Hello – An Introduction

Hi there! My name is Jeremy Brooks, and as Trevor mentioned, I will be joining the photochallenge.org blog staff.

First, a little about me. Professionally, I’m a senior software engineer. In my spare time, you can find me tinkering with microcontrollers, electronics, and gadgets of all sorts, and of course shooting and processing photographs. My photography is mostly urban, with a special focus on neon signs, both vintage and modern. I have lived in the San Francisco Bay area for the last 10 years.

I have been playing with cameras for as long as I can remember. My mother always had a camera with her (as evidenced by the massive collection of photo albums in her basement). I started shooting with an old 126 film camera, moved up to my parents 35mm cameras, and finally ended up with my own Vivitar 35mm SLR. This camera served me well for many years, and is still in my possession. In the early 1990’s I started shooting with a digital camera, and gradually got more interested in carrying a camera with me all the time. This led to the purchase of a Panasonic FX3 in 2006, a great little point and shoot which has since been replaced by a Canon XTi. In early 2007, I discovered the idea of photowalking and joined up with Thomas Hawk for a walk through Chinatown. I was hooked, and began shooting on a daily basis.

In 2007, I also discovered photochallenge.org. I wasn’t sure if I could keep up with the challenges, but decided to give the December 2007 challenge a try. This challenge was to take a portrait of a different person every day. Portrait photography was not something I was comfortable with, so this was an ideal way to challenge myself to try something different. It was difficult, but I ended up more comfortable with portrait photography, met some interesting people, and really enjoyed the experience.

Buoyed by the positive results of the December Challenge, I jumped on the 2008 Challenge, and completed it this week. The 2008 Challenge was particularly rewarding, as it inspired me to learn more about the city I live in, and I made some interesting discoveries.

I also participated in most of the bimonthly challenges during the year. The July Challenge was especially enjoyable, and I still find myself looking for interesting light fixtures to shoot.

Each challenge has been a great learning experience. Commiting to shoot something every day really makes you think about what you are shooting and makes you plan to get out and shoot every day. I encourage you to try it. Even if you miss a couple of days, you’ll still grow as a photographer from the experience.

I’m really looking forward to the coming year of challenges, and I am very excited to be joining Trevor here at photochallenge.org! There are some exciting and interesting challenges coming up in 2009, and we will be posting every day. We are also going to be using twitter to send updates and announcements. It’s going to be an exciting year! Plan now to join us!