know about it. A horrible, debilitating disease, I tell you. NAS. Nikon Acquisition Syndrome. It made me restless. I couldn't stop thinking about buying more and more Nikon gear. Everywhere I looked, I saw a guy in a dark corner beckoning me with shiny Nikon bodies, sharp lenses, more flashes!

And then, I discovered Pocket Wizards. Kids, let me tell you ... they're worse than heroin. And the first hit most certainly is not free. I convinced my wife that I needed these wonderful little black boxes of flashing control. And a second flash. More negotiation commenced and by summer I had them in my grubby little hands. Two PW's and a Vivitar 285. I felt INVINCIBLE! I felt like J in Men in Black ... I'd walk around the house with a pocket wizard-enabled camera in one hand and the SB-800 and pocket wizard in the other and flashy-thing the cats. the dog. the kids. little knick knacks. apples. the occasional bottle of wine. You name it. I flashed it.

The NAS is worse than ever. I touched a d300 a few weeks ago and now it haunts my dreams. But I couldn't get one. Not yet. So instead, I convinced my wife (again!) for more camera equipment and picked up a second SB-800 and a third pocket wizard. BWAHAHA! More flashy-thinging the cats. Only this time, in STEREO!

Ok, ok. Poetic license is over. ;-)

I've been photographing stuff for a few years but didn't really get "serious" about it until early in 2007 when I got my d40. When I'm not flashy-thinging stuff, I spend my time reading various blogs and websites on photography. I began my photography with Ansel Adams as my idol. I've always loved his photography and style. My photography certainly doesn't measure up to his, but I'm finding that each time the shutter clicks, my skill gets a tiny bit better. My composition has certainly improved ALOT over the last year. Strobism has helped me understand how to photograph people more. This as one area that I always felt I sucked at. I think I'm getting better. :-)

Everything I've learned has been self-taught through the help of books and various resources on the net. (And I admit, I occasionally go through Cosmo and cut out interesting photos to build ideas upon). I'd love to go back to school and get a degree in photography. At some point, I'll be able to do that. For now, I think there's a lot to learn from the people around me and that's good enough for me.

No comments: