My life is about living with nature – here you can live it with me!

One Year Ago, I got my …

Way back in high school we never had a camera club but we did have a journalism class. I had dated one of the girls who did the photography in the class and yes, my first kiss was in the dark room! I can still feel the goose-bumps just thinking about it. While spending many hours in the dark room (wink), I also learned about the basics of film processing! She told me which chemicals to use, proper framing of the pictures, and many other tricks in developing black and white photography. This experience ended up getting me the job of developing all the photos for a local weekly newspaper for about 2 years. At that time I used a free 35mm point and shoot camera for all my crazy little pictures that I took. Then I finally purchased my Nikon 6006 (SLR) back in 1995 and carried this camera everywhere I went. Birds were my passion and using a 400mm was essential for me in capturing them on film. This was also my earlier years of doing Environmental Education and I switched over to taking slide film instead of 35mm film. Using slide projectors were the way of life for so many years and I never thought that would ever change?

big campfire

One of my last photos taken with my SONY CD Mavica.

It is amazing how the photography technology has changed over the past 10 years and who would have thought that everything would switch over to being done digitally instead of being done with film. Back in high school everyone told me that once I purchase my SLR, very few things change except the quality of film (but you need to pay for the film and processing). Then in 2001, I finally stepped into the digital world with my SONY CD Mavica (point and shoot camera) and had a hard time looking back in using slides and film. Although most of my digital pictures were of butterflies, you could still find both cameras (SLR & digital point and shoot) over my shoulder. The advantage of digital photography was that it was much cheaper since there wasn’t any processing cost. You could just take as many photos as you wanted and then delete the bad ones later. I was starting to catch the bug in using my digital camera for every picture that I would take.


DSC_0001 was my first photo with the D70s

It is hard to believe that it has been a year since I received my Nikon D70s (dSLR). It has been a wonderful year with this camera and I have captured so many wonderful pictures with the camera. I must say that there is no way that everyone’s original theory that digital photography would be much cheaper is true. Once you start adding up the cost of the camera body, digital projector, laptop computer, memory cards, external hard drive, digital lenses, improvement of megapixels (require to get new cameras)! It has only been a year and I am already started thinking about getting a new dSLR (am I bad??). I also have fallen in love with some lenses like Marty’s VR 80-400 f5.6 lens which would help improve the quality of my pictures!!  So please feel free to send me some money if you have any extra cash laying around!!

Common Whitetail Libellula lydia

One of my first Dragonfly photos with my D70s

Now this will be my very first Allegany Nature Pilgrimage with my new camera (can I call it new anymore??). This should be a very fun week seeing so many old friends (that I only see during the Audubon weekend) and great to enjoy nature with so many people. I will have my first day of banding on Sunday (CLDC) and Monday (SWAT) for both of the banding stations. Obviously this is a busy time for me and I will do my best to take a ton of photos for everyone to see. I also promise to try to catch up with everyone’s blogs as soon as I can (they will be sitting in my RSS feeds when I get the time)!

cecropia moth

Hope everyone enjoys the weekend!

14 responses

  1. Mmmm, the first kiss, and then kissing in the dark room, what a perfect place!
    You are soo not bad for wanting a new dSLR since photography is part of your thing to do!!
    Ohh, I hope you have a fun time this weekend, I’ll be thinking about you!
    Hope your banding days go great, and can’t wait to see your photos! 😀

    1 June 2007 at 6:08 pm

  2. You sly dog you!-Did you coax her with A Stewart’s Root Beer and some ice cream?

    1 June 2007 at 8:13 pm

  3. Oh the beauty you’ll be participating in over the weekend. Tiring and rewarding. Good luck!

    1 June 2007 at 10:23 pm

  4. Excellent photos, Mon@arch! I say go ahead and covet new lenses, cameras, etc. and even purchase them when budget permits, as long as you continue to share your wonderful photos with the rest of us.

