My journey in photography began in April of 2014, when I heard the G.E. lamp plant on Hughes Street in Youngstown was scheduled for demolition, I was 49. My stepfather worked there and I felt compelled to photograph the site. I posted the photos on Facebook and a coworker of mine asked me if I was into photography. It was that moment when the journey began. We would get together and photograph and I began to learn about my camera and photography.
On October 25, 2014, I created a Facebook page, The Youngstown Photography Group. As an art student at YSU, I knew of the importance of getting your artwork out there, and this was just another platform, but it became more. Here I met other photographers that had a wide variety of interests. We would get together and photograph. Friendships blossomed, new places where discovered and I kept learning.
I won my first award for my photography at the Butler’s 78th Area Artists Annual exhibition, an honorable mention for the photo, A Steamy 765. This gave me the momentum to keep going. I entered every art show in the area. Every opportunity I had to photograph, I took it.
My main interest is in abandoned, historical sites. They are disappearing quickly and I find beauty in the decay. I love the challenge of creating compositions in low light settings. I am always looking to create a photograph that has never been seen.
I have learned many lessons on this journey:
Patience. Whether it is waiting on the right lighting or composing the right shot, it takes patience.
See the shot, take the shot. Many times while driving, I would see an interesting building and I would say to myself, I’ll get it on my way back. Sometimes that doesn’t work. GPS might not bring you back, or that building might not be there. There is a little diner on 422 in Pennsylvania that I passed by many times. Two years ago, I finally stopped. Last year on my way to a workshop, I passed it again, it fell victim to arson.
Conquer your weaknesses. In the beginning, I quickly realized that low light was my weakness. So, I set up still life’s at home, turned out the lights and practiced. With practice and patience, trial and error, I got better.
Seek out fellow photographers. I have learned so much from my photography friends. If it want for them I would not be the photographer that I am today. And it all started with, “Hey, are you into photography?”
Fine Art America site- diane-beatty.pixels.com