I’ve always obsessively documented my life with pictures. When I was a child photography was about capturing moments in time. I sought no art, only proof of a fleeting existence in a turbulent evolving world. Thousands of 4×6 photographs of kids in neon t-shirts still fill old shoe boxes somewhere in an Ohio basement.
In college, I moved on to digital and began to experiment with photos in Photoshop. A decade later I made the step up to a DSLR with the original Sony NEX-6 and started curating my shots in Lightroom. Instead of using photos as a base to create something new and unreal, I decided to tamp down and use my photography to produce the best record of what I actually experienced, with little or no editing in Photoshop. Essentially my photography shifted to an attempt to bring out the aesthetic beauty in the places I traveled to.
Late in 2014 I made a larger investment and purchased a Sony A7 full frame DSLR. However, to the befuddlement of my photographer friends, I’ve still stuck with using only the prime lens. I have always carried the notion that unless I’m getting paid to take photos I won’t let it become an encumbrance to actually enjoying what I’m documenting.
Because of that philosophy, I’m often unable to produce the stunning landscapes (no wide lens) or fascinating close-ups (no macro lens) that my peers show off. That’s okay, because when I’m hiking to the top of a mountain in the alps I don’t have ten pounds of gear on my back. I have my “little” DSLR with the kit lens and pull the best shots I can out of it. They’re there to remind me what it was like, not to show someone else a fantasy. (Don’t get me wrong, I still drool over those Iceland aurora shots that kept the photographer on site for two weeks staying up till 2am every night shivering in the cold with six lenses, a light meter, ten filters, and a $500 tripod that was too heavy to fit in the carry-on luggage!)
If you’d like to see my memories, I currently keep the ones I deemed good enough to share on Flickr.