It All Started with a Supermoon...
In the early aughts, I explored a somewhat fleeting interest in digital photography. I really loved meandering through the great outdoors, snapping pictures of all things nature. I experimented with composition and lighting and subject-matter. I even went to a photography seminar with a really great nature photographer. But, I had no idea what I was doing. I shot on "Auto" with my base-model camera that required an adapter and add-on lenses. I edited in whatever photo viewer Windows offered at the time. (And it was Windows 98, I think?) Yeah, I was a rookie. But I had fun with it.
But then began the most chaotic, demanding, and miserable time of my life: law school. The camera was packed away and legal briefs and class outlines infiltrated my hard drive like kudzu. I missed taking pictures, and the mental respite and creative outlet it provided, but it would be a decade before I would actually do something about that.
In the fall of 2016, a friend posted a photo she had taken of the previous night's Supermoon. It was extraordinary. So detailed, so clear. And suddenly, all of the longing I'd felt for my foray into photography came rushing to the surface. I wanted to have taken that picture of the Supermoon! I wanted to have the eye, the talent, and the equipment to do that!
So, after a decade of pining over what could have been had I pursued my budding passion, I messaged my friend and asked her what kind of camera she had. A Sony a6000. And that night, after an unscheduled stop at Best Buy, I, too, was the proud owner of one.
I admit, for the first two years thereafter, I still shot on "Auto". But, boy, did I get some great shots. And, eventually, I actually started to learn about my camera and the basics of digital photography. I got a subscription to Lightroom. I learned about curves and white balance and noise and saturation. And I've shot on manual ever since.
I have now graduated to a Sony a7iii and I get outside to shoot every chance I get. I look for the lovely in everything. My neighbors think I'm nuts.
Thank you for allowing me to share my photographic journey with you. I hope it inspires you to get outside, find your passion, and make a totally irresponsible, but perfectly wonderful, impulse purchase on your way home from work. You never know - you just might be able capture your own Supermoon...
The Girl Behind the Lens
"I live in nature. That is who I am." ~ Yayoi Kusama
Hi there! My name is Kristen and I will be your photographic tour guide on this journey through my favorite place in the world: OUTSIDE.
I embody the cliché, "I like animals more than people". I mean, I have five pets and zero kids, for Pete's sake! I think All God's Creatures (see what I did there?) are beautiful, fascinating, and magical. I could (and often do) stand outside for hours, behind my 400mm telephoto lens, and play a never-ending game of "Where's Waldo, Wildlife Edition". I have trained my eye to see things that others cannot: the tiniest of tree frogs; the pinhead-sized spider; the discarded shell of a cicada; or the inquisitive eye of a baby squirrel, peeking out from a knothole in a tree. It's impossible to describe the satisfaction I feel when I get the perfect shot. It's like a drug - euphoric and addictive. So I take every chance I get to head outside and find the extraordinary in the ordinary.
By trade, I'm an attorney and an accountant. But my heart can be found at the barn, with my cats, dog, or turtle, or behind the lens of my beloved camera. It's just who I am.
It's in the genes...
It started with my grandfather, who fed every bird, squirrel, and feral cat in the neighborhood. A man who could catch a live cardinal in his hand. He gifted his love of animals to my mother, who carried on the tradition of keeping the feeders full and the birdbaths clean - even if they were frozen solid. And then there was me - and I am definitely my mother's daughter. I would wreck my car (and nearly have on more than one occasion) to avoid hitting a frightened critter; I treat my menagerie of pets far better than I treat myself; and I delight in the most majestic of creatures, all the way down to the creepiest and crawliest.
My mom always asks how it is that our family got stuck being in charge of "All God's Creatures". I prefer to ask how it is we got so lucky...