I like taking pictures. I started getting serious about it back in junior high with my Dad’s Pentax ME Super when I joined the short-lived photography club. In college, I still was using the Pentax when a number of the other students around me had moved on to more automated SLR’s with bells and whistles. The Pentax ran on one watch battery and had a light meter–that was it. But I enjoyed having to decide what the aperture was going to be, so life was good. And the pictures looked good (at least in my opinion), so there was little reason to change.
In grad school, I realized that it would be “easier” to take pictures for geology use with a digital camera and so I was given a Nikon Coolpix 4500 (it had a cool swivel lens). I still used the Pentax for some of my more “serious” photography, but the Coolpix quickly ended up being my standard field trip / travel camera. It was slightly frustrating to give up so much control after using the Pentax, but the ease of porting pictures won out.
The Coolpix, however, had a limited life and starting showing signs of wear & tear by the end of my graduate career. I knew I had to replace the camera and I was leaning back towards an SLR, so I ended up with a Nikon D80. And because of an aversion to carrying two lenses around (which I had done with the Pentax), I upgraded to a VR 18-200 mm lens. The Pentax at this point retired to a shelf in my living room (where it still is 4 moves later…). I do love my D80. I don’t usually set it to automatic, but instead either use the aperture priority or complete manual setting. It has the ease of portability of my first digital but the control of the old SLR, so basically all is good. Well, except the weight. Its heavier than the old Coolpix. But you can’t have everything 🙂
Ok, so that’s the physical cameras, but how about what I was taking pictures of? I will fully admit that my pictures rarely have people in them. Tourist-wise, I like buildings, scenic views, and strange patterns. In geology, people are a useful form of scale, so occasionally they do end up in my image collection. But I haven’t spent a lot of time taking pictures of people with the exception of godchildren, nephews, and a few weddings.
I do now take many many more pictures then when I was using film. I took the D80 out three times in the last month and ended up with 62 pictures of a Sox-Mariners game, 212 photos taken over two days in SoCal, and 204 images from a three-day geology field trip in northern MN. And in none of those cases was I anywhere near the capacity of my memory card…
Where am I going with this? While out in SoCal with a friend (who’s a mathematician), I started taking pictures not only of the pretty scenery but of the local rocks. My friend asked me what I was doing. Random strangers on the beach asked me what I was doing. My family asks why there are rock pictures. And suddenly I had an idea: why not post a series of pictures on my blog & ask the wider blogosphere if they could figure out what had caused me to snap a given image.
So the setup: I’ll post one+ images that I took while technically on a “vacation” or “travel” trip. People are welcome to comment on why I chose to add that picture to my collection. I will give appropriate background info on where the trip was and some form of scale.
For the moment, I haven’t figured out an appropriate name for the series, so we’ll go with “Series to be named at a future date” though I will welcome title suggestions (both silly & serious) in the comment section.
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