My longest running hobby and subject of lifelong learning is in photography. On the surface, photography is very simple, you point your camera at a beautiful site, and take a picture. It's that simple. Or at least it seems that simple until you print your picture out and find that the scene that was so breathtaking in person now looks a little flat and uninteresting.Photography is not just about capturing a scene from the real world. It's about the interplay of light and shadows, patterns, and ranges of colors. It's about framing, focus, and depth of field. It's about showing a unique take on an everyday scene. What I love about photography is that it can take even the most mundane object, and make it fascinating.
Over the years, I've taken a few courses in photography. In college, I took an introduction to black and white photography. Every week, I'd spend hours of time in the dark room, dodging, burning, and starting all over again until my prints came out just the way I wanted them. In graduate school, I took a course in digital photography, where I was challenged to balance composition and visual effects in Photoshop to make compelling, if at times surreal prints.
My favorite scenes to shoot are landscapes. I just find something fascinating about the abstract shapes and patterns that can be found in nature, and the broad range of colors that can be captured in a single scene. I also love scenes that incorporate bodies of water, both because they can break up the elements in a scene, and because they can show interesting reflections and asymmetries in the world above.