Hi! I'm Mike.

Hi everyone, I’m a long-time chaser of light. I’ve been shooting since the autofocus system on the Minolta Maxxum cameras was the “big news” (1986). But even with 35 years of photography behind me, I’m still learning and growing as a photographer every day. Although I still haven’t learned to “never give up on a sunset”, regardless of how many times I’m reminded. :slight_smile:

Life is a wandering road, with thrills, chills, and spills. I’ve been in and out of the photography community through the years (more recently “out” or “lurking”). So I hope those within the community that I’ve met and bonded with in the past remember me from the DeviantArt days. And for those that I’ve yet to meet, I’d hope that we get along like best buds.

I’ve been an amateur for the most part, briefly dipping my toes in print sales a few years back. In 2012 I was introduced to a couple, Tony and Chelsea, while they were working on their photography book and wrote a two page spread on Landscape Photography basics, which was included in the initial publish of their book. They’ve done quite well for themselves since then and it’s been a pleasure to see that progress and grateful to them for the opportunity to contribute early on.

I currently live in the Austin, Texas area (25 years) but have a long love affair with the San Juan mountains in Colorado. When I lived in Glenwood Springs, I explored when I wasn’t working and I wandered down 550 one outing and fell in love. I’ve also lived in Cottonwood, Arizona, where I have family, and love the red rocks of Sedona and Oak Creek canyon. When I have a chance to travel, it’s usually to one of these two areas and the space in between.

Why am I here? Well, there are many reasons. But mostly I’ve missed being active in the community. I hope to learn more where I lack knowledge and experience, to help out others where I am able to, to inspire and be inspired, and to contribute to the photography community in any way that I can.

If you see me out wandering the trails in my Xterra with my travelin’ buddy Coco, don’t hesitate to say “hi”!

A confession though… I’m a pano-addict. :slight_smile:

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Hey Michael, welcome to NPN. I remember you from the DeviantArt days. Wow, now we’re both dating ourselves. :slightly_smiling_face:

I am sure you’ll enjoy this little community of like minded photographers. I hope to see some of your work and of course some of your panos. I am sure you’ll also have lots of insights to offer us as well.

Cheers,
David

Thanks David. :slight_smile: Yeah, those were some good times, huh? No shame in being ol’skool! Since everyone moved away from DA around '08 or so the community that grew up there became dispersed. I’m looking forward to getting myself back in the mix.

Hi Michael, glad you decided to take the plunge and decloak. This bit about the Minolta brings me back! I was working in a camera store at the time and we just flat couldn’t keep these on the shelf. OMG it was kind of funny, but good for business. The lens motors made so much noise!

Anyway, hope this corner of the digital universe becomes your photography home. I just took a spin through your website and was happy to see some lichen photos there! Small scenes like that are so interesting, aren’t they?

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Welcome to NPN, Michael. I too was a Minolta shooter, but mine was even earlier than yours, a Minolta XK, manual everything! It did have a light meter.

Looking forward to seeing your photos and reading your comments on other’s photos. It’s a great community of photographers.

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Hi Kris, yeah, that was my introduction to photography. My father was stationed in Korea for a year, while the rest of us stayed in the States. He picked up a Maxxum 5000 and photography while he was there to occupy his time while away from the family. He gifted it to me upon his return and bought a 7000. The military, through the Morale Activities Support program, provided a full dark room setup and he used to take me there and taught me everything he learned about processing the film to making the final prints. Thinking about that compared to now, sheesh… we have it so good today! :slight_smile:

Historically I’ve not shot as many small scenes as I probably should have, preferring to look for the grand landscapes and dramatic skies instead. I’ve not owned an actual macro lens until the last year, but used a 50mm with extension tubes in my attempts to capture the small scenes. So my attempts were usually frustrating with poor results. So my small scenes game is undeveloped and I have much to learn. One thing that I wished I learned sooner is that the small scenes can deliver when the grand scene fails to. And yes, they are very interesting, like mini-landscapes all to themselves.

