Thursday, January 20, 2011


Back when I was a digital camera newbie, with a Sony F505, I joined a camera forum group at It was a great place to learn the technical capabilities of a camera (there were forums for every camera manufacturer). Members posted photos and shared the specifics about their shot. I not only learned how to use the different functions of my camera, but I learned a lot about composing and general rules and guidelines.

Once a month there would be a photo challenge. A topic would be announced and a deadline (usually about three weeks out) given. The photo had to be taken within the three week period and taken with a Sony camera, although eventually the rules were relaxed to allow other cameras' shots to be entered into an exhibition gallery. As I look back on this now, it was an invaluable learning experience.

When I upgraded to a DSLR, a Fuji S2, I became a member of the Fuji forum. The level of experience and expertise of the new group was much greater than my own. The Fuji forum members didn't conduct photo challenges however (this eventually changed)... and that was a shame. Photos were posted and discussed, but I missed the spirit of the competitions and often posted my Fuji photos in the Sony exhibition gallery. I did, however, come to know a superb photographer - Paul Walters - and he was doing a photo-a-day project on Pbase. I liked the idea of the discipline required for this type of commitment and so I began my first PAD project in June 2003.

Eventually, the forums became more of a place to gripe about the technical deficiencies of a camera, rather than just taking and sharing photographs, so I stopped visiting.

I revisited the Sony Challenge galleries at Pbase yesterday (they are still there!), for old time's sake. It was fun to look back at my entries and to remember some of the other photographers. I am posting three photos: the first is my very first public posting of one of my photos and the other two are photos that won their respective challenges.

Challenge #3 - "Anything Wet"

This was actually ineligible for the challenge because it was not taken during the challenge period. I had taken it while on a cruise in the Mediterranean. It is horribly out of focus, but that makes me smile today - I can still remember the trepidation I felt at showing my photo to strangers.

Challenge # 28, "Patterns and Repetitions"
"Acorn Assembly"

Challenge #35, "Shadows and Silhouettes"
"Blue eyes"


Monte Stevens said...

It is interesting to go back and see what images we posted 5 years ago and especially the first one we ever posted. Your skill with your photography and your creativity are wonderful gifts to all of us.

It's interesting your comments about dpreview and pBase. I feel the same as you do. I venture on dpreview for it's news technical stuff and hardly ever go on the forums anymore. I also followed Paul Walters and every once in a while still visit his account on pBase.

Please continue to create and share, I enjoy it!

Faye White said...

Thanks, Monte. I revisited Paul's galleries this morning and his work is still flawless. :)

Monte Stevens said...

And, he has a great selection of lovely young ladies which a few us men enjoy. :-)

Brent said...

I was very much like you, Faye! My first photo community was on DPReview when I had my Coolpix 4300 and then to the D70. I learned a lot from the members there. It was a really valuable resource. But you're right: the mood changed. It became about gripes and camera envy, etc. I left and never really looked back.

Anyway, I love that Blue Eyes image! I wish I could see it larger somewhere??? It's easily one of my favorites I've seen from you.


Brent said...

Thanks for the link, Faye. It's a superb image. Truly outstanding.