Is It Your Challenge Too ?

I’ve read plenty of articles and books about it … but it still isn’t easy. I feel like I’ve learned quite a bit in the past year and I think about it for almost every photo I shoot … but sometimes when I look at my images in Lightroom, I wonder what I was thinking. I’ve taken a class on it and knew about almost every concept the teacher talked about … but I can’t always see the concepts in the real world. What am I talking about? Composition. Continue reading “Is It Your Challenge Too ?”

Tragic Loss … Almost

A couple months ago I bought a new 27” iMac with 3 TB of memory. I had been storing all my photos in an external hard drive because my MacBook Pro memory was just about used up. I knew that I needed a back up and kept telling myself I could lose all my photos if the hard drive crashed.   But I kept putting it off, until I got the iMac with plenty of memory available for photos. Continue reading “Tragic Loss … Almost”

Involvement Powers Improvement

On the last post I introduced you to Ed Deci’s theory of Intrinsic Motivation. Sorry to be so academic but it seemed like a good way to share something about motivation that is very likely to impact most of us. I’ll try to lay-off the academic stuff in future posts, but let me use Deci’s theory to make one more observation about motivating what I am calling the Growth of Novice and Advancing Amateurs. Continue reading “Involvement Powers Improvement”

But It All has Changed

It seems rather strange but it all began at about the turn on the century. Boy, does that make me sound old. I bought my first digital camera (a Nikon Coolpix E4100) and soon found out I was about to become a grandpa. As the guy who took family pictures, I certainly needed a “real camera” so I went out and bought a Nikon D70. In the following years I took a lot of digital photos of my granddaughter, and then my grandson, and enjoyed sharing these photos with my family. And occasionally we went on vacation and I took shots of beautiful places, and assumed these shots were beautiful photographs. And I liked them back then. But now when I go back and look at them I realize they aren’t beautiful photographs. Back then I thought I was a pretty good photographer … but it all has changed. Continue reading “But It All has Changed”

How Feedback Helps or Kills Our Motivation

This year my wife and I each got a Fitbit for Christmas. We do a lot of hiking in the summer and skiing and snowshoeing in the winter so we are usually in pretty good shape. But as we drift into our late 60’s it seems important to be aware of staying in good shape – but how do you do that other than “tipping the scale”? Wearing a Fitbit and checking out our exercise, resting heart rate, calories burned, active minutes, and even how we’ve slept every night helps us know how we’ve exercised. But it does more. Continue reading “How Feedback Helps or Kills Our Motivation”

Moving on from the Holidays

I hope you all had a wonderful Holiday. I’m sorry I have been so tardy in getting a post out to the FirstanAmateur.com Blog but I took an extended trip to the Midwest to visit some friends and our sons and grandkids. Fun stuff but I must admit that I didn’t do much photography, except for a type of photography that I just took for granted – point-and-shoot pictures of the holidays. Continue reading “Moving on from the Holidays”

The Jump and Why

It’s December so it’s time to think about some holiday presents for my family. Yesterday, for the first time ever, I considered giving my brothers, sister, and sons a Christmas present that I created with my photographs – a photo calendar. You might remember from my last post that I said, “I’m not taking great photos but I am taking much better photos than a year ago – even my wife thinks my photos are better.” And if my wife thinks my photos are much better then they must actually be good enough to put on a calendar for my family. So I went to Lightroom to find a dozen photos to use in my calendar. Continue reading “The Jump and Why”

Moving Forward

On my last post I talked about our trip to Coeur D’Alene and some of the problems I faced due to not thinking ahead (not bring all my lenses) and getting lazy (with my graduated neutral density filter.) So I learned a lesson that you would expect me not to repeat. Ah-ha, you’re thinking I’m going to make the same mistake again. So let’s see what I learned. Continue reading “Moving Forward”

Disappointed but Learning

Two weeks ago I went to a conference in Coeur D’Alene, Idaho. Chris, my wife, is on the local School Board and the conference was about schools, so Koty (our dog) and I were just along for the ride. I’ve heard about the beauty of Coeur D’Alene for years, so I was excited to have the opportunity to spend 3 or 4 days hiking around the majestic lake taking photos. A few days before the conference the weather report was sketchy, but I was confident that a little “weather” would be just fine as long as there were a few sunrises and/or sunsets with good light. Continue reading “Disappointed but Learning”