Downtown Omaha, from 16th and Jackson.
The First National Tower under construction.
Today marks the tenth anniversary of the first day I picked up a camera and attempted to make photographs in an artistic sort of way. It was a fairly warm Easter Sunday and I was living in an apartment in downtown Omaha. I remember a homeless man preaching to me about Jesus as I walked down Jackson Street. And it was the day that Joey Ramone passed away.
I had just purchased a Sony digital camera on a whim. To be honest, I don't really remember why I felt I needed to spend $350 on something I really didn't have much use for at the time. It had a 1.3 megapixel sensor and the 64 mb (!) memory stick I purchased to go with the camera cost $130. Most of the photographs from those first few months are taken at awkward angles, something I must have felt gave the images a more authentically artistic bent. Most were taken in the camera's black and white mode, another important aspect of overly artsy photographs.
In those days, I was completely up in the air about where my life was headed. My first serious relationship had ended a year before and I was just about to go back to college in pursuit of a psychology degree. I ran a fairly popular punk music website and had vague dreams of starting a record label or opening a club. But, like most of the people I knew at the time, I just was sort of hanging around, hoping something would catch my eye.
Somehow, photography clicked with me. It was still quite some time before I found myself and really became interested in art, but the foundation was there early on. Ten years later, I feel like I'm still learning and improving, and I've actually gotten to the point where I can refer to myself as an artist with a straight face. I look forward to a lifetime of possibilities.
Below are a few more photographs from those first few months.