ALF Photography and NHW Photography were created to express the love and creativity of photography. AFL Photography brings together images from all over and in all catagories. It is purely a hobby. NHW Photography takes things a step further by merging the sport of paintball and photography, to display the sport in a positive light. Images in the NHW Galleries are not meant to be professional shots. Simply, they are to show an enjoyable sport and what it has to offer. I must credit some images in the NHW Gallery to Ryan Dunham. He is a good friend in my world of paintball and seems to have learned to enjoy taking photos through use of my camera. Hopefully his passion continues to grow and he is inspired to learn more.
As a child, photography was not an interest of mine. In fact, I would say I was detrimental to the field before I turned 21. Early on, my experience with a camera was from watching my father use his Olympus OM-1 to take family photos. I actually broke that camera twice. It wasn't until much later in life that I learned of his love for photographing flowers. When I was 15, I discovered his old OM-1 hidden away in a box. I dusted it off and immediately was fascinated by all the dials and numbers on the lens and body. It still had some film in it so I started playing with it. I began taking random photos anything I could find, to including the family cat. It wasn't until I got older that I realized that what I was feeling was not merely enjoyment, but passion. A few years later, my mother gave me a version 1 digital elf. Again, I felt this passion for photographing the world around me. However, I was still easily distracted at this age and, once the camera battery died, I lost interest.
I still keep my fathers OM-1 on my shelf in my bedroom today.
It wasn't until I met my brother in law, who had a cannon DSLR, that I felt this passion again. Over the course of the next few months, I took a few photos here and there. We both left the country for work and before we left I picked up a point and shoot Olympus. For 7 months I found myself taking photos of everything I could. I shot as much as could with this little camera and it taught me so much about light and how it can impact a photo. However, since this was just a point and shoot, I was limited in the techniques I could use to shoot decent photos. Despite these limitations, I learned that photography was something I wanted to, and could, pursue. When I returned home, I began to save in hopes of purchasing better equipment. But before I could make the purchase, I unexpectedly had to leave the country again. This time, I was gone for 6 months and spent all of my time working hard. Therefore, when I returned home, a camera was the last thing on my mind.
Four months after this I, once again, had to leave the country for work.. Before rushing out of the country, I stopped and started thinking to myself, "This is the last time you may leave the country, wouldn't you like to get a photo that means something?." I decided to go ahead and "bite the bullet". Even though I hadn’t saved as much as I had hoped, I purchased a Nikon D90 with a stock 15-108mm anyway. In addition, as a departing and birthday gift, my mother and sister picked me up a 70-300mm lens. Many people know that this is not the best equipment you can get. However, many also know that its the photographer, not the camera, that captures a great image. With that one camera I took hundreds of photos. Some of these photos appear on this site under the album titled, “Afghanistan”. These photos are some of my favorite photos I have ever taken. There are certain aspects of the photos I wish I had done differently. It’s obvious that I was a bit amateur when I captured the photos. However, these were the first truly meaningful images I had ever captured. Despite some composition errors, they hold personal significance to me. They documented some memories my experience overseas. They also captured rare scenes that most do not get a chance to capture, but only those where a camera was my priority. I hope these images allow the viewer a look inside a world they may not have experienced or seen before. Today, despite new goals, interests, and responsibilities, I continue to enjoy photography when I get the time. I shoot mainly for a hobby and to document my experiences. However, I believe images all hold a unique experience for every viewer. Everyone sees and feels something different from an image. It is for this reason that I want to continue my journey as a photographer, learning all that I can, and sharing it with others. This is why, I started this website.
I have taken a few college level courses now, in black and white photography, studio lighting, as well as some basic courses. There is still much I don't know and still a lot I need to learn. I naturally learn by doing and will continue to do this as long as I can point a camera and explore the world around me. Hopefully, I will get the opportunity to learn from some experts someday as well.
Thank you for reading, and I hope you enjoy at least some of the photos on this website.