In college, I inherited my great aunt's Kodak Retina Automatic III camera.  I'd always been fascinated with photography and grew up with a dark room in the basement, set up by my father, the photographer.  I messed around with that camera but never really took the time to learn it or photography, aside from knowing what was aesthetically pleasing to me.  I still have this camera, by the way.  My great aunt, Sister Marion, purchased it in 1962 for $103.95, the equivalent of $800 today.

In the mid-90s, I moved on to a convenient point-and-shoot but still wanted to learn photography.  I was gifted a Canon Rebel (film) but, again, didn't take the time to learn how to properly use it.  That camera was replaced with a Nikon N65 after it was stolen during a car smash-and-grab in New Jersey.  I moved on to the digital world with a Nikon D50 some time before the girls were born.

I started off on Auto just like most everyone else but soon found myself wanting my photos to look different than they were.  After reading Understanding Exposure and a "field guide" for my camera, I moved from Auto to Manual and never looked back.  The key for me was constantly practicing.  I took photos of anything and everything.  If there was something I didn't understand, I searched online and read everything I could find.  I am completely self-taught.

After mastering how to shoot in manual, I upgraded to a Nikon D7000 mainly due to the limited ISO functions of the D50.  I eventually decided to move to full frame and purchased a D750, which is the camera I use today.

Here's a list of my current camera equipment:

Nikon D750 camera
Nikon 14-24mm, f/2.8 lens
Sigma Art 35mm, f/1.4 lens
Sigma Art 50mm, f/1.4 lens
Nikon 85mm, f/1.8 lens
Nikon 105mm, f/2.8 lens
Nikon SB-600 Speedlight

Learning to shoot in manual mode?  I have three posts walking you through the process while explaining ISO, aperture, shutter speed and how they all work together.

Shooting in Manual: Part I

Shooting in Manual: Part II

Shooting in Manual: Part III

Looking for general photography tips?

How to improve your photos

Photography tips

Here are photography posts with a specific topic:

Shooting in Full Sun

Portraits and Sharp Tack Focus

Vacationing with your camera

Taking your camera to the beach

Beach Photography Tips

Photographing in the snow + Creating a holiday card photo

How to set up professional looking photos of your kids/family

Christmas Card Photo Shoot (with little ones)

Love photography and heading to Disney, check out these posts:

Disney photos with settings and why I chose those settings

Photographing your (Disney) vacation - A lens discussion

Disney photography Q+A

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