Thank you Shirley. Minolta was pretty awesome in those days. I still have an X-700, but haven’t used it in years. Shooting an old manual film camera certainly teaches the value of a single exposure and double-checking everything. :slight_smile:

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Hello, fellow Austinite! Welcome to NPN. This is definitely the place to grow with our photography. Now, that you have decided to stop lurking, maybe we can do a photo walk here in Austin or in surrounding areas. I look forward to interacting more with you. You’ll see that NPN is a good place to be inspired and inspire others with your own work.

Hi Egidio, thank you. :slight_smile: Sounds good to me, it’s been a while since I went out shooting with others… Spring and wildflowers will be here before we know it.

I did a walk last Thursday at Mayfield park and already saw several flowers in bloom (mainly daffodils).

Yeah, that’s one thing about Texas, there always seems to be something blooming. We had a decent amount of rain during the fall this year, which is usually the precursor to a good Spring bloom. My fingers are crossed that we don’t get some freak ice storm in February. There was a start of a good bluebonnet bloom that was stunted due to that freeze in '21. Last year was not too good for the hill country with most of the big blooms happening in the Brenham area.

Until that time comes I’m up for other subjects as well. I do enjoy shooting cityscapes too, and it’s been a while since I done anything more than just drone work downtown. Have you frequented any of the nearby State or County parks?

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Welcome Michael! It’s great to have you as a member of NPN. This is an awesome community. I like your overlanding setup in your image. That looks like fun.

I’m originally from San Antonio. I always enjoyed visiting Austin. I now live in Denver, Colorado. I’m embarrassed to say I have not visited the San Juans yet! Hopefully this year. Fortunately there are a lot of great locations to visit and photograph near me.

Let me know if you have any questions about navigating the site or with critiques. Good to have you here.

Mike,

Two weeks ago I spent 3 days at Lake Bastrop South Shore. Unlike the state park on the other side of the road, Lake Bastrop was not affected by the devasting fires of 2011. So, you still find fully-grown loblollies as well as other things, e.g., a bird blind, kayaking opportunities, etc. I do like going to parks in and around the area.

As for cityscapes, Austin is a great place for them, too. I enjoy exploring some of the state buildings as well as the ever-changing Austin skyline.

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Welcome to the NPN community. This is a fantastic place to learn and interact with other like minded “crazy about photography” people! I also live in Texas (hill country) and have lived in Colorado (Winter Park & Conifer - sure do miss Colorado). I did also visit your website and so enjoyed your photos of the Aspen trees. Miss them too. Looking forward to more of your photos.

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Thank you Linda :slight_smile: Yeah, it’s hard not to miss Colorado once you’ve lived there. Now that telecommuting is more acceptable I have my eyes set on the San Juans! That’s if I don’t decide to “sell it all and GO!” first. Being able to “wander work” seems to be more attractive to me lately. I stand in my backyard sometimes, looking at the house, and just see a big box of stuff that tethers me to a set spot. Landscape photographers are migratory pack animals as it is anyway. :laughing:

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Thank you Alfredo. :slight_smile: Yeah, there’s no shortage of photo-ops anywhere along the front range… it’s beautiful. I’ll be making at least one trip to the San Juans during fall, hope to bump into you out there. Or if you want to meet up that’d be great too. I’ll be running the trails and showing my sister-in-law (cousin’s wife) and cousin around, so the more the merrier.

I’ve only been to Lake Bastrop/Bastrop State Park a couple of times, but not since the fires. I loved the tall pines and change of scenery from the dominant cedar trees (bushes) that we have around the Austin area. McKinney Falls is nice too, with some nice Cypress growth. Pedernales Falls is pretty as well.

More recently I tend to hit a “go-to” spot at Inks Lake frequently. I just love all the lichen covered pink granite everywhere, surrounded by various types of cactus, ferns, mosses and sometimes flowers. And then there’s a submerged portion of the forest that gets lit up by both sunrise and sunset. It makes for seemingly endless compositions.