I have had a lifetime of activity in the arts, primarily as a musician, producer and off and on as a photographer.
As this is in theory a photography site, my discussion of my music career will be brief. I have played in various bands since I was 15. In my late teens I supplemented my income booking shows, and in my late 20s, this progressed to opening a music venue in a formerly abandoned building in Detroit. In the venue I booked unknown and experimental music and performance art (whatever that is) and did a bit of live recording. I worked with such Detroit luminaries as The Electric Six and The White Stripes, and many many great musicians and performers whose names did not become as well known. Some of my recordings are available commercially. Most recently and most prominently those of the White Stripes and Jack White's other projects of the time. Check my “links” section for more information.
After burning out on the music world, I dropped it all, sold everything and spent eight years wandering around the world with a backpack. I had meant to wander North America only, figuring out where I wanted to live next, but I got carried away. It seems to happen.
Ok, enough of that history! I am a dual-citizen, and have been in Montreal since 2011.
I started photography when I was about 5, with a fully manual 35mm camera. And by fully manual, I mean manual exposure with no light meter, and manual focus without visual aids. Guess the distance of the subject and set the focus distance accordingly. Guess the amount of light and set aperture and shutter speed accordingly.
Working in the darkroom (b&w) at that age and beyond was a similar experience, using minimal equipment and minimal cropping.
Now working with digital, I try to keep the same values of simplicity. Making radical changes to a photo somehow seems like cheating, even if it is common practice and is much easier now. Also, unless one is practiced at it, to my eye it often isn't attractive.
That all said, I believe photography should be fun. This means not getting bogged down in the equipment or technical details – once the basics have been learned. This means using whatever equipment is on hand at the moment. The moment usually matters more than the camera, within limits of course. I currently use a dSLR much of the time, but in my travels around the world, I typically used a much simpler, smaller and lighter camera. The point was the experience more than the photos, though they often worked hand in hand. Photography can be many things. A snapshot can be as enjoyable as anything else.
Now I am starting to “get serious” about all of this, and beginning to look through my archives to see what worked and what didn't. However, it is more interesting for me to come up with new ideas and take new photos than to search through my archives. For that reason, my current works will be much more present than the past. I haven't really looked at most of my older photos.
I find that I continue to prefer black and white, even in the digital age. Perhaps it is because of my early experiences, and what I understand better? There will be color galleries, though typically my cameras are set to record the images in black and white.
I have no idea where this new / renewed interest in photography will take me, but it's been an enjoyable trip so far...
So far, I have entered only one photo contest - Le Mont Royal - Les Amis de la Montagne.