The first camera I ever bought was a one mega-pixel point and shoot digital camera from Target. That was in 2002. Fast forward three years, and I was ready to get serious about photography. I spent $1000 on eBay for a DSLR, the Canon Rebel XT. That camera had seven autofocus points, and it produced a whopping eight megapixel photo (consider that Apple was still boasting that their iPhones had eight megapixel cameras ten years later in 2015).
My good friend, Andrew, who had the same model camera, was the one who talked me into getting it. I'm glad he did! I asked him to teach me how to use it, and he had one rule: “As soon as you take it out of the box, switch the mode and focus to Manual, and do not take it out of Manual until you can teach me how to use it.” That was the best rule I could have ever followed!
Andrew and I were in Biology 101 in university together. We came to class with our cameras soon after I received my camera in the mail, and a classmate noticed them. She asked if we were photographers, and she said she was interested in getting some photos taken to give to friends and family members. I bit and said I was a “budding photographer,” and I would be happy to take her photos for free for my portfolio.
I had learned the basics, but not well enough. I was under the impression that the goal was always to have a super fast shutter speed. So, I boosted my ISO to 1600 (the max for the Rebel XT), and I started the shoot with Liz. All of this was in Manual, including focus.
Are you ready to see photos that I was, at that time, very proud of? I look back and cringe. It's embarrassing. Out of focus. Terrible grain. Bad composition. You get the idea. But I am so glad I kept the photos and can reflect on them now. Let me say this now: Liz, the model, was great. There's nothing embarrassing or cringeworthy to say about her. It's all directed toward my idea of a photoshoot on 28 November 2005. I came away with 167 "keepers," which were all edited at my work computer in Photoshop 7.0. Here are the best of the "best." Brace yourself.
So, what do you think?
Now, take a look at some of my more recent photo shoots. I'll be the first to say there is a lot more growth needed. And since I only do photography with my spare time on the side, I have not grown as fast as I could have. But progress is evident, nonetheless.
If you would like to see more photos from these shoots, check out the galleries:
Whatever you're working on now, keep a record of it. It is always worth going back to see how you've progressed, no matter how embarrassing it is.
For Christmas, I bought my wife, Kristen, a Groupon voucher for a hairdresser in Wellington City. Even though the gift was for her, I knew I would get something out of it, too. She does not enjoy driving in the city, so it is usually my job to drive her to any appointments downtown. I love any chance I get to walk around the city, so long as the weather is conducive for it. To walk around the city with my family is even better! We enjoyed a picnic on a bench on Willis Street, and I offered to push the boys around in the double pram while she had her hair appointment. While doing so, I was able to show some city and waterfront life to Silas, that is, until both he and Asher fell asleep. Then, I grabbed my camera and started taking some shots around Wellington.
Street photography is a wonderful adventure. You never know what your next subject will be, and you rarely have control over how it looks. I took some of my all-time favourites shots on this day. Which one is your favourite?
In April 2017, Titus noticed I was into videography. Right away, he and I started talking about making photos and videos together of his stunts, free running, and parkour. Our first attempt was a success when we filmed his "Train Hard; Bail Hard" video in an abandoned war bunker the following month (you can view it at the bottom of this page). Now, we've enjoyed our second go at it. He and I have both seen growth in each other, and we are excited to share what we came up with.
He came down to Wellington and stayed with my family on Thursday, 8 February. We worked that day and the following downtown to accomplish two things: 1. Film our second video together. 2. Take epic photos for his social media. The filming took place in Frank Kitts park. The photography took place a lot higher than ground level. We scoured the city to take the best and most epic shots we could. We were highly limited by time and by our commitment to following the law. Scroll down and see for yourself what we came up with. You may notice that we were also able to squeeze in some studio shots. What do you think?
My family has lived in New Zealand for nearly six years, and we had not been north of Auckland. So, we decided to take our summer vacation to Northland, New Zealand. We enjoyed it very much! We stayed at two AirBnB locations. One was just outside of Whangarei in Ruakaka, and the other was just south of Cape Reinga in Ngataki. Both owners gave me permission to fly my drone above their properties, which is how I was able to capture some amazing farmland sunsets and sunrises.
We all enjoyed the trip, and the boys travelled very well. There is another video of the travels coming. For now, enjoy my cinematic video and these photos, including some snapshots and selfies from my phone.