Life Through the Camera Lens

During high school, I found myself growing enamored with the art of photography. At the age of 16, I received my first point-and-shoot camera for my birthday and thus, the journey began. Looking back, I can’t say that any photos from those early days were particularly good.

However, the wonderful thing about a creative passion is the ability to continue honing your craft.

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My buddy Jon being a superb model. 

Today, I feel like I have a decent grasp of photography. I’ll never be a professional, nor will I ever have enough time to take portraits worthy of Reddit’s photography hangouts. Believe me, I’ve tried and the response was overwhelmingly nasty.

Hint taken, my good friends!

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It’s plain, but I really love this self-portrait. 

Despite the underwhelming response my work receives, I still really enjoy photography. When you head out in search of a photo, you start to notice the world around you with enhanced clarity. An object or scene you would normally pass by becomes a malleable canvas.

In essence, the goal of a photographer is to be observant.

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One of the most beautiful stores I’ve ever visited.

Out of a hundred pictures, I usually end up with about 5 maximum that are salvageable. Of those 5, there’s usually a single photo that stands above the rest. Photography presents a genuine challenge, and it’s because of this that I find myself so determined to see myself improve.

I’m not wealthy, nor do I have the means to purchase thousands of dollars worth of equipment.

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I love taking photos that convey how I’m feeling. Also, being a model is fun.

Instead, I use my beloved Canon DSLR and go out “light hunting.”

Light hunting is where I make use of natural lighting to get my shot. I never use a flash, I never use reflectors. I prefer natural lighting above all else.

Call me strange, but I grew up idolizing Ansel Adams who would sit and wait for the perfect time of day to take his shot. Because of this, I find myself adopting the same strategy.

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Inside the ruins of the abandoned Fort Ord military barracks outside Monterey, CA. 

All of the photos in this article are mine (the ones I’m not embarrassed to show). To me, they capture aspects of my life in a unique way.

If I look close enough at some of these images, it’s as if I could reach within and revisit them. Return to that spot at that time of day, feel the season, hear the sounds of people or the overwhelming silence.

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I can revisit this place any time. After all, it’s right down the road. 

Photography is magic whether you’re an amateur or a professional. In the end, life through the lens of a camera is one spent in constant pursuit of something just a little bit more. And to me, that’s a beautiful thing.

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