Weekly Photo Challenge: Victory

“When you were born you were crying and everyone else was smiling. Live your life so at the end, your’re the one who is smiling and everyone else is crying.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

I have always liked taking pictures, especially pictures of nature or of places I have visited. For many years I used a Pentax K1000. I had a few nice lenses and I was able to get some good pictures over the years. As the family grew in size, the time to go photo hunting declined and my photography lingered. About two years ago, Charlotte took me to a local thrift store where she had seen a boxed camera in their electronics cabinet. She thought it might be a nice one and wanted me to check it out. It turned out to be a Sony Nex F3, a discontinued model that had come from a local department store, packaged with an 18-55 mm telephoto zoom lens. I got it for $135. That was a fortuitous find.

My retirement will come in the next five or so years. I had contemplated photography as a hobby to fill my retirement days – I like to travel and I like to take pictures. It seemed like a good fit. Based on that, I began a quest to learn the camera and how to use it as a tool to produce a photograph. I wanted to be able to take a good picture. I read about photography and photographic styles and techniques. I refreshed my knowledge of shutters, apertures, focal lengths and all the other details. Over time, I added a 55-210 mm telephoto zoom and then a 18-200 mm telephoto zoom that is now my walk-around lens. Just two months ago, I upgraded to a Sony a6000 – that was a major leap in quality and capability over the Nex F3. And I continue to learn.

In my case, the journey is my victory. My kids laugh at me when I lay on the ground to take a picture of the lilies of the valley hiding in the flower bed. They think I am crazy when I stand in the middle of the phlox taking pictures of a wasp. With that in mind, here is a brief walk through of the journey.


This eagle was my first great catch and the first picture that someone published. It made the insert in the town’s utilities bill. Maybe small in comparison to other photographer’s victories, but it was my first and just getting a picture of an eagle in central Indiana was a thrill!



I liked the macro photography that I had seen in the many blogs and tried to develop that part of my repertoire.


And eventually, I got into night photography. I anxiously waited for our first vacation day’s nightfall so we could drive down to the shoreline and get this picture of the Mackinac Bridge!


Seeing a picture with my eyes became a priority and an obsession. There are many rules, tips and hints on composing a picture, but what you see has to be something you want to look at or one that draws your attention.


Next up we have people. In this case it is Senior pictures. Here Jenna is the beneficiary after my first go around with Erin and her Senior pictures. Just getting the piercing look of those eyes made this picture worth while. So far, out of Jenna’s pictures it is my favorite. We still plan on getting some winter shots as time goes on.


Finally, this will be my second published picture. Just a couple of weeks ago an agency approached me about use of this picture. They will send me the finished product for me to see and I look forward to that. But it is a thrill to have people want to use my pictures – yes, I know it has only been twice! But that is so far!

Thank you for enduring this walk through my personal victory; it is a journey that continues to grow better!

And see more ‘Victories’ at the Daily Post’s Photo Challenge: Victory!


  1. Love your blog and photos, Dennis, and I enjoyed reading your photography journey. Congrats on the published photos and I believe you were featured on wordpress photo wrap up? This will be a great hobby for you. My semi-retirement includes this blog and photos that accompany it. I am working on getting a “real” camera! Keep up the great work!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I did make it on a Daily Post weekly favorite and also a Gold Star on Cee’s Compose Yourself challenge. It has been great developing this hobby after letting it linger for so long. I hope you can find your ‘real’ camera. I have really liked this a6000.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I really enjoy your blog. Your photos are beautiful. I think the thing I enjoy most, is the diversity of your photos. One post takes us to the beauty of the architecture of China. The next a chance sighting of my favorite foul. Needless to say, I enjoy seeing your beautiful family. Your emails are what I search for first when I visit my mail account to see the next treasure you posted. Great job!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Having spoken to bird photographers, I know just how difficult it is to get your work published, so even two is a very real achievement. I love the eagle, but the sheen on the butterfly’s wings is pretty good too.

    Liked by 2 people

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