There once was this guy, who loved photographs and photography, and he began taking his own photos when he was 8 years old. Even at an early age, he seemed to have an eye for interesting subjects and content, and a talent for getting a well framed image in sharp focus.
As he got older, he continued to take photos, and as his cameras got better and more advanced, he got better at taking better quality photos, as he shot lots of frames and his skills improved with many hours of practice.
For an amateur, he was really doing quite well with his photography, and on the way to doing even better.
But then it happened… The amateur photographer met and fell in love with a wonderful woman, who was also a professional photographer, and working as a photo editor. Now you might think that after joining together with his much more experienced and skilled professional photographer lover, that the amateur photographer would learn a great deal from her, and he would become a much better photographer.
But instead, he got lazy… While it’s true that he loved her dearly and treated her like a Queen, he also got into the bad habit of letting her take all the photos when they went places together. He figured that since she was the pro, that she should take their photos, since she was clearly the better photographer. And… there was also this little voice in his head, which he should have never listened to, which said:
‘Photography is cool, but it’s also hard work, and concentrating on taking good photos takes some of the fun out of the overall experience of being in cool places and doing fun things – So let her do the work and take the photos, while you relax and enjoy being in the bigger picture of being there in person, and taking it all in without the distractions of taking pictures.’
So the promising amateur photographer let his professional photographer lover take most of the photos when they were together, and he ended up taking far fewer photos of his own. He let himself get lazy, and eventually he got lazy enough to become a former amateur photographer. And this was an unfortunate development.
There were times when his inspiration would return, and he would go on a binge of photographic activity. His photos were approaching the level of good quality work again, but then he’d lose his momentum and go back to being lazy, as he let the woman who was now his wife, take most of their photos.
His marriage thrived, since fortunately he wasn’t lazy in other ways, and he truly adored his wife. He held up his end of the bargain to maintain a loving and happy relationship, and he worked hard to give them a good life together.
But as the years passed, his own photography remained seldom practiced and sporadic. And this is where I stop writing in the third person and get to the point.
In an effort to no longer be a lazy and inactive amateur photographer, I want to post some of my own favorite photographs here, and maybe this will inspire me to get off my butt and take pictures again on a consistent and disciplined basis. Maybe I’ll become a good amateur photographer again, and I’ll create new and better photographs, the way that I used to do, before I turned lazy.
My photo selection here won’t be based only on images with the very best technical quality, but also on photos that have some genuine meaning for me, as a part of my life experience.
Sunset on the Florida Keys – 1987
This photo is a happy accident – rather than a demonstration of my photographic ability. I was trying to set up a photo of the bird perched on the piling, and my 50mm lens SLR film camera was set on manual. But before I could adjust any settings on my camera, the bird began to take off. So I just aimed, framed, and clicked the shutter without even focusing, and this was the end result. I got very lucky. Lol :-)
Dry Tall Grass and Cattail Fire – Dedham, MA – 1983
Shot this with a very simple point and shoot 110 automatic. Technically not very good, but still dramatic, and to get close enough I had to take some risk because the fire was racing towards me. The guys from the fire dept were yelling at me to get the hell outta there, which I did, and fast – right after I clicked the shutter.
Rock Climber – Cannon Cliffs, New Hampshire, 1983
Another 110 auto point and shoot, and like the previous photo, not technically very good. But I still like it, and it brings back memories of the dangerous and steep bushwhack climb I made to get up to where the rock climbers were. The view here is about 2,000 feet down.
Man, Woman, and Dachshund – Provincetown, MA – 2003
Couple #2 – Provincetown, MA – 2003
Couple #3 – Provincetown, MA – 2003
The point to the three photos of couples here, is that these people were complete and total strangers that I approached on the street. To take their pictures, I had to ask for their permission and to gain their trust, enough so that they would look relaxed and happy. I think I succeeded, and this is not an easy thing to do. I promised them I wouldn’t use their photos commercially, but that I would post them online. I also e-mailed them their photos.
Hawaiian Sunset – 2002
I’ve taken a lot of photos of sunsets through the years, but this one is easily my best. It was not a hard shot to take because this was the scene before us, just as it looks here. I just checked my settings, focused and clicked the shutter. A digital shot, but no software photo editing at all. Definitely a good example of being in the right place at the right time…
View From Volcanic Sea Mount – Hawaii, 2002
Another example of being in the right place at the right time.
Approaching Rain Squall, Hawaii – 2002
The squall was moving towards me very fast. I had just enough time to shoot and bag my camera before getting drenched.
