Many people ask me how I became involved with Better Photo, and the answer is simple: One picture - one unique image - one contest entry, and the course of my life was ultimately changed beyond any path I had imagined back then.
It will be 5 years ago in June that I signed up for a Better Photo Membership, cautiously entering a couple pictures into the monthly BetterPhoto contest. While I had been shooting with film for years as a serious amateur with my 35mm Nikon, I was just learning and adjusting to digital imaging, while learning some PS Elements editing. My camera – the astounding 1.3 megapixel Sony Mavica point and shoot! You could put, gee whiz - an incredible 5 to 6 images on a floppy disk at highest resolution! Imagine carrying around 20 to 30 floppy disks to a shoot, and changing every 5 or 6 shots... (But you know, looking back now, that Mavica took some pretty decent pictures, especially with its Macro setting.)
While taking some shots that month, I was intrigued with the image possibilities I saw in an old 2-drawer side board sitting outside with badly cracked and pealing paint. Once I captured the composition I wanted, I turned to some PS effects, and found an application of “Difference Clouds” really helped create a distinctive abstract. The resulting image was entered in the "Elements of Design" category that same June, garnering a 2nd place medal - much to my surprise and delight. I can still remember the motivation and enthusiasm that win generated for me.
Of course I began to enter the BetterPhoto contest every month, meeting some great fellow members through the various image discussion threads on the site, and mavelling at the awesome images entered from around the world. For several years I participated in the contest, upgrading to a Nikon DSLR and also taking several of the great courses offered at BetterPhoto. Eventually getting to know several of the BP team, I began a part-time position with BetterPhoto in customer service, leading to the full-time opportunity I have experienced now for nearly two years.
That single abstract image will always hold special meaning for me, as it became the nexus not only for my photographic passions, but this wonderful BetterPhoto road I journey each day as a part of the BetterPhoto team. And that Mavica camera? Its still here with the original box! Thinking about that makes me want to try a few shots for old times – if I can just find some floppy disks now, and then a floppy disk drive to upload to the computer…