Where did TheGreatPhotoGuy come from?
Sometimes the answer is right in front of you, you just don't know it. This would be the case with TheGreatPhotoGuy. I started taking photographs in middle school after Kodak did a road show. I was so amazed at what you could do with photography at that time. I never could have imagined that it would explode into the art form that it is today.
After the attacks of 9-11 my Illinois Army National Guard Unit was deployed. I didn't know where, until we got there. So I wanted a digital camera to send back pictures to my family. I had a film camera when I was in the Navy. I was never happy with the photos that came out of that, so I wanted a digital camera to capture whatever once in a lifetime adventure was coming my way. I ended up spending the better part of a year in Stuttgart Germany.
I ended up being a driver for the unit. This gave me more freedom to explore and learn about photography, more specifically digital photography. I became the photographer that everyone wanted to take their pictures on the deployment. They could email them home and share them.
I learned how to compose photographs. Framing people to get the best picture. It wasn't until years later that I would take a mail order course that would teach me how F stop, shutter speed and ISO are related. How to make slight changes in one can make dramatic effects on the final result. If anyone tells you that learning photography is really easy, they are still using the auto mode.
Don't get me wrong, you can take great pictures with the camera in auto. You can take amazing photos once you move that dial into manual. As with anything, the learning never stops. There is always someone with a cool technique or trick to share. I still get frustrated at times when the camera wants to zig when I want to zag.
Oh yeah, why TheGreatPhotoGuy? I was going to sell pictures of the landscapes from Germany. I thought it would be an adventure to start a business. I couldn't think of a name. It hit me when I started to show people my photographs and they kept telling me how great they were. I have been TheGreatPhotoGuy so long, that many people who are familiar with my work refer to me as the "PhotoGuy". I've been called worse :P