It All Started With an Oak

When I think back on it now, my journey in photography began with an oak tree, a row of oaks to be more precise. This row of oaks that lines the road to Stewartfield on the campus of Spring Hill College, known formally as the Avenue of the Oaks, enchanted my imagination long before my days as a student at the college. To me, it was one of the most beautiful sites in the city of Mobile, my hometown, which I have always loved.

When I was a child, we would ride by the Avenue often and I would always gaze out the window at the majestic, century-old trees. I figured they had been there since the beginning of time. Back then, I had no idea that when I grew up and graduated from high school, I'd find myself on this same Avenue, for an orientation ceremony. I didn't know I'd end up spending the majority of my college career in the classrooms of the building perched on the corner of this grand road, or be sitting there in the sweltering sun in 2006 as a graduate.

It was in a classroom near the Avenue that I took an introductory photography class in the summer of 2005. It was under the shade of the oaks on the Avenue that I learned how the earliest, most primitive photographs were taken. Mr. Loehr, our professor and master photographer, made a camera out of a shoe box and used it to take a photograph of our class. We all crowded in the darkroom to watch him develop the print. I was mesmerized by the thought of painting with light. That was the day I began my journey in photography. Armed with my dad's Canon AE-1 and many rolls of film, I began this journey.

Almost immediately, I fell in love with natural light and learned from my professors to look for it, appreciate it and use it to create a vision. Many days, I feel my journey in photography is just beginning and other days I can't believe how much time has passed since that first day of photography class under the Avenue. The oaks are still embracing the Avenue and my heart still skips a beat when I turn my car down the drive. The majesty of an oak is indescribable. I attempt to capture this in a photograph, but my journey is still young. This blog is my attempt to document my journey in photography. I welcome you to follow along.