This shot was just a matter of being in the right place at the right time. I was on vacation with my sister last summer (Myrtle Beach). I woke her up one early morning, grabbed my Canon A70 and we walked to the beach and just stood there for about 2 hours and marveled at the beauty of sunrise. This image really speaks to me. It’s also my very first photo that was ranked No. 1 on Explore. So I’m pretty happy with how it turned out considering it was captured with a 3.2mp point and shoot camera with no editing done other than rotating the horizon level.
This has to be one of the photos that I’m quite proud of. That’s why I decided to use this as my buddy icon. I personally feel that I positioned myself perfectly right under the hot air balloon to get just the right angle. And I also love the color contrasts, red and blue always go together harmoniously.
1: How long have you been involved in photography?
In some ways, all my life, simply because I've always been fascinated with images . My uncle was my first influence. I would go crazy looking at his photo albums, he took some really amazing photos that I found so stunning and I was quite envious. But I never really gave photography a serious thought until my sister and her husband gave me a 1.3mp digital camera. I can’t remember the brand, but it was a good stepping stone into what was ahead of me. When she purchased a Canon A70, I decided to do the same. Read the reviews and found that it was one of the best selling point and shoot cameras at the time. It occurred to me that I wanted to do more than just document my family and friends, places we went on vacation, stuff like that. So I began to learn all I could about photography. Then one bleak December day (2004) I stumbled across Flickr, found the competitive nature of the site very much to my liking and got hooked immediately.
2: Equipment you use?
My earlier photos were shot using my Canon A70. Now my equipment includes an Olympus FE-230 given to me by my husband for our wedding anniversary and recently I have acquired my very first DSLR, a Canon Rebel XT, thanks to a Godsent angel who has answered my prayer. I’ve just started using Photoshop CS3 a few months ago, it was excruciating in the beginning, to get the right effect was tough but I’m starting to understand the steps and different ways of editing photos better.
3: Mac or PC?
Being employed at some major Computer corporations in the past, Mac was never an option. I have to show my loyalty to them, so PC would be my choice. An HP laptop to be specific.
4: What inspires you?
Definitely God’s perfect creation. Nature is perfect unaltered. I enjoy communicating what I experience and see. And nature allows me to do that; the ability to express myself. Flickr is a great place to learn as well. I get my inspiration and motivation mostly from the work of my fellow Flickr friends. They have an abundance of talent and creativity and I am regularly impressed by them. Some of their images remain etched in my mind. They are unforgettable.
5: Preferred subject matter?
I try not to be limited to a single subject. I want to be loose. How I capture an image is an opportunity for self-expression, it’s my creative outlet, and it’s a challenge & a way of life. So I take photos of anything that catches my attention including people, nature, landscape and still life. I focus more on portrait shots lately, capturing emotions provoking thought or feeling. But if I have to choose, it would be flowers and rural scene. Flower textures fascinate me. The simplicity of country life (barns, silos and farm animals) amazes me as well.
6: Name one thing you haven't caught with the camera that you REALLY want to capture.
I have always wanted to visit the holy and sacred Mecca and capture its beauty. I would also love to visit at least one of the Seven Wonders of the World and make a photo journal of the trip.
7: When in doubt about your art, who do you confide in?
I always confide in my husband to get a second opinion. He calls a spade a spade, and he would tell me what looks good and what doesn’t.
8: Qualifications/training in anything? ie: Photoshop
I'm entirely self-taught, both photography and Photoshop. When it comes to photography, I capture what my heart tells me. As for Photoshop, I just learn the different techniques online with a bit of help from friends.
9: Plans for the future?
I've never felt so passionate about any other venture in my life. My long-term goal is to be a free-lance photojournalist. Or possibly be able to exhibit my work in the near future. In the meantime, I will continue to practice and keep shooting. Photography is something that takes a day to learn and a lifetime to master. And I have a long way to go, that’s for sure
10: In one word, describe your photography.
Thank you so much Jill and the TWTME team for this wonderful opportunity