First Pride

I’ve always had a minor interest in photography, but I didn’t really get into it until I bought my first digital camera in 2001 for a planned trip to Israel.  Once there, I discovered that I loved taking images.  I spent four years taking pictures with that point and shoot (a Canon A20 — 2 megapixels!) before upgrading to an advanced point and shoot.  I would eventually upgrade two more times to the Canon 7D that I own today.

Over the time that I shot all those pictures, I learned the basics of photography.  I learned about composition.  I learned about apertures and shutter speeds and ISO.  I even learned a thing or two about lighting.  And, over the years, my pictures have gotten better as I learned more and practiced.

While there are plenty of pictures in which I took pride as I shot them, there is one that I eventually took that made me think to myself “*this* is a really nice image.”  It’s not my favorite image, nor is it the best one I ever produced — but it’s one that, when I took it, I realized that I had reached a new level of skill and one that I was proud to show off as art, and not just as “another one of my pictures.”  This is the shot:

 Yellow Tulip on Black

Believe it or not, this image isn’t all that complicated.  There’s some black paper in the background, a piece of glass under the tulip (providing the reflection), a small LED flashlight behind the flower and some water drops sprinkled on the rose.    After that, I did some minor Photoshop work to get rid of specks of dust on the glass and to deepen the blacks — and that was it.

And yet, even though it wasn’t complicated and didn’t involve a lot of technical set up, nonetheless, I liked it — a lot.  And, just as importantly, so did other people.   This became the first shot that I really took a lot of pride in — and to this day, it remains among my favorites.

What was your “breakthrough” image?  I’d love to hear about it.


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