    The more people like you are willing to share their digital photography knowledge, the more a novice like myself will learn and be able to improve my own photography skills.

    1 June 2007 at 10:27 pm

  5. Hey, Tom, the camera history is amazing but not as amazing as the “first kiss” story. LOL! See? You can really write a good story!

    Your photos are always exquisite and I look forward to seeing what you have to offer over the weekend. Say HI to BOTB!

    1 June 2007 at 11:26 pm

  6. Great pictures and photo taking history Mon@rch.

    I would say that digital photography has given me the ability to take 1000 pictures a day if i am so inclined. Taking so many pictures serves as a great photography lesson.

    1 June 2007 at 11:55 pm

  7. First kiss in a darkroom, huh?????
    All that stirring of chemicals…

    My camera is less than a year old, and I have been panting for one that I can attach a zoom to.

    2 June 2007 at 12:58 am

  8. Oh, but remember how frustrating it was to take an entire roll of film, pick them up from the developer (or in-between kisses in the darkroom), to find that you had maybe two or three decent photos? I probably delete 10 for every photo I keep now! Can’t wait to see your photos from this weekend. Have fun!!

    2 June 2007 at 7:18 am

  9. I have thought many times since getting my camera that I would never have learned to be a photographer without my digital camera. The ability to take 500 pictures looking for that ONE that worked well is essential for ME! 🙂 Paying for that privilege with film and processing wouldn’t work for me! 🙂 I suppose it could be argued that one would be a better photographer if one had to be careful about each shot but . . .

    Your photos are wonderful and inspire me! That moth shot. Wow!

    2 June 2007 at 10:33 am

  10. I started taking pics in earnest two years ago with a point and shoot Panasonic FZ20. I don’t know the first thing about photography and the whole shutter, aperture, film speed, lighting thing in film cameras went over my head. So digital was my only way to capture what I was seeing. I’m starting to think about a new camera, and looking at what you’ve shown here makes me want a Nikon. I know they are expensive, but the quality of the photographs are truly magnificent. Of course, the eye behind the camera is really the most important element of the art. Beautiful work here, Mon@rch. Not a surprise from someone who had his first kiss in a darkroom. The passion continues!

    2 June 2007 at 12:20 pm

  11. Great post, Tom! I held out for about 2.5 years with my Canon 300D before upgrading to a 30D, and although the 30D is a better camera in pretty much every way, I’m glad I waited, since that allowed me to work in my own skills, which are much more important than the hardware used.

    My advice, though, is to invest in excellent lenses before upgrading the body – you’re not going to upgrade that fabulous lens anytime soon, if ever, but a new body comes along every few years that may tempt you. Spend the most you can afford on lenses (alas I cannot afford any more reach than what I currently have!).

    2 June 2007 at 12:57 pm

  12. Mon@arch, is it possible for you to take better pictures than you do already? Yours are always so stunning! (But then, you had a good teacher ; ). I’m wanting a new camera too, there’s always something better around the corner to tempt us, and I need a decent zoom. Hope you’re having a great time this weekend!

    3 June 2007 at 1:58 am

  13. @ Everyone! I just knew that I probably shouldn’t have added that extra tidbit in their about me! I sure hope she isn’t reading this! LOL!! You all are soo kind and thanks for all your important info and comments! Can you believe that I had not been online since Friday after work?? It was wonderful seeing so many kind comments! You all rock!

    3 June 2007 at 8:22 pm

  14. I was a holdout for my film camera, but I got frustrated after my wife got a Nikon D70 because:

    a) she had her results in minutes and was looking at her pictures while I was waiting for the photolab
    b) I’d realize that I had a single setting off and ruined a whole day’s worth of pictures, whereas she’d ‘chimp’ and know something was wrong almost immediately.
    c) Scanning always resulted in a lower-quality image.

    Once I converted, there was no looking back. It’s hard to even think about film, except for doing hi-res black-and-white landscapes…

    6 June 2007 at 4:31 pm

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