Recently my hobbies have become the only things that I do when I’m not doing school. After school, I pick up my camera and head outside to take photos of whatever I see. I’ll grab my guitar and practice Stairway (I’ve been playing for three and a half years. I never learned it, okay?) for a half hour. I find myself writing posts for this blog… and never finishing them, even though they’re perfectly good. I used to really be into things like Minecraft and drawing and birding. I still like them, but less so now that I have photography, guitar, blogging.
I used to be totally obsessed with birdwatching. I would try to evangelize to my friends about how great birding was, and a lot of them were probably pretty weirded out. I kept a little notebook in which I recorded every bird species I saw that day. I had multiple bird journals, and at one point I tried to start a bird club. It was a total flop. I thought that people actually would want to read stuff from a twelve-year-old who was obsessed with birds. Didn’t work so well. I also tried Birds, Binoculars, Field Guides, Oh My! and that didn’t go super great either. I actually got more views per day than I do here, and that blog was strictly about birds. Of course, I only told every single person I knew about it. I ended it right before I started BFSK.
I’ve been playing guitar for a long time. I got my first guitar on my eleventh birthday. It was a 2/3 sized acoustic, and it had the wrong strings so it was really hard to play. I had it for two and a half years. The next year I got a Fender Starcaster, which is basically a cheap Strat. I sold it to my brother’s best friend, and he’s turned it into a twenty one pilots electric, and it looks awesome. Right before I got rid of it, I bought a Mitchell acoustic, which is my only guitar right now. I’ve taken lessons the entire time I’ve been playing – all from the same guy, too. I still love it and I’m still learning, as I will be my entire life.
My latest obsession is photography. I started taking photos in 2013, and I learned that I absolutely loved it. My first camera was a 2011 Nikon Coolpix L22. After I broke it in a Chili’s in Indiana, I bought a Canon Powershot SX160 IS in late 2013. I would bring it to school and stuff it in my bag, and eventually, the shutter button literally popped out. I sent it back and didn’t have another camera for months. It sucked. I finally bought a Canon PowerShot SX520 HS last year in August. It’s served me really well! I still use it daily. Recently I ordered a Canon EOS Rebel T5, but I haven’t received it yet.
It started when some red-tailed hawks started raising a family in a pine tree near our house. Our neighbor was nice enough to let me and my little brother come into her backyard whenever we wanted. I had my Nikon back then. The pictures and video of the hawks weren’t that great, but I still remember how much fun I had and how excited I was to show my dad that I got a picture of a bird. When I look at camera mechanics, it fascinates me. All that camera jargon about aperture and auto exposure bracketing and AF points? I soaked it all in. Now my head is full of that stuff. It’s really helped me! I learn quickly about something I really enjoy, and photography was definitely one of those things. Now I get out my camera at least once a day. There’s always a new thing, a new angle, a new light. That’s what keeps me hooked – the fact that there’s always something new about it that I haven’t discovered.
The way I take photos has evolved over the past three years. I used to try to put the subject in the center every single time. I never really got the lighting right, either. Like in this (captive) owl picture, the lighting is really bright on the owl and the background is super dark. That photo is from 2014 when I attended a raptor rehab meeting at a park by my house. Since then, the way I take pictures has changed – a lot. Part of the reason it’s changed so much is the equipment I use, but another part is that I’ve just gotten better at it. One of my favorite things to do now is to go on photo shoots at gardens and try to get that perfect angle.
Apparently in the past few years, my interests have changed. I go through manias at a time – One year it was birds, another it was drawing, now it’s guitar and photography. What hobbies do you have?