I have been taking photos since 2015 as a hobby. Starting with an entry level Pentax digital SLR, I was keen to learn as much as I could about this fascinating hobby. While on secondment in Calgary, I found an evening class at the University of Calgary "Introduction to Digital Photography". In addition to the technical details of aperture, ISO, shutter speed, white balance and so on, the instructor gave some very sound advice on composition and overall approach. To make sure we properly understood the technical details, he insisted we shoot only on Manual settings. Only auto-focus was allowed. It would be several years before I discovered aperture priority; my camera dial was welded to M. He also taught us about the "rule" of thirds. "You're not a sniper in the army! You don't need to hit your subject dead center." Some other key advice was to take many variations of a given scene: portrait orientation, landscape orientation, try a slower shutter speed, try a faster shutter speed, and so on. With digital photos you can take essentially unlimited exposures, so why not shoot lots! To this day, I still abide by that advice.
A few months after that class, I was fortunate enough to take a trip to Iceland to capture the fantastic scenery. They're not exaggerating when they say that the whole island is full of volcanoes, glaciers, and waterfalls. A photographer's dream! Since that first trip, I have been taking pictures of the scenery around me in Sherwood Park and Edmonton as well as further afield to the Rocky Mountains in Alberta and British Columbia.
A career in engineering taught me that I need to be able to figure things out for myself. I have applied that to my photography and continue to develop my skills in both the technical and artistic disciplines. The interaction between subject, foreground, background, colour, light and shadow is very complex. Over the years, I have developed an aptitude for a what is needed in a scene to produce an impressive photo; to visualize what the camera sees and not just how we remember a scene. Over the years, I have worked hard to bridge that gap and take photos that capture the scene the way we remember. I often have people tell me “My photos never look like I remember. But, this [holding one of mine] looks exactly how I remember”.