Forward by Jeff Resnick
Are you interested in Photography? Would you like to learn the Art of Photography from a Master Photographer? For Free? Well, you're in luck! I've known Alan Hailston since the early 1980's. We're both Seniors, but don't hold that against us. You see, we have come to understand that age is not a barrier to success. On the contrary, age fosters the innermost need to create. Alan sure has a handle on the essence of Senior life when he writes, "it does seem true that the older we get, the more we need to create challenges for ourselves in order to keep our brains firing on all 12 cylinders." Why is that? Easy answer: Passion. We create because we are driven to fulfill our Passions for the love of creating something of lasting value. Over the years, Alan has offered his many talents to a wide variety of my own projects, from creating covers for my many music CD's, to jacket and label designs for my LP's; and, from graphic design for my books, to contributing his own stories to my Storytelling sites and Collector Edition Trade Paperback. For Alan's newest project, his Artistry in Photography meshes nicely with his Storytelling ability to lead you in a direction you're sure to enjoy and appreciate. You know the old adage, "Been there, Done that." Well, Alan has already been where you're looking to go, and has already done what you're hoping to do. Best of all, he's put it all into an easy-reading instructional book to help you create your own work of lasting value. So have at it! Whether you're a Teenager, Baby Boomer, or Senior Citizen, enjoy the ride you're about to undertake! Compliments of Alan Hailston.
Introduction by Alan Hailston
In nature there are many things that offer more than what the eye can see. This adage is especially true with hummingbirds; amazing little creatures that delight birding enthusiasts every day. Pound for pound, or should I say ounce for ounce, these birds are more efficient, faster and maneuverable than any aircraft flying today. As a photographer, I've also found that they are one of nature's most difficult critters to photograph! As a photo enthusiast for over 45 years, I've spanned the entire timeline from the old film-based manual cameras of yesterday to today's high tech digital cameras. And, from my childhood years, I have also remained fascinated with airplanes and how they fly. It seems that both of these two passions have always worked to help inspire each other in my life. Over the years, while collecting photos on many other bird species, I've seen many professional quality photographs of "hummers." It has left me envious and challenged. The "hummer" seems to have always eluded my lens when trying to get that professional looking shot. Like many of you reading this, I'm only a photo enthusiast or hobbyist, a far cry away from being a professional. I sell a few prints now and then, but like most of you, my Canon DSLR digital 18mp camera is only what's considered today as "entry-level pro" equipment. Well, like any other hobby, there's a limit as to how much you want to invest in it, right? A couple of months ago the latest issue of Birds & Blooms magazine landed in my mailbox. The entire issue featured an outstanding collection of stunning hummingbird photos. Inspired, my wife and I rekindled our interest and put up a hummingbird feeder. As a Senior myself, I thought I'd start a new hobby even briefly thinking that I'd be able to photo-capture some of the little rascals buzzing through my wife's garden. After several days of observing their speedy flying habits, and knowing the limits of my camera and zoom lens, I doubted the idea at first. Being "retired," it's easy to dismiss the time and effort to do this, but then the crazy idea soon became more of a personal challenge. I've photographed a ton of wildlife, landscapes, birds and even aircraft streaking by at 400-mph during airshows, but the questions arose. Could I actually capture and freeze these tiny supersonic hummers while in flight? Could I move the camera fast enough to match their quick movements and get a focus lock on them? Bound and determined, I took the challenge! Several weeks of shooting followed. After a valuable exercise in patience and a hundred or so shutter clicks later, I pulled it off and got a few good photos that, for now, I'm pleased with and hope you enjoy. It does seem true that the older we get, the more we need to create challenges for ourselves in order to keep our brains firing on all 12 cylinders. Knowing firsthand how seemingly complicated and overwhelming today's new cameras can be, the idea of this book came up in order to simplify things and to share with others who may be interested in taking on the same challenge for themselves. It is my hope that this will help to motivate and inspire others, especially Seniors, to pick up and dust off their camera and take a go at it. In addition to the photographs, I've also included some interesting tips to explain how I managed to "pull it off." If you're interested and ready, follow along with me. We'll take it step-by step. Most important, enjoy the experience and fun of it all. So, go get your camera, a cup of coffee, meet me in the garden and we'll get started!