Thursday, November 12, 2009

Getting out there

I have been doing some form of photography over a number of years. My first experiences were in film photography and somewhat limited by the number of exposures on a roll of film. So due to this fact, I had been very selective with my photography. It was pretty well limited to the recording of special events such as birthdays, anniversaries, family gatherings, etc. With the transition to digital photography I have experienced a creative liberation which allows me to test and experiment in ways I would never had attempted while shooting with film. Even with this new creative freedom, I limited myself to photographing landscapes and assorted flora and fauna. There were environments that I would feel very subconscious about and uncomfortable in just shooting photos like crazy fearing I would be dubbed “that weirdo with the camera”.

I began to look for local camera clubs but they all seemed to meet on weekday evenings and working a job with off shift hours just does not allow for joining any of those groups. I had weekends available but no clubs seemed to meet during those times. This all began to change on the day I purchased my Nikon D300 at Hunt’s Photo in Melrose Massachusetts. While I was having the camera demonstrated and getting the feel of it, a lady came to the counter also looking to purchase a D300. The salesman began to show both of us the qualities and features of the camera and we conversed some while in the sales process. We both ended up purchasing a camera and she asked if I were to attend NECCC that was coming up very shortly. I had to ask “what is NECCC?” She went on to explain that it was the New England Camera Club Council that holds a large photographic weekend with workshops and model shoots held at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst Massachusetts.

When I got home with my new camera I logged on to my computer and performed a search on “NECCC” and got hits which directed me to the website for the council. I registered for the event including all three days (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) and informed my place of work I was taking a vacation day on that Friday. I am glad I did what was suggested to me by the lady at the counter. I have now attended two NECCC weekends but it being only an annual event it left a lot of in between downtime without getting out there to shoot with other photographers.

During the winter months of 2008/2009 I was introduced to a website called Meetup. It is a site where you can find groups of people with almost any and all interests to meet up with in an organized setting. I searched for local photographic groups and settled on one to start with. In April 2009 I journeyed out with them on my first group photo shoot and enjoyed it very much. The group was friendly, helpful and I felt comfortable and I fit right in with folks who had similar ambitions of photographing everything and anything at whim. Since then I have joined other Meetup Photo groups each with a varying slant on the photography they work with. Joining the different groups allowed me to move my photography into other areas I may never had explored on my own. I have done themed model photo shoots with natural and studio lighting and hope to try and expand on my photographic experience while growing an ever expanding portfolio of photographs. I even had joined a Meetup group that is dedicated to film photography and I will be attending their first meet up later this month. So due to the Meetup groups I found my photography has come full circle from film to digital and a return to film. However, I think there is room for both film and digital going forward with my photographic endeavors.

The point of this post is about getting out there and doing it. It really matters not what your interest lies in but you need to go out and practice it. There is something to the synergy of a like minded group of individuals with the same interest that you have. It will force you out of your comfort zone and cause you to progress to new heights in either photography or what else your interest may be. So, just get out there and do it. Find a group with similar interests or if you are more comfortable going it alone that that is OK too but the idea is to get out there and just do it.

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