An Introduction - 01/08/22

January 8th, 2022

I've never done a blog before.  I've read some, and read about doing them.  So why would you care?  Maybe you're curious about who I am, or why I do photography.

I'm originally from Ohio, and prior to that New York, and even Pennsylvania.  But that's going back a long ways.  Right now I reside in Pensacola Florida.   I love the tropical area, and Pensacola isn't a huge city.  I'm sure there are plenty of people who enjoy the hustle and bustle of large cities, but I've never been really at ease in them.  My main reason for moving to Pensacola from Ohio was health reasons.  I have a back issue, so the more moderate climate here in Florida is a welcome change.

I started doing photography really back around 2003 or so.  My first real camera was a Canon PowerShot A40.  I took it pretty much everywhere.  I took photos of buildings, and nature, and my local group of friends.  I quickly realized that I really preferred taking pictures of people and portraits.  The PowerShot was a great introduction into photography.  I outgrew it within a year or so, because I wanted a better look to my photos, so I sold it and I moved into the Canon Digital Rebel.  My first DSLR.  I only had a kit lens at the time, but I enjoyed the quality and controls.  That served me many years, and went on many local adventures.  I skiied at the time, downhill skiing in Ohio.  So I took it out a lot.  It held up, got snow on it, but it didn't fail.  I learned more about composition, and shutter speeds trying to keep up with our skiing shenanigans.

A few years later, it failed.  A piece broke that connected the actual mirror to an assembly that was used for focusing.  So it would never focus on its own, and using manual focus was off because the camera couldn't tell if the lens was in focus or not.  So I upgraded it again, this time moving to a 20D.  It was more ruggedly built.  Had better specs.  And I used that for many, many more years.  I got more lenses for it.  I moved away from the Canon kit lens, found the amazing 50mm f/1.8, and even the wonderful 85mm f/1.8.  Some of my favorite photos from that camera system were with those two lenses.  I eventually started looking into doing Real Estate photography, as the town I was in in OH didn't really have any local photographers doing that.  There was a real estate office who had their own team, but nobody individually was really offering Real Estate.  I eventually upgraded the 20D to a 50D as I was looking for more megapixels for sharper images, and a better LCD on the back was useful, as the 20D had a really small LCD and low resolution. 

We moved to Florida a year or so after I acquired the 50D.  Although I enjoyed it, and the heft in my hand (I also used a battery grip with it) I found myself taking it out less and less when we moved.  My family and I really enjoy the beach.  During the summer, you'll find us most Saturdays relaxing away at the beautiful ocean here.  But I found that lugging the 50D with even a small lens was becoming tiresome.  I brought it less and less, and eventually stopped altogether.  But this wouldn't do, I still wanted photos, but not the bulk.  So what was my next option?

Enter the Fujifilm system.  I was certainly aware that an older DSLR at the time was being outpaced by the mirrorless systems.  I had always wanted to move into the 5D realm and full frame, but obviously that cost more money, and my photography wasn't bringing in much money for upgrades.  But I'd been watching the Fuji system for awhile, the analog style controls caught my attention.  My grandfather always used to carry a Minolta SLR with him.  I have fond memories of him always at family gatherings, with his Minolta around his neck and snapping pictures.  He passed away many years ago, but that Minolta sits on a shelf in my office now, a reminder of memories past.  So I decided to add a Fuji X-E3 to my system.  Combined with the XF 27mm lens, it was a perfect combo.  I had a small package, that was actually more megapixel than my dated 50D.  But it was small, and I could bring it along easily.  Having an X-E3 meant I could change lenses on it.  So I started considering how it could handle my workflow.  I needed a wide angle lens for real estate and interiors, but I also needed a portrait lens as well.  After using the X-E3 for awhile and reviewing the lens lineups, I sold my Canon gear.  All of it.  And I slowly replaced the focal lengths I used with Fuji replacements.  I even added a X-T2 to be my 'main' or 'big' camera, as it had dual card slots and more controls than the X-E3. 

Both camera bodies are wonderful.  My photography bags are smaller, and I have more options based on where I am going and what I want to bring.  I've also added Instax printers to my lineup, it's quite wonderful to have the immediate gratification of handing someone a physical print they can hold.  The retro look of the cameras are fun but yet still functional.  And I feel that the cameras get out of my way, and let me be creative and focus on what I want to make.

So there is a brief history of my journey in photography.  If you've made it this far, I thank you.  If you have questions about converting from DSLR to mirrorless, please feel free to ask. 

By the way, I also use off camera flash.  I'm not just a natural light shooter.  But that's a story for a different day.

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