10 years as a military photographer using a digital single-lens-reflex camera and still I am a beginner at this pursuit. I've clicked the shutter so many times over the years, but never really ventured into the wide range of photographic techniques available to me. Always choosing to set the camera on an auto or program mode, I let it do all of the thinking and the work. I didn't always get the shots I desired. I would see them one way through the lens and then get "okay" shots as long as I took a good number of them. But my photos were nothing to enter into any contests.
I never even found the courage to test my abilities shooting in manual mode. Maybe it was because, if I did, I'd have to contend with a lot of mistakes, and I am often my own worst enemy, expecting things to be perfect the first time around. I tend to get easily frustrated with myself, switch gears and go on to what seem like more interesting hobbies, all in the name of not having to deal with failure.
Fast forward to 2008, and somehow things have changed. I've developed an intense passion for soaking up all of the knowledge that I can, embarking on a photographic adventure of learning. My unit has assigned me a couple of Nikon D200s -- not THE top models, but heavyweight enough for all of my needs, a "pro-sumer" model as cameras of this level are called. I have some quality lenses at my disposal, filters, a sturdy, high-performance flash unit, etc. Suddenly, armed with all of this gear, and having just had an in-depth photo class, with a journalistic mission on the near horizon, and Tim showing a newfound desire to learn alongside me…I am totally jazzed.