Friday, February 25, 2005

"Pigs For Sale," Southampton, New York, October 2004

Yes, indeed, the Hamptons can be rural.

My picture pages

This internet is a wonderful thing. I think back to the first time I used it -- fall 1994, my freshman year of college, the newness of the world wide web and what it could do, the potential of it, conveyed a sense of knowing ... the future is here. One of the first things -- perhaps the first thing -- I searched for, I Googled before there was Google, was lighthouses. I looked at pictures of the New England coastline, of Pemaquid in Maine and Brandt Point on Nantucket, and images of home, Sandy Hook and Twin Lights in New Jersey. They were pleasant, comforting shots of the comforts of home, of the familiar, from the far-away cold of the South Bend winter in the months after a breakup.

Now we can't seem to get by in our jobs without the web. When the internet goes down at the office, we sit around wondering what to do, how to proceed past a certain point when all our resources are frozen at the whim of a server somewhere. But it's a great thing. It's opened doors for everything, for everyone. Once, we showed guests photos of our vacations, guided them through scrapbooks and albums of pictures of places they'd never been and longed to go. Jokes were written and cartoons drawn lampooning those families who sat their guests down in a dark room to look at their slides of the family trip to the Grand Canyon ... and now we're e-mailing the link to our Yahoo! photo albums, letting those on our contact lists sit through the presentation at their leisure -- or their downtime at work.

I've fallen in love all over again with photography, a hobby I began developing 14 years ago when I got my first Minolta SLR for my 14th birthday, just in time to go see the Texas Rangers play the Boston Red Sox on a visit to Massachusetts. I've fallen in love again because of the internet, because of photo blogs that allow me to see the work of others and draw inspiration from them. And now I'm inspired to do the same. As for the name -- DC Products -- well, that comes from my childhood "corporation," the made-up copyright I used to put on my drawings and other expressions, artistic and otherwise.

My hobbies extend far beyond photography, so I don't devote as much time or money to it as the best and my favorite photobloggers. I don't spend much effort refining, fixing or doctoring my images in an effort to make them as good as I can. I'd like to, but then when would I go to baseball games or enjoy the fantasy sports I play with my friends or keep my fiancee happy with some quality time? So my plan is to use this space to further inspire myself, particularly through the Photo Friday exercises.

But I'll experiment, and I'll have fun with it. And after that, what does it matter?