Picture This

As a teenager, I was given a Yashica twin lens reflex camera. It used 120 film, big rolls with 12 shots on each one. I loved looking at the world through the viewfinder. That large glass screen with an almost frosted appearance opened an entirely new world for me.

Later, as I entered the advertising business, I graduated to a Pentax 35 mm and started adding lenses of different lengths to shoot wide angle, telephoto and extremely close up subjects. Through my years in the advertising and audio/visual production business I gave that old Pentax a real work out, shooting thousands and thousands of pictures in studios, outdoors, in factories and on sales floors. I even did a wedding once (afterward, I was even able to keep my friendship with the bride and groom, thank goodness). Every shoot was moving day. Camera, film, lenses, filters, tripod, lights, power cords, spare batteries, and that was traveling light!

Now, I carry everything I need in my shirt pocket, a very small, light digital Sony with a Carl Zeiss lens, rechargeable battery and a 2 GB Memory Sick. If I decide I would like to put a video, as well as photos, on a webpage, I just turn a wheel on the camera and fire away. I can take literally hundreds of shots without rewinding or reloading, the digital quality is excellent for what I want, and I can instantly upload to my computer and share the photos immediately online. Who would have thought!

The quality of the photography? Well, that's up to the eye of the beholder. I think the framing, subject and scene layout of the picture is dependent more on the photographer than the equipment. Great photos can be made with a pin hole camera in the hands of a creative photographer, and the best equipment in the world will still turn out doubtful snapshots in the hands of someone without an eye for the visual.

My advice, shoot lots of pictures. Look at them carefully and try to decide what would have made them better. Experiment with lighting and framing, and ask yourself if the subject is something that will make an unusual or outstanding picture. Do you need to shoot from a higher angle or get on the floor and shoot from that perspective? If you saw the picture in a gallery, would you buy it? Then, go out and shoot some more.

There are a lot of photographers better than me, and you. But I bet we can enjoy photography just as much as they do. Keep shooting!

Whether you are a seasoned professional, a dedicated hobbist, or simply want to explore photography, you will find helpful information at http://www.platinumpearls.com/platinumpearls/creatived.htm. Come take a look around!