My family has been spending time on Cape Cod for decades. For many years, we drove past a simple white house with black shutters. Outside was a plain white wooden sign with black painted words that said: "Richard Perry. Lawyer". A few years ago, we noticed that the sign had changed to read: "Richard Perry. Artist". It blew my mind. Look what people can do! I've practiced law and run a small legal technology business for many years. And while I'm not ready to call myself an artist, Richard gave me the push I needed to pick up my camera, go outside, and do something I'd been "meaning to do" for years.
So, after years of waffling, equivocating and generally avoiding it, I finally got real about photography a few years ago. Yeah, I had a bathroom darkroom in high school and all that. But the bar to being a teenage photo guy was pretty low and I got by with a few Ansel wannabe shots and a decent grasp of jargon. As an adult I remained interested, but there was the matter of kids, a career and a general unwillingness to take risks. So it was vacation snaps, and lots of 'em. Once the kids left home, and work slowed down, I had more time. I was going to spend more time on photography "one of these days". It just wasn't clear in what century those days would be.
Finally, a number of years ago, I just thought "why not?" So I decided to take the chance of falling down and committed to trying.
But before I could play, it turned out I had a lot of learning to do. My tricks and jargon from high school were completely obsolete, so it was on to many hours of photography and Photoshop articles, tutorials and - Amen! - YouTube videos. Hundreds of YouTube videos... And then hours of practice, just trying to learn some of the moves.
As I began this new journey, I quickly realized how vital the editing process was. Part of my self education made me realize that I had to start shooting in RAW format. But my shock and dismay when I saw my first RAW images - flat, lifeless and dull - was profound. They looked much worse than the JPGs I had been shooting. It was clear that RAW held great potential, containing vastly more data than JPGs. It was also clear that it would take work to coax that information out and and transform the "naked" RAW file into something that looked like what my eye had seen.
So I got busy with Lightroom and Photoshop. This site is, as much as anything, to give others who are where I was hope. Yes!, RAW is better. Yes!, it takes work. But it is possible. In addition to learning the technical stuff, learning to look at a RAW file and see potential in it is a new and necessary skill. So, here you can see what things were and what they became. And then, go forth and prosper.
Sorry, too many words already. I hope you have fun looking at the images in their "naked" and "fully dressed" states.