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Artist - Maine Is A State of Mind

I am as they call it up in these parts a “true Maine native”. I was born and raised in this great state as was my parents and grandparents before me. I reside in Franklin county in the western central part of the state about six miles from the place of my birth. I grew up on the family dairy farm owned by my father and grandfather. Besides the farm life there was also an occasional get away for a few hours (usually on a rainy day) to a nearby brook in which we often brought home a few brookies for the fry pan. Hunting was also something that we found a little time for in the fall trying to bag the elusive whitetail deer. These outdoor experiences growing up have made a lasting impression on me. I have never tired of exploring the beauty and wonder of the creation and try now to capture the moments, the wildlife, and the special places I encounter as I travel the back roads of Maine with my camera.

I bought my first camera while out yard saleing. I found a wicked good deal on a fixed lens 35mm Minolta film camera that worked very well taking scenics. My photography hobby took off as I took this camera with me wherever I went and started to bring home the images I had captured while exploring, hunting, fishing and camping around the great state of Maine. Sharing these images with others who have a common appreciation of the beauty Maine holds in her fields, forests, lakes, streams, and country farmsteads has been especially rewarding.

I eventually moved up to a SLR Canon Elan IIE(film) camera with a couple of zoom lenses to go with it and really enjoyed experimenting with these interchangeable lenses trying new approaches to the subjects I was photographing. The advantage the photographer has over the control and creativity of their subject matter using a SLR camera was soon obvious.

My change over to digital format has come later. It was a mishap I had up north in a cold mountain stream that hastened my switch over to digital. I had crawled down and off to the side of a cascading waterfalls that emptied into a large pool below to get the perfect composed shot of my granddaughter holding onto the brookie she had just hooked and retrieved out of that big pool. My four year old granddaughter was on her first overnight camping/fishing trip with grampaw up in “the big woods”. I was about to capture the memory of a lifetime but the split second before my finger pressed the shutter release button it happened! With the suddenness of a broken shoe lace my feet went out from under me. I tumbled roughly to the bottom of the falls to the very edge of the deep swirling pool and nearly rolled in. I laid still for a few seconds then slowly got up, checked the sore body parts and decided it was no worse than cuts and bruises. As I was climbing my way back to the top of the ledges I spotted my camera. My heart immediately sank! There it rested in the bottom of a cupped out waterhole totally submerged under water. I survived the spill but my camera and lens were both ruined. I went without a camera for some time as the finance situation for me at the time could not justify the expense of a new camera. (I now carry insurance on all camera gear). To shorten the story my parents gave me a very generous Christmas gift and I was able to purchase the Canon 30D digital camera I now use. ( update: I have also purchased a Canon 40D as well)

I did a lot of research before I decided to jump into digital. It is not a move that I regret although I was hesitant at the time. Not because I doubted the technology and the results of getting great images because the best pro photographers had already been using the digital format for some time praising the results and of how far digital had come. The hesitancy was because of the learning curve I knew I would have to undergo. You see my brain is not wired for computers or all this new fangled gadgetry. I was pretty much computer illiterate with no knowledge of software for photography.

My concerns over the knowledge and skill I needed to acquire to be successful as a nature photographer with digital tools and computers I soon found was not unwarranted. I decided to take a sequence of digital photography workshops at Maine Media Workshops in Rockport Maine. A decision I have not regretted. Sitting under professionals in the field who know and use digital cameras and computer software for photographers was very beneficial.  Before the workshops I had been pretty much self taught from reading books and articles and trial and error.

There is still a ton to learn and I am never content as to where I am as a photographer. My brain is still slow in the computer department but “I will” persevere through all the computer glitches, frustrating software problems and my own technological mental deficiencies.

When exploring with my camera I strive not only to help people see what I have captured in my wanderings but help them feel and experience it as well. The better I do at that the better others can appreciate the creation in general and the state of Maine in particular where I do most of my photographing. If you are a “true Maine native” you probably already know and for those of you who are not I hope to convince you that  MAINE is a STATE of MIND!
Enjoy it!
Thayden

Maine Is A State of Mind Products

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