Developing my negatives.

I can trace my lifelong passion for photography back to two things. One, my aunt had several Joel Meyerowitz prints in her house when I was growing up. His use of light, and penchant for capturing the spirit inherent in the mundane, stirred something in me. Second, when I was maybe 8 years old, my parents gave me a cheap 110 film camera. One of those long, flat rectangular ones. I started taking pictures whenever I could, and whenever I could convince my folks to buy me more film, or save up my allowance / lawn mowing money to get more myself. I took pictures of family vacations (I even made a little travelogue photojournal in a scrapbook of a trip to Southern California when I was 11), I took pictures of my dog and my cats, I took pictures of baseball stadiums, of people, of whatever I happened to encounter.

From there, it was on to a basic 35mm film camera in college. If you went to SEMO with me, you probably remember me sticking a camera in your face in the dorms, on road trips, at parties, and wherever we went. I was fascinated with nascent digital photography around the turn of the 21st century. I remember buying a truly terrible, sub-webcam grade digicam one summer home from college. Maybe a year later, I saved up and bought my first proper digital camera. In early 2005, I bought a trusty Olympus that really helped me better capture the shots I was starting to see with the eye I was trying to develop. After moving to Northern California, and taking pictures every day as I explored and learned about my adopted home, I moved back to St. Louis, and a year later bought a Nikon DSLR. A few years after that, I got an iPhone. While the quality was still not enough to replace the Nikon as my everyday camera, it was a boon in helping me always be in a position to capture a shot as I encountered it.

With the iPhone 6, I started doing most of my photography with my phone. The iPhone X I acquired in 2018 really takes that another leap forward. I still go back to my Nikon from time to time, and I keep pondering getting a new, modern, high powered DSLR, especially one with Bluetooth/Wifi that will interact with where I keep my photos on the internets.

This is my long winded way of saying I’ve been taking pictures for a very long time. For 15 years, I’ve been working consistently and incrementally practicing and improving my eye and compositions. I still have a long way to go. But this is an attempt to have an official “home base” for the pictures that I take, and a place to occasionally write about the stories, moods, emotions, thoughts and adventures behind the photos. It’s also a way to keep me accountable, and driven, as I strive to never stop trying to be a better photographer.

So welcome. I hope you find something to enjoy, and I hope this is a window into a world you’ll want to come back and visit from time to time.

Author: Mike Rengel

I'm just this guy, you know?

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