I've enjoyed my photography hobby for many years now. I first started shooting with an Argus 75 camera back in high school when I took my first photography classes. From there I moved on to a Kodak Instamatic camera. That lasted me a few years until I bought my first SLR camera, a Pentax ME Super. That was in the mid 1970s. I loved that Pentax but found that I didn't use it as much as I thought I would. I was in college, you see, and I couldn't afford to buy many rolls of film and pay for the processing on a student's budget.
After college, I got married and started a family. I found the Pentax a little too cumbersome when trying to capture pics of my daughter, who was a non-stop bundle of energy. And too, I didn't want to carry a camera bag in addition to a diaper bag and a purse on family outings. That's when I got my point and shoot film camera. I used that for several years and liked it but then came the digital era. I was an early adopter of digital cameras. I got my first one back when photos were 1 megapixel size, lol! Then I moved up to a 5mp camera and gradually up from there, still in the point and shoot category.
I got my first DSLR for Christmas in 2005. It was a gift from my husband, a Canon EOS Rebel. Now that was a camera! I fell in love with photography again and for the first time in years I found myself shooting pics with subjects other than my kids and pets. I took a class in learning to shoot with a DSLR at my local community college and then another class taught by Monte Nagler. As Canon developed the Rebel line over the years, I upgraded my camera, appreciating all the new features they added along the way. I got a few new lenses too. Then last year I upgraded from the Rebel line to a Canon 60D. It was about that time that I started thinking about taking the "next step" with my photography.
The thing is, I didn't know what my "next step" should be. I don't have aspirations of becoming a professional photographer and actually earning a living by taking pics. I don't see myself teaching the subject either. I just know that I want to kick my photography up a notch. For personal enjoyment. I want to move on from taking photos to making photos. Since that time I've spent a lot of time online following photographers whose work I admire. I've studied their work and read several blogs about improving my photography. And I think my photos have improved, somewhat. But I want to improve more. And so after much deliberation I've decided to start attending photography workshops when possible, join a camera club or two, and start asking around for critiques of my photos.
Last month I joined the Berrien Artist's Guild. This month I applied to join a local camera club. I'll learn in early March if the club approved my application. I'm not sure how often I'll be able to attend meetings but I'll make as many as I can. I've enrolled in a workshop on "Butterfly Photography" in March. I'm really looking forward to that! I also have another workshop in mind for March but I haven't committed to that one yet so you'll have to stay tuned to see if I do attend. I'm excited to be moving forward with my photography. I'm happy to be taking the next step...