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Why start a blog, anyway?

In the summer of 2020, Earth entertained - and was entertained by - a heavenly visitor. You may even remember it. C/2020 F3, also known as Comet NEOWISE, lit up night skies last July. It was so bright, it was visible even in densely populated areas.

Now, anyone who knows me well enough knows I love space and all things related to it. Comet NEOWISE was no exception. I wanted to photograph it to capture the magic of its sojourn through the inner solar system. But try as I might, I could not do it.

My camera phone, it turned out, just couldn't cut it.

That was the first time I seriously considered buying what I would call a “real” camera, one that wasn’t slapped on the back of a phone or tablet. In fairness to our mobile devices, their cameras work perfectly fine. I was just searching for something built solely to capture images - and a good enough reason to purchase one.

Lincoln wasn't too thrilled to be the test subject for my first few shots.

It wasn’t until after NEOWISE faded from view that I finally found a good deal on an affordable camera. The brand, model, and configuration did not (and still do not) mean much to me; I was mostly looking for a good entry-level camera. And I think it is safe to say I made a good call with my Canon.

The camera was really just a misguided means to an end. I wanted to take better pictures and thought a camera would help me do that. So far, learning the basic principles and techniques necessary to operate the camera itself is what helped me improve my photos the most.

But even more importantly, I actually liked using it. Bringing a camera along on a simple walk transformed it from a way to exercise into a photographic excursion. I discovered it was actually fun to workshop an idea for an image and build out a plan to get the shot. Even when I did not get the results I wanted, I still learned something fun about something I enjoyed doing.

It turns out Des Moines is a fun place to walk around, even without a destination in mind.

So, why start a blog? I have been fortunate to go on a few adventures in the pursuit of taking cool pictures since I got my camera. You might have seen a few of them. But moving forward, what I really want to share are the stories behind the shots and the things I learn along the way.

The main obstacle to that is pretty straightforward. Social media and long-form content do not exactly go hand in hand. I wanted to share my photos and tell my stories my way, without contorting them to appease an omnipotent algorithm. To that end, I created this - a digital space to post some of my pictures more regularly. A photo space, if you will.

Milky Way
Like this one, near Keosauqua, Iowa. Also, you're welcome for waiting this long to make a flagrant space joke.

My goal is to post about my adventures roughly twice a month, and you can even sign up to get new posts delivered straight to your inbox (no promotional spam, I promise). A fun bonus for me is that I can keep my friends and family up to speed on what I’m up to. A fun bonus for subscribers will be a monthly drawing for a free print.

I am super excited to see what the future holds for this little blog of mine. In the meantime, thanks for reading, and I will catch you when I post about my latest adventure: my new job and move to Colorado!


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