Introduction

“Every artist was first an amateur.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
 
I have always loved photography, even before I had a camera in my hand. I observed everything all the time that my family and friends rarely noticed until I pointed them out. I love experiencing amazing and unbelievable moments in nature and in life, especially through my travels. Traveling is a passion of mine that naturally lends itself to photography and wanting to capture and preserve what I see in pictures. The wonderful aspect about still photography is that I can go back to those moments anytime I want and enjoy them over and over again.
Early in my life I learned that the type of camera doesn’t determine the quality of a photo. The photographer, lighting and framing of the image are what really matter when it comes to taking great pictures. How many times have you handed your camera to someone to take your picture at a famous landmark, only to find your head or some other vital part of your body cut off?! Some memento! My Uncle Zeke consistently took good pictures using ordinary throw away cameras from the pharmacy. The most technology on those cardboard boxes was a flash that you had to turn on in order to use – if you remembered. Being the family historian, Zeke taught me the value of gathering everyone together and how to frame them to create the best composition for a group photo. Over the years, I have taken over the job of family historian, and was able to practice on my not so patient family. I wasn’t so quick to take snapshots. I prefer to take my time, which is why I love photographing flowers and nature so much. They can’t tell you to hurry up!
This book began as a collection of my travel photos that had stories behind how they were taken. It grew into more and more pictures from around my neighborhood that also had stories behind them. Then I realized I could share what I learned from each photo in a story without getting into all the technical stuff you can find on the Internet or in other photography books and classes. My book is for the person who wants to learn how to take better pictures while reading cute stories instead of an instruction manual. Although, the instruction manual isa vital part of the camera equipment, it can get dry. This book is not instead of, but in addition to, the instruction manual.
Photography is fun, creative and enjoyable! Let’s go play!
DAR

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