Vision meets Query

I was introduced to photography my junior year at Central Catholic High School. My subjects consisted of my high-school sweetheart wearing a red-eyed monster mask outside of the bathroom window, my two best friends modeling around train tracks and intertwined in branches, and anything around me that I could get as close to as possible. 

I continued my photography education while attending some General Education courses at Owens Community College. The first semester of my Freshman year, I took Black and White Photography I. I bought a Nikon manual 35 mm SLR film camera, case, strap, film, ILFORD 8 by 10 Multigrade Paper, & more. I was packed up and ready to go.

In class, I learned about aperture & shutter speed, compositional rules & what is currently my favorite aspect of photography: depth of field. I'd go to lecture on Monday & get the guidelines for the assignment. I was required to meet a specific number of photographs for the week & come up with the creative content. I'd also have to come to the open lab hours during the week, process the film, & develop my best photograph.

The process of developing was incredibly romantic to me and propelled me to continue to create. I'd begin the quest for interesting shapes & textures & images as soon as I left campus. I'd set aside time during the week to go out for the assignment or randomly stop alongside the road, compose the image through the viewfinder, align the lighting, shoot & wind. The experience of the world through the Dark Room door was my favorite. I can still see myself adjusting the perfect light exposure at the safe lit enlarging station. I can even remember the smell of developer, stop bath & fixer chemicals floating in the room.  

This experience was my time to escape my past and look ahead.

This experience fulfilled my heart's desire to create. 

This experience led to my current occupation: student of life.  

I graduated Bowling Green State University with a Broadcast Journalism degree & a minor in Visual Communications. For what reason or purpose? I chose that degree because I'm always always curious about the who, what, where, when, why & how, but not always in that order. 

Eh, I'll cut to the chase. 

Photography is just as much a part of me as my arms or legs. I sometimes forget that. It has been my tiny, unimportant window into the minds and hearts of people in my life, in my community, and people who I will never meet again. It connects me to the pulse of my hometown & cities I have traveled. It places me in Mother Nature's majesty. It leads me to my breath and heart. And, sometimes, it's an escape to my idealistic, whimsical imagination. It's connected me to questions inside & outside of self.

It's my saving grace. 

Thank you to the teachers, photographers, equipment makers, scientists, & everyone before me that contributed to this incredible creation.