I've always enjoyed "taking pictures" and made some beautiful shots during my travels even with cheap point-and-shoot cameras, but when my dad gave me his sturdy old Nikon FG in 1993, just after I moved to New Mexico, I discovered a whole new world. To see a good picture is one thing, to refine it and make it great quite another, and I found myself entranced with the process of framing a shot, deciding what the real focus should be, and then discovering something entirely different than what I'd thought I was taking a picture of.
The shot above, taken in my previous garden, started out as a picture of the bright yellow sunflower up in the right-hand corner, but as I played with the focus I suddenly saw the amazing tendrils of the sunflower bud right under my nose, and so I got down on one knee and made that the picture. It's one of my favorites, out of more than 16 years of pictures.
I have missed my photography road trips, my backyard experiments, my moments of deep reverie as I really looked at a rock with lichens or a tree with moss or the skeleton of a dead tree against a flaming sunset. I have missed being outside, period, which is where I do most if not all of my photography. When I moved to the hinterlands of western New Mexico I lost access to decent film processing, making the fun part -- seeing the pictures -- nearly impossible; and my ex still won't give me back the FG and my lenses (he claims he can't find them; I'm pretty sure he pawned them right after I left him). I'd been making do with a decent digital point-and-shoot but a deep scratch on the lens has ended its usefulness, so I am sans camera and feel... bereft, like I am missing the huge part of my life that my visual meditations had become. This will change soon, and I cannot wait. Well, I can; I've waited for several years... So, unless Jewelry Mojo comes home soon, expect a lot of photo blog posts soon.