Lens-Artists Challenge #133 – My Photography Journey

Nikon FM Camera

“One’s first love is always perfect until one meets one’s second love”

Elizabeth Aston

It was longer ago than I care to admit that I began my long journey into the world of photography. The image above is my first camera, a much-loved 35mm Nikon FM, an SLR film camera. Little did I know at the time that it would become a life-long passion. (And yes, you’re right – it IS bizarre that I still have that first camera and its manual 🙂.)

12 Apostles, Australia

“You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.”

J.R.R. Tolkein

For a while life got in the way as I built my career in the technology business. Through more luck than planning my husband and I were able to retire early and begin the life we’d often dreamed of. After moving south, we focused on exploring the world. My love of photography was re-awakened and coincided perfectly with the arrival of digital technology. I stored my film equipment away for good and bought an inexpensive Canon point-and-shoot which I quickly outgrew.


“Life is a blank canvas, and you need to throw all the paint on it you can.”

Danny Kaye

The Kiawah Photography Club became a wonderful resource for improving my skills with its many excellent speakers who came to lecture and lead photo shoots. Our safaris in Botswana and South Africa motivated me to invest in new technology – this time with Nikon. After studying my options I purchased their then-current DSLR – with a dazzling 6 megapixel sensor – and my beloved 70-200 f/2.8 lens. It served me well for many years (along with an array of other Nikon lenses and several camera upgrades 😊) until it became just too heavy for me to hold.

Great Wall, China

“I urge you; go find buildings and mountains and oceans to swallow you whole. They will save you, in a way nothing else can.”

Christopher Poindexter

As we continued our travels, photography not only captured our adventures, it added to our enjoyment and allowed us to revisit them long after they were over. On the equipment front, because weight had become key I moved to a mirrorless Fuji X-T2. It served me well on our first outing, a visit to Israel and Jordan. I was able to comfortably carry it all day, every day for three weeks. More importantly, I was very pleased with the results despite some technology glitches along the way.


“May your adventures bring you closer together, even as they take you far away from home.”

Trenton Lee Stewart

As we’ve traveled the world I’ve loved both seeing and capturing its wonders. None of it would have happened without the support and encouragement of my husband – the more adventurous and enthusiastic of our partnership. He has pushed me beyond anything I’d have accomplished without him and ensured that we’ve both enjoyed the journey. Happily, our photography club (where I am now occasionally a leader as well as a learner) continues to help me expand my skills. The image above for example is from a class I teach on making photography books, one of my favorite ways to savor and preserve our exploits.

sunset, Botswana, art

“Oh, the places you’ll go.”

Dr. Seuss

Finally, I’ve enjoyed learning the many sophisticated editing tools available. These days I use both Lightroom and Photoshop augmented by tools like Nik, Topaz and Luminar – which brings me to next week’s challenge! We’ll be asking you to share images that didn’t quite live up to your expectations together with your final versions after editing them. As an example, I’ve enjoyed dabbling in artistic interpretations like the image above, which can be great fun.

Looking back over my photography journey these many years has been a real pleasure for me. Amy is so right that photography is much more than what camera you use. Whether on another continent or in your own backyard, it’s also about what you see and how you translate your vision. My sincere thanks to Amy for this week’s inspiration, as well as to Ann-Christine and Patti who continue to inspire and motivate me. Finally, thanks to all of you who continue to follow along with us on our Lens-Artists adventures. We look forward to hearing about YOUR journeys. Remember to link to Amy’s original post here, and to use the Lens-Artists tag to help us find you. Until then, I’ll leave you with one of my favorite-ever quotes from Helen Keller: “Life is a daring adventure or nothing at all.”.

So far so good 😊


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