Photography: An Anniversary

It occurred to me only a little while ago–like five minutes–that I have now spent half my life, 36 years, as a photographer for fun and profit.

I picked up a camera while at the very depths of my alcoholism (and 11 years before I put down the bottle) while working for a tiny weekly newspaper where I had to do everything that needed to be done to produce the paper.

I knew nothing of photography, save for the occasional pictures I took–and enjoyed taking–with a point-and-shoot camera. I had never released the shutter on a 35mm and here I was, suddenly, trying to figure out the difference between the f-stop and the ASA,  depth of field and backlight, Kodachorme and Tri-X, macro and zoom.

This was the December entry in a Roanoke City calendar a few years ago.

Let me say that it took a while to learn, that I made every mistake possible to make with a camera, that–like the blind hog and the acorn–I occasionally found a shot that was worthwhile. I won awards long before I should have and made stupid mistakes long after that should not have happened.

All the while, I loved my newfound craft and made it part of both my professional and personal life. All the while, I asked questions of people who could provide answers and I was a sponge for their advice and council.

Today, I shoot confidently, enthusiastically and with a style of my own. I don’t always get what I see, but with photo technology what it has become, I come close.

Photography has always been more difficult and more rewarding to me than writing and I think you know how much I love writing.

Say “photographer” and smile.



By admin

Dan Smith is an award-winning journalist in Roanoke, Va., and a member of the Virginia Communications Hall of Fame. He is an author, photographer, essayist, father and grandfather. Co-founder of Valley Business FRONT magazine and founder of the Roanoke Regional Writers Conference. On Advisory Board of New River Voice.

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