Writing a blog is not the only way I have chosen to give back to the community. For several years, I was involved with a few critique groups on Flickr. This was one of the best sources available to reach the mass of photographers, of all levels, all around the world. I am fond of remembering just how much I did not know that I did not know, until I had my first image critiqued. At that point, I had never sought out the opinions of others on my photography, outside my circle of family and friends, so actually hearing a less than glowing opinion was both frightening and defeating. The more I participated in this forum, though, the more I learned.
Not only was I encouraged to provide images for critique, but It was expected that I give critique on other’s images. I had never done that either, and it baffled me as to what I could possible say that had not been said already, especially being as inexperienced as I was. I soon learned that it wasn’t what I said that made a difference, but speaking to someone else’s image from a standpoint of how it impacted me personally, that made a difference. To this day, I value the critique process as a valuable step in my growth as a photographer.
I have never considered myself a writer. Others in my family are more adept in this form of self-expression. For me, keeping a journal or writing notes in a notebook are about the extent of my writing experiences. Truth be known, I’ve always been a tad bit intimidated by those who were more proficient at verbal and written self-expression. Perhaps comparing the art of self-expression with level of intelligence. That does not stop me, however, from my desire to share my thoughts and experiences. My hopes are that someone, somewhere, will identify with and learn from what I write.
I don’t claim to know all the answers nor am I an authority on the subject of Photography. I am but a humble student of this art form, and all that it represents. I believe that sharing and giving back is a part of the learning process, one in which I am more than willing to do. For me, it was figuring out the best way to share with the most people. I am thrilled to be writing this blog, and finally sharing the things that have made the most difference for me.