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Tue Nov 24, 2015, 8:13 PM

This is a photo I took almost ten years ago in Afghanistan. Hindu Kush by swiftmoonphoto  I was a bomb disposal technician in the Air Force largely working outside my training and skill-set. My team had been called to a little firebase in the back-hills of Zabul Province to dispose of some unexploded munitions, but the morning before I took this photo, a patrol was ambushed a couple miles from the base and was taking heavy casualties. There weren't really enough guys on the base to respond, so my EOD team went along to help as we could.  

Long story short, it was a pretty wild firefight. They gave us all medals and such.

But that's not really a photography thing, what is relevant to photography is this:

I always carried a crappy little point and shoot camera to help with the various reports that are required anytime you do anything over there. As I walked back onto the FOB I turned around to look at the valley where we had made our stand. Despite my understandably shell-shocked demeanor at the time, it looked pretty, so I took this picture.

A few days later, in the safety of a larger base I downloaded my photos to my laptop. When this photo came up I fell in love with photography.

Since then, photography has been a way for me to find beauty in a pretty violent life. It has kept me sane.

So my question for you in this discussion is:

What is the image that led you to photography?
And, what is the story behind it?
And, what does photography mean to you?

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TomFawls Featured By Owner Edited Nov 27, 2015  Professional Photographer
My Dad was a WWII Navy veteran whose non-battle duty station was in the print shop of a carrier (USS Randolph) in the Pacific. He never talked about the war much, but he had all these duplicate negatives from printing the Stars and Stripes for their battle group and I loved looking through them. As a kid, I thought he'd shot all the images himself.

When I got older, he showed me how to print them in a make-shift dark room he'd made in our basement. I wasn't a big fan of the developing / printing process - hated the mess and smell of the chemicals - but I've always loved the end product. The history and stories a good photograph (and even some horrid snapshots) evokes have always fascinated me. :)

One of these days, I may scan some of my older 35mm shots. No combat stories of my own, but I did buy my first 35mm from the AAFES catalog while on a tour with the 4/7 Cav in Korea in the early 1980s. 

I can't call myself a photographer.  Not even close.  I just take pictures.  =D

Started out as mostly drunken college pics, then pretty much nothing until OIFII.  I took quite a few pics on that deployment. 
None of the pictures I took were anything spectacular, but I do like this one:  499 Yeller Sky by 147CombatMedic
It was such a bizarre day.  I went through plenty of dust storms and that sort of thing, but on this day the sky had a twilight zone feel to it.  :CrazyShit: 
It's also fun to look at the Mad Max "up-armor" doors I had on my ambulance.  :dummy with a sword: 
swiftmoonphoto Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2015  Hobbyist Photographer
Yeah, gotta love the orange sky, orange ground, orange HESCOs, orange everything days.

It's always how I imagined life on Mars would be.
xthumbtakx Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2015
I had to go diggin' in the archives, but

under the bridge by xthumbtakx

family vacation to San Francisco/Hawaii when I was 15. I had fiddled with my mom's camera before that, one of those digital Sony MVC's that took a floppy disk to record photos and only held like 9 pictures at a time... but never really felt that the world back home was all that beautiful until I ventured out, then I was able to see it all around me.
Buntcone Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2015  Hobbyist Photographer
Nice journal. It inspired me to respond! But then again it does feed the ego to talk about oneself so....

It is difficult to pick one image that led me to photography as everyone has a different journey and comes to their interests in a different matter. I bought my first DSLR in 2011. I was studying a Masters degree and graduated in December 2010. I am a 30 something unmarried man with no children and have/had plenty of free time so once studying was over I needed a hobby to occupy me. It is difficult to pick one photo that was a defining moment in deciding my photographic love so I'll pick two that represent moments.

cross by Buntcone - this was taken in 2007 on a point and shoot on a huge sand dune in an area of Lithuania called Nida. In the distance is a random little piece of Russia so there were angry Russians with machine guns on patrol in the distance. But I digress. This trip with my then girlfriend sowed the seeds of a photography love. I encountered much beautiful scenery and felt totally limited by my shitty Kodak point and shoot. It sparked the idea in my mind that photography is something I could get into.

harlem by Buntcone - this was taken in 2011 with my first (and still current) DSLR. I waited until the trip to New York to buy the camera so I could cash in on the weak dollar. It was taken inside Harlem Fire House and was one of my favourite images of the trip - a trip in which I became acquainted with my camera. I liked this image so much that I made it a triptych, framed ir and hung on my wall. Every time I look at it I am reminded that this is where my journey with photography really began.

Photography means many different things to me. It gives me something to do to relieve boredom. It compliments my other hobby of hiking. It allows me to express my creativity. It allows me to show off. It allows me to learn new things and finally, it allows me to interact with other people from across the world on a subject that I enjoy.

That's my thoughts on your nice little journal :nod:
Deb-e-ann Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2015
I've taken photos since I was a little girl and my parents bought me my first camera. They were only the normal snapshots of holidays, friends, the dog etc. My kids came along and again it was to record memories of them.
I got with my husband nearly 13years ago although I'd already known him for three. He was into photography. Everywhere we went so did his camera. It was a nightmare as I spent most of my holidays or days out waiting for him to take his shots.
We went on a holiday to Cornwall and visited some stately gardens there. I had a go with his new and at the time expensive camera. I liked the feel of it when taking the photo and used it again another day.
The Pond by Deb-e-ann Teddies on the train by Deb-e-ann
That didn't get me into photography so that wasn't my epiphemy. He was already on DA and after quite a long time he talked me into joining and using the photos I'd taken with his camera to start me off.
I then went out with my little Kodak and took a few shots of my own.  I was a bit lost at first as I knew I didn't just want to do snap shots. I'd seen some brilliant floral photography on here and decided I wanted to try that.  The two people who inspired me are no longer on here. I wanted to try and take photos that people would want to hang on their walls.
Amber Jewels by Deb-e-ann and in time I did improve Craig's Rose by Deb-e-ann
When we went out my husband had to wait for me for a change :lol:
Over the years I bought better cameras. Friends and family told me I was good and had a good eye for concept. 
I started doing portrait work.  Penny Shadow of a rose mono by Deb-e-ann    sensuous by Deb-e-ann (If I was to take this one now it would be so much better)Joshua Joseph by Deb-e-ann (my Grandson at 1 day old) I also did paid work for portraits and make overs. Boxing... Rory by Deb-e-annOne of the best nights I had was taking photos of a boxing tournament a friend had organised 
I've stopped now as I have Osteo Arthritis and a few other things which means I never know how I will feel when I wake up. It wouldn't be fare to book someone in for a shoot if I wasn't well enough to do it. I will get my equipment out again after Christmas as I have a niece who is pregnant and wants photos done of her bump. Also my daughter in law in the photos is pregnant, so I hope to take some of her as well.
It takes a lot to inspire me now to pick up my camera and take a photo as I no longer find it easy. A lot of the time I forget how to do the settings etc. I've enjoyed 8 years of photography and kept it varied but I don't know how much longer I will be able to do it.

So that's basically it. It wasn't a photograph that got me started... it was my husband. Photography brought out a creative side to me I didn't know I had and I enjoy seeing something beautiful that I have made and of course I love to see it hanging on my walls.... and other peoples. :D
DiamonEyes Featured By Owner Nov 24, 2015
this is a TOUGH one to answer. I'll have to revisit this journal and give an honest answer. :nod:
swiftmoonphoto Featured By Owner Nov 24, 2015  Hobbyist Photographer
Good.  I'm looking forward to honest answers from quality artists.
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