Now that I stop and think about it, photography has been present in my life since I was very young. Early on in my parent’s self run business they invested in Digital Single Lens Reflex Cameras, or DSLRs. I was never much interested in photography as a kid, despite the equipment available to me. My grandmother had bought me a few throwaway click cameras over the years, but other than that I never really took to it. I was far too busy playing video games.
When I was 17 I inherited my first proper camera. A Canon Rebel Xti. Unfortunately I had no idea how to shoot and my abilities were limited to point and shoot on full auto. A start is a start though and in the grades of 11 and 12 I got my camera out on a couple different expeditions and took photos. This early photography is what led me to photoshop.
My first foray into the world of picture manipulation was two fold. Firstly I wanted to photoshop pictures of phallus like objects onto my friends, and secondly I wanted to create original content. Ooo original content, doesn’t that sound intriguing? Well, actually this was when I discovered 4chan, and /b/ to be more specific. I wanted to be able to create my own variations of popular images to use for posting on the website.
My first editing program was Microsoft Word. You can actually do a hefty amount of photo manipulation in Word these days. However its not very smooth, so all my “shoops” (edited photos) from that time looked extremely jagged. Eventually I got my hands on a copy of photoshop.
Starting in early grade 12 through til now (my 5th year of University) I continued to use photoshop. Over time my skills with the program expanded and I was even able to use it to make money. I was able to clean up images, and create graphics/gradients for websites. I even made business cards.
During this 5 year period after grade 12, I rarely took photos, however it happened now and then. I became intensely interested in multimedia art-forms during this 5 years. I was doing a lot of video production, and even some music mixing. These multimedia disciplines of video, photography and audio go hand in hand. As my time spent producing videos went down, my interest in photography went up.
The tipping point was definitely this summer when I broke my foot. I did it right before a big soccer tournament to Kamloops, and I sure as heck wasn’t going to stay at home and be miserable. So I came along and brought my camera. I was determined to be a proper photographer and get a bunch of great pictures of the guys playing. Sure enough I did get the photos I was hoping for, and I managed to harness a crazy amount of creative energy. My edits to the photos ranged from the subtle to the extreme, but they were well received. This was my realization that I can photography, or in better english, I know how to take good photos.