Candle Rainbow – Harpswell, Maine – 2005
I like this one, because although a digital photo, there is no Photo Shop involved. The sun was shining through a prism hanging in our cabin window, to create the spectrum rainbow in the corner of the room. I added the lit candle and centered it beneath the rainbow.
Fenway Park – Boston, MA – 1999
This is only a fair to good photo of Fenway, and I’ve seen so many others that are so much better. The only credit I’ll take, is that it was taken with a 50mm lens, and no zoom, so I had to get in an area that was off limits to the public and get the shot before Fenway Park security made me leave. This is also the only photograph that I’ve ever been paid for to be used commercially. It’s in an online travel guide called Schmap Boston Guide. Here’s the link: http://boston.schmap.com/stadiums/fenway_park?pn=161
They found it on my Flickr page and offered me $50.00 for it. I honestly was surprised that they wanted it, but I wasn’t going to argue with them about it. Lol
Rock ‘n Roll – Boston, MA – 1986
Taken at a club called “The Channel” of the heavy metal band “Mass”. Their long ago claim to fame was one song that got some airplay on Boston Rock FM radio. The girlfriend of the bass player worked in the same office I did, and since she knew I was into photography, she asked me to take photos of the band’s next gig. They were hoping to make an album and might have wanted to use some of my photos for the album cover. But the album never got made, and end of story…
My Wife’s Flower Garden – 2002
First digital photo I ever took. I fell in love with digital photography at first sight – literally.
Black Stockings – 1985
I was between my former and current marriages, and a single guy at the time – No further comment, except to say this is not my current wife, because I love her, and I am not suicidal.
Black Stockings Two – 1985
You can all relax now, because there won’t be any more photos like this, in this post.
Hawaiian Waterfall of Near Fatal Fall – Hawaii, 2002
Not an exceptional photo – which is why it would have been all the more ridiculous if it became the last photo I ever took. I was trying to work a difficult camera angle for the next shot after this one, when I slipped and started to fall. The only thing that stopped me from falling to certain death below, was grabbing onto some small bush roots, and fighting for my life to pull my way back up onto a rock where I was finally safe again. Before that, I really thought I was going to die.
The Boys in P-Town, Provincetown, MA – 1997
Taken during the Provincetown Halloween parade.
Halibut Point Quarry – Gloucester, MA – 2008
Very subtle, but I like it a lot, and I’ve gotten some compliments on it from other Flickr photographers.
A Mighty Fine Moose – North Conway, New Hampshire, 2006
He let me get quite close. I hope he survived hunting season.
Doing What He Loves to Do the Most – Dedham, MA, 2007
Our dog Bo – Ultimate water dog and stick retriever. When he was in his prime, he’d do this until either we or he dropped from exhaustion, if we let him keep going.
Barnacles – Halibut Point, Gloucester, MA – 2008
Digital macro shot that I like.
Matching Billboards – Boston, MA – 1999
Looks like a snag from the internet, but it’s mine. I was driving a busy Boston street when I saw these two billboards together, and I immediately pulled over ASAP so I could take this photo.
Dogs Just Wanna Have Fun! – Dedham, MA – 2005
Our dog Bo and a buddy cavorting with joy on a snowy trail.
Fall in Wilson Mountain Reservation, Dedham, MA – 2010
Wilson Mountain Reservation is this great wooded area with lots of glacial rock falls, ledges, streams, and ponds. It has a network of trails, it’s a great place to take our dog, and my wife and I love it. It’s only a 20 minute drive away from where we live, and when we hike there, it feels like being in a smaller scaled version of the wilds of Northern New Hampshire.
My Love – Cambridge, MA – 1992
Taken when we’d been married less than a year. We were on a park bench, and she was lying down with her head and shoulders resting on my lap. I thought my 50mm lens SLR film camera was too close to get this shot in focus, but it worked, and became one of my all time favorite photographs that I’ve taken of my wife.
Jean and Bo Go Sailing – Casco Bay, Maine – 2007
My wife and our dog Bo enjoying the summer sea breeze from a sailboat.
Oheo Lehua Flower in Kilauea Iki Crater – Hawaii, 2002
The crater was almost a complete dark grey/black volcanic wasteland, but this was one of the few plants that could still grow there.
Spooked Cat and Spiked Grass – Provincetown, MA – 2003
I’ve just always really liked this one.
Storefront Window Reflection Shot – Cambridge, MA – 1983
So many photographers take these, that it’s almost a photography cliche’, but I think this one came out very well, because there is a lot going on in there, and many years later I still think it looks very surreal.
End of show – Now I’ve got to go out there with my camera and get back into this photography thing again, and come back with some new work.