My name is Paul, and this is my site. I feel obligated to tell you a little bit about myself, and if you're still reading, even after just one sentence, you obviously have a tiny bit of curiosity as to who I am. The start of my hobby into photo and video work, started off with a camera, and although my girlfriend bought me my first DSLR, this all began long before that. Long before I was even able to talk to a girl without stuttering, I was handed a Minolta Maxxum 300si that my father bought for our yearly family vacation to our country of origin, Portugal. I had never traveled beyond the realm of disposable cameras, and cheap film cameras before, and this was the first real nice film camera I had ever used. I quickly obsessed over the sound of the shutter, and the very feel of taking a picture with it, and I even managed to take a couple of real nice shots at the age of 13.
I eventually grew tired of this camera, it went through batteries like crazy and film was pretty expensive for a kid who was more focused on buying video games than film and batteries. Years passed and cameras got cooler, and eventually digital came into play at a consumer level. My oldest brother got a digital camera, and at whopping 2 megapixels, this thing was CRAZY! The camera itself was easy enough to use, and didn't have many buttons, but boy was it huge. Film cameras ruled for a while yet, due to portability reasons and my other brother got an Elph, which was about the smallest film camera one could buy. I enjoyed taking pictures with friends and family and always managed to take some pretty cool shots, but something was missing . . . but then . . . digital editing became my new obsession. My father had purchased a scanner, and showed me how to use it. It came with a product called Microsoft Photo Suite, and I couldn't get enough of the tools it had. From saturation and desaturation, to clone tools, and crop tools, the possibilities were endless. I quickly fell in love with the ability to put my face on other peoples bodies, and found it real useful for removing blemishes, an important feature when your a child with acne. Once again this grew old with me and I wanted more, and by this point I was older and making money of my own.
I had recently purchased a cell phone and the salesman told me about phones in Japan that had cameras you could attach to them, and the alleged release of such a phone in the US market. About 8 months later the Sony Ericsson T68i came out and rather than spending the money on a digital camera, I purchased this phone instead. Although digital cameras shot in much nicer quality, I just couldn't afford one, but with the subsidized price of cellphones with 2 year contracts, this was pretty affordable. The phone shot 1.3 megapixels, which looked hellish on the phone and a nightmare to upload to a computer, but looks pretty good all things considered. From this point on, camera phones quickly gained momentum, and my new cell phone addiction became my hobby. I purchased 8 different Sony Ericsson models before the iPhone was introduced, and although it was an amazing phone, I had a phone at the time that shot in 5 megapixels, with auto focus, and image stabilization, so I guess you can say I bought the iPhone just to fit in. One could argue, that the first iPhone was crap, and they would probably be right, but it was the many voices on the web persistently complaining and wanting more, than ultimately shaped the phone to what it is today. Years went buy, and upgrades came and went, and eventually a little app called Camera+ came out. This app was amazing, it let me take photos, enhance them, and edit them right on the phone.
By now I had the latest version of photoshop, and a decent computer, but the ability to edit on the go, made me fall in love with photography all over again. Soon after that, Instagram became a thing, and people all over were sharing their photographic art with the world. Super saturated pictures of taylor ham sandwiches, bottles of wine, and sunsets became the new trend. It was at this point that I said to my girlfriend that I was interested in getting a DSLR, but given the recent termination of my job, and lack of being able to find a new one, it was put on hold. Christmas was fast approaching and I fell into some big pay days working side jobs for a friend, but I was more focused on buying gifts for others, than buying a camera for myself. My girlfriend told me she wanted to team up with her parents and buy me something nice, and had asked me which DSLR I was interested in, and I quickly remembered the long nights of bloodshot eyes, reading reviews on Gizmodo about the Canon T2i. It's at this point that I would love to tell you she surprised me with the camera for Christmas, but truth is, we went to the store together and bought it. I can go on record to this day, and tell you that this was the BEST christmas present I had ever received, and was literally a turning point in my life. I quickly started watching videos and reading articles on how to use this thing, and to be honest, I was a little intimidated. My first few pictures I thought to myself, "crap, these pictures are coming out just like the ones on my iPhone", as if to expect an expensive camera automatically meant amazing pictures. I practiced and practiced for a few weeks, messing with settings and guessing my way through it all, and I just couldn't take a picture that would outshine an average cell phone shot. One night I went outside and set the camera to auto and aimed it at the night sky and noticed it kept the shutter open for a while, which resulted in a blurry mess. Not owning a tripod yet, I decided to try again but stay as steady as possible, what came next motivated me to keep at this. I couldn't believe the quality of a picture taken at night, and I was almost instantly turned on to the idea of exploring different methods. Long exposures and HDRs were my first obsession, then skylines, and nature, and so on.
Taking pictures was fun again, and coupled with Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop, I just kept on opening door after door, and going deeper down the rabbit whole. Eventually more lenses were purchased, and tripods, filter, flashes, and other accessories, and my girlfriend started to slightly regret getting me this thing. It consumed me and still does to this day. I don't look at the world the same anymore, and it's almost like a drug that you don't mind being hooked on. Now conversations with friends speak to the tone of hexecopters, GoPros and photo shoot ideas. That's where this site comes into play. I needed a place to share these stories, and images, because what's the point of creating art, if you don't share it with everyone. My lonely little blogger account received hits from South America, and Russia, which led me to realize that I could go beyond Instagram and Facebook. This was real, and people we're saving these images and using them on their desktop at work, possibly as a temporary getaway from their jobs. Now here I am, sharing my words, pictures, and videos with you, a complete stranger, supporting family member, or curious friend. This means a lot to me, well beyond money, or awards and accolades. Just the very feeling of sharing is enough for me, and with that being said, I hope you enjoy my site. Thank you . . .