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I have been involved in photography since my dad first let me use his Ansco Speedex a very long time ago. Somewhere I still have a picture of elk in Oregon taken with this venerable instrument. When I was thirteen my Dad gave me own camera, a Nikormat. This workhorse survived a trip around the world and my high-school and college. I only sporadically used a camera in these days and rarely did anything with the results. I wasn't the sort of dedicated hobbyist that shot more days than not and took careful notes about exposures and settings to improve my craft. Most of the results of these years are drawers full of snapshots more often than not somewhat out of focus or ill exposed.

When I got my first real job out of college I invested in a Canon EOS 10S. This was better. The average quality went up a little and the autofocus and autoexposure meant somewhat fewer throw-away shots. Still, rarely took an image that made me say, "Damn. This one belongs in the Louvre!" All this changed with the advent of digital photography. My wife was the primary user of our first 1 megapixel point and shoot. It was a very limited camera, but I was intrigued with the promise.Photograph by Ellen Wilkin, Fanning Island, 7/2003 Then came the Canon EOS D30. It fit all my lenses, the image quality was acceptable, and I was freed from the tyranny of film developing and printing. For the first time in a long time I was truly energized by the art of photography. Before our summer 2003 epic Hawaii trip, I upgraded to the six megapixel Canon 10D.

Now my cube at work looks like the home base of a demented version of Ansel Adams. Only hints of fabric show between the prints done in a variety of sizes and techniques. I feel like I'm home. The 11 megapixel Canon 1Ds still beckons, but I can pine quietly.

Digital photography is so amazingly freeing. There is no such thing as wasted film so you can be more creative. The feedback is instantaneous so there is no more wondering about whether the exposure and focus were right and the composition worked out. The media is large enough that I can shoot freely for an afternoon (400+ exposures) without feeling the need to conserve. On the offhand chance I go truly nuts, they images can be transferred and archived onto CDROM in a few minutes and the media is empty again.

The following are a few of my favorite recent images.

White Tern, Fanning Island, 7/2003.


Frigatebird, Fanning Island, 7/2003

Marmot, Mt. Audubon, 7/2001

Statue, Pearl St. Boulder, 8/2003

I am starting to get slightly more creative. This was mirrored about the vertical axis with Paintshop Pro. Opinions on what it looks like range from a heart (me) to an insect (most everyone else).