A little bit more about me...

December 12th, 2014

As my first blog post, I thought it might be fitting to expand a little bit on myself and this thing I so uniquely call "Tod Hilton Photography."

My About page gives some basics, but doesn't go into any detail about my motivations, hopes or dreams, as they pertain to photography. Honestly, I'm not going to go into much depth here either, as it's pretty simple.

Like most photographers out there, I've always enjoyed taking pictures and carried a point-n-shoot camera with me on many adventures throughout my life. Usually, I was the family member or friend that chronicled events with said visual evidence. It just seemed natural to me.

At the beginning of 2011, I was still using my little Canon PowerShot SD780 IS to capture life around me. It's a great point-n-shoot; sub-compact (fits into any pocket) and captures great details (with proper lighting). Even though I enjoyed it, I was butting up against the technical limitations of the form factor in my creativeness. Namely, I couldn't get the depth-of-field and degree of light/contrast/colors that I saw in professional pictures.

I wanted to do more!

Meanwhile, I admired the photos that a friend and co-worker was constantly taking with his DSLR. He's a very talented photographer and also, fortunately for me, quite a nice guy. I had no experience with 'professional' cameras, so my inquisitive nature took hold and he was the lucky target. He and I began talking more and more about the details of his photography, the equipment and my yearning to get to the 'next level.' Fortunately for me, he was patient and encouraging of my questions.

In September of 2011, he decided to sell his Nikon D90 and upgrade to a different model (sorry, I can't remember which one). Knowing my interest, he gave me first dibs and was kind enough to let me borrow it for a weekend before I plunked down several hundred dollars.

He was also kind enough to spend some time going over the controls with me, but the primary thing I remembered was "aperture priority," so that's what I focused on during my trial. Here are a few of the pictures I took during that very first experience, knowing next to nothing about how to use it.

I like all of the shots, but they're not even close to the level that I ultimately wanted to express. Yet I was impressed with the clarity and depth-of-field that I was able to get, especially given my extreme inexperience with the camera and it's controls. It quite literally opened up a whole new world of photography to me!

At work the following day, I handed over several hundred dollars to my friend for the Nikon D90. That same day I ordered a few lenses (a 35 mm prime lens and an 18-105 mm zoom), thus beginning the next part of my journey as a photographer.

As my journey continues, I'll share bits and pieces of it here…through pictures and words.


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