I live in central Tennessee, in the southeast US, less than 20 miles from where I grew up. My family goes back eight generations in this area, and the hills of Tennessee are in my blood.
I really have three favorite areas in where to photograph, about a 40-mile radius of my home; the Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee, and the mountains and prairies of Montana and Wyoming.
This area of Tennessee has an abundance of natural beauty. Rolling hills with lush woods, many streams, and waterfalls, are home to a good diversity of wildlife. These natural assets are preserved and accessible in an extensive state park system. Additionally, many historic sites and Civil War battlefields are preserved in the National Park system.
So far as subjects, I spend a lot of time trying to capture my vision of the natural beauty around me. Getting that vision into an image is always challenging. My other favorite subjects are my five grandchildren, who are always photogenic (through my grandma eyes) but definitely not the easiest subjects.
I started out with a D3100 and the kit lens, the 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR II DX Nikkor. I’ve moved up to a D7200, but that lens is still my most heavily used lens; it’s ideal for many situations, easy to carry around, and has very nice image quality.
My next most used lens is the 55-300mm f/4-5.6G ED VR IIDX Nikkor,for more reach and good close-ups with nice bokeh at its long end.
I’ve recently added a 105mm f/2.8 micro Nikkor, as well as a Sigma 10-20mm wide angle, and have begun experimenting with them, with mixed results!
I find that zoom lenses are generally much more useful to me than primes; quite often a situation simply doesn’t allow “zooming with your feet.”
I was seriously considering a camera upgrade several years ago, as my family and travel increased, and was leaning towards a Nikon DSLR. One day I stumbled on a GREAT deal in a larger discount retailer, for a D3100 kit with 2 lenses. That purchase of a Nikon camera led me to look for HELP and ways to sharpen my skills. And a Google search led me to Nikonians!
Like many members, I started out with a basic membership, and began reading on the forums. It was immediately clear to me that the site was a tremendous high-quality resource, for any area of photography. More reading further impressed me with the congenial and supportive attitude of the community, which is definitely superior to all other sites I’ve visited.
It’s very encouraging to find that others have many of the same struggles and issues that I do, and to see the high-quality work that is possible. The support of a like-minded community helps keep me motivated to get out and shoot!
The camera you use is the one you have with you, so keep it close by, as much as possible. Shoot multiple compositions from multiple positions, any time that is possible. Define your subject; make that the dominant element in the image. Try to get it right in the camera, but don’t delete an image until you’ve tried to salvage it in post-processing. And possibly the best piece of advice I’ve ever received—when you see a sunset (or sunrise), look behind you! (Yes, that’s more than one piece of advice!)
My first trip through Glacier National Park on Going to the Sun Road, was something I will never forget. The power of the mountains and the beauty of the sky is indescribable. There is no limit to the vistas and photo opportunities, and capturing them is the challenge of a lifetime.
Thank you, Diane, for sharing with us some of your images and your thoughts, the reasons why you love our Nikonians community and have chosen to more actively support our members as a moderator. Again, thank you.
You may want to visit her profile as well.
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