I started my life-long love affair with photography as a 10-year-old with an Instamatic camera, gifted me by my dad, who was shooting 8mm home movies of our family vacations, our cross-country moves, and many National Parks. I will forever be grateful that Dad felt it important to seek out beautiful places and encourage me as a photographer. I have never stopped traveling and shooting. I also got pretty good at editing and splicing all of those home movies.
At 19, after my first visit to Mt. Tamalpais in West Marin, California, I scrambled home to Sacramento and obtained my first 35mm camera. I never did take a class in photography, instead of relying on feedback from friends, other photographers, and the guy behind the counter at the camera store where I had my slides processed.
For many years I was blessed to manage Gallery Sur, a fine art photography gallery in the well-known photography mecca of Carmel-by-the-Sea, California on the beautiful Monterey Peninsula. I got very close with many of the excellent pros that exhibited with us, and my work got better. Eventually, the gallery began to show my photos, right next to the photographers whom I so admired and who inspired me to continue.
These days, I capture images with a pro digital SLR and edit with Lightroom and Photoshop, often adding textures and effects with various apps as well. Over the past few years, I have been creating some pretty great images with my iPhone and enjoying following the amazing changes technology has brought. Iâ€™d like to believe that the Photography mentors who came before me would wholeheartedly approve.
Chase the light. There is always something magical presenting itself, just waiting for our interpretation.
Charlene Mitchell joined Pixels on October 13th, 2006.