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My first "real" camera was a Rebel II that I bought in my mid-twenties. The command dial never left the automatic setting and I wondered why shots never quite looked like I expected them to.
Then I used that camera to document the events of the 1999 Seattle WTO protests, and the shutterbug clamped down and hasn't let go since. I love the way that taking photographs of the event made me concentrate and focus on my environment, the anticipation of moment.
A few years later, I now know what an f-stop is and my photographs actually now come out more like what I imagined than not (though I've still got a lot to learn). About the time my stuff began to get to the point I wanted to show it off, I discovered photo.net and lurked for awhile before signing up.
I'm quick off the mark, and sometimes acerbic, but I mean well.