So, I'm going to start this thing by explaining a bit about myself. My name is Mike. I live in Chicago. I'm a musician and a photographer.


So, I'm new to blogging. I'm a photographer getting more serious about shooting and discussing my photographic journey. Being a big fan of the Strobist, Chase Jarvis, and many other photographers, I really admire their work and their willingness to share all the tricks, techniques, and advice they post on their blogs.

This is my attempt to share my work and hear your comments, criticism, and advice.

I've been shooting photos as long as I can remember. I started shooting on a 35mm point/shoot when I was about 7. My brother got a little POS 35mm that we used all the time. Posed, faked candids, and action shots. They were lame and poorly composed. Fast forward to about the 9th grade; my dad let me borrow his Canon SLR, which I took with me to London, England for our class trip. Everyone in my class had some sort of slick point/shoot, while I had this bulky, unappealing, and difficult-to-use SLR. I shot about 3 rolls of film, and excitedly brought them home to get developed. It turned out that my first roll of film was rolled back into the film housing backwards, which completely ruined the entire roll. The other 2 rolls of film were so old (given to me by my dad, which he had stored in the freezer for about 5 years) that the photos came out fuzzy and brown. It was a real letdown because I didn't know when I'd be able to make it to London again (didn't go back until 9 years later).

I ended up getting a Canon 35mm film point/shoot when I was about 15 years old to avoid the same mistakes I made when I had the SLR. The photos were okay. Most of them were of me and my high school buddies goofing off. But every now and then, I'd sneak in an artistic photo which usually got me excited. Problem was, I wanted more control of the photos I was taking, but didn' have the money to blow on film. Also, shooting on film required a ton of patience because you couldn't see the final version of the photo until it was developed.

Fast forward again to present day. I'm now shooting back on dSLR. There is a huge split between Canon and Nikon users. I shoot on both. A Canon XTi, a Nikon D70, and a Canon PowerShot SD850IS. The Canon XTi has 50mm f/1.4 and 16-35mm f/2.8L lenses, and the D70 has a 24mm f/2.8 lens. I don't have many lens options and do not have indisposable income. After reading a lot and studying countless books and websites, it occurred to me that it isn't your camera or lens that makes great photos. It's your vision and composition that makes great photo art. Take the late Ray Charles. If someone put him in front of a piece of crap 1982 Casio keyboard, and he'd still rock the hell out of it and sound like Ray Charles.

I really got a lot of inspiration from Ken Rockwell and Wilson Tsoi. Ken Rockwell is constantly saying that your camera doesn't matter. Also, I checked out Wilson Tsoi, whom produces world-class photos with an obsolete Canon A620, which ran about $150. It was Tsoi that made me realize that most of my best photographic work came from my little point/shoot camera. Also, since it is the smallest of all my cameras, it is the one that travels with me almost all the time. After all, your best camera is the one that you have with you.

Regardless, I have begun to start shooting artisitc photos for print and for commercial commissions.

Thus, my photographic journey begins.