Picture This

Basketball Game

Now I don’t remember the first time I pressed the shutter button out of my own volition, and I’d been thinking what to be all bloggy about when a terrifying Monday morning flash of lighting overcame me in my standard throes of procrastination. What were my first pictures? What (or who) did I look atat seventeen years oldconfined to the glory of Manhattan? What did I want to record and share about growing up in the city?

As a high-school senior, I had taken a photography course as an elective, a decision that would come to focus my direction as an artist, attending to a sword of a world turning broader by the day.

Here, I am talking about a return to my beginning.

Photoshop, Chin Up Bar
My 1st Attempts At Photoshop

“I need a new camera.”

I tell my dad, the operative word being “new.” We aren’t Rockefellers, mind you, my dad drills for his genius on the jazz guitar. Shopping online I take a liking to a camera beyond our price range, and I am surprised to see his adding of my dreams to cart. Signed, sealed, delivered, it is soon mine, the Canon Powershot S3 IS.

Canon Powershot S5 IS
Canon Powershot S5 IS (Later Version)

The same trick would cease to work the following year, when I request a Macbook Pro as a need to be purchased by a parent for a child, in this case, to assist the child in question in his university film studies, to which my dad would retort, “Do they not have a computer library at NYU? If you want a new computer, get a job.” The S3 was the last gift I didn’t quite have to earn, still being a teenager with a roof over my head that I didn’t have to pay for.

I am seventeen and the world is against me and my braces. So, I go out and take pictures of blue snow and a red hand.

The Canon Powershot S3 is big league, Yankee Stadium. Before I trade myself to Nikon, I am a bonafide Canon man. In gun grey, with its turtle-snap flip out and twist screen, the Powershot features a robust image quality of 6 MEGAPIXELS, maximum sensitivity of 800 ISO, as well as the ability to record major Hollywood productions of my neighborhood shenanigans. Its merry-go-round knob of scene modes, detective zoom lens (with image stabilization), and built-in-flash is all I need to take the world by shutter priority.

The Canon S3 Powershot IS
The Canon Powershot S3 IS

So, I roll into the course and fire off power shot after power shot with my Powershot.

Our assignments range from nature to the abstract, to street photography and portraiture.




Dunking A Basketball

How far have I come as a photographer from the time when memory cards were in mere megabytes? I want to encourage you to look back at your first photographs. What did you look at? What did you choose to photograph, and without any prior inspiration?

Long before I had learned about greycards or f-stops, depth of field, or the zone system, I was pointing and shooting, hoping only to graduate and move onto the next phase of my life.


I took enough pictures for one to be accepted into a high-school gallery showcase in midtown Manhattan. I arrived with a few of my uptown friends, dressed in Rocawear and oversized Fubu, concerned more with the gallery’s catering table than the exhibit. That day, we had learned, first, of a thing called horderves, second, of such thing as an horderve called pig in a blanket, all the while stuffing cans of soda into our backpacks from the catering table, as the committee espoused the benefits of encouraging young photographers with showcases, such as the one my uptown boys and I were robbing blind of snacks.

“You need to take more photos like this, so we can go to them galleries and eat for free,” my crew told me, “these pigs in the blanket are the s***.”

Life had other plans, as did the angels of photography. They guarded mine quite closely, for whenever I seemed to go off the rails, my love for photography saved the day. The S3 was my ticket out of my neighborhood; the pictures from that first camera were good enough for my acceptance into NYU Tisch, where I was soon rubbing shoulders with film students from Korea, or Turkey. Picture this, an uptown kid downtown–hanging around in Washington Square Park–his scope widened, as if a lens, from a telephoto vision of Washington Heights, to a wide angle exposure of experiences beyond those he knew growing up.

Retro trends are all the rage these days, and CCD, or charge-coupled device sensor cameras are back in vogue, regaining their popularity of twenty years ago. Compact, offering surprisingly accurate skin tones and color renderings, these devices seem closer to the look of film, than modern gear, and perhaps the reason for their comeback. Beau Photo has many of these cameras in stock (Cybershots, Powershots, you-name-it-shots) waiting to be picked up and taken on a road trip, or a rooftop party – do keep in mind when shooting scenes with stark contrast to avoid blown-out highlights, and forget about shooting at night, as the sensors aren’t equipped to handle low light.

Our CCD Camera Bin!
Our CCD Camera Bin!

Two weeks ago I flew to Toronto to see an old friend. Over coffee we covered the reasons for the absence of great writers at ten years old. They haven’t lived enough to write about the greatness of their experience.

I would argue photography into the deliberation. It takes time to learn how to see. I’ll leave it at that.

– Boris Riabov

I took a picture and I liked it. This is my photography origin story, and I’m sticking to it. What’s yours?

Peace Sign
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Beau Photo Supplies Inc.
Beau Photo Supplies Inc.