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A Photographer’s Eye

I haven’t always been a photographer, it’s been more of a recent interest of mine. I specifically remember on a school trip to New York in high school, I would take snapshots of the buildings and landscapes of Manhattan, avoiding angles that included people/crowds, and any other unsightly distractions. When I returned from this trip, going through my newly formed memories with my mom, she looked at my photos and said “You really have an eye for this.”

A photo from my trip to New York in high school. While not perfect, and on an outdated phone, the photo was one of the first examples of developing my "photographer's eye.

At the time, my mom's comment puzzled me. I wasn't consciously thinking about composition or subject matter when I took those photos; I simply captured things that caught my eye. It was all instinctual, driven by a desire to document what I found visually appealing. The idea of having an "eye" for photography felt somewhat abstract. What did it mean, exactly, to possess such an eye? Was it about having a knack for framing shots in a visually pleasing way? Or perhaps it involved an innate ability to recognize interesting scenes amidst the ordinary? I couldn't quite grasp the concept then, but her words lingered in my mind, prompting me to reflect on my approach to photography and what set it apart. I wouldn’t fully understand until I started editing my photography. 

Grad school marked a significant turning point in my journey as a photographer. It was there that I acquired my first "professional camera," the Nikon D3400. Initially, it was nothing more than a beginner's kit camera, but in my hands, it transformed into something much more. With its capabilities, I began to delve deeper into the art of photography, using it not just to teach myself photography but to express myself creatively. Next week, we will look into how my photographer’s eye was strengthened. 

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