Panama City Beach

That Time I Was Accidentally Forced To Create A Photography Page

In my last blog post I discussed what first got me interested in photography. In this post, I'll rehash a pretty funny story about how I was basically forced to create a photography page and start to take my hobby semi seriously. 

A few months after I first got interested in photography, I decided I should merge it with another passion of mine; surfing. Why it took months for it to dawn on me I should try surf photography, I have no clue. When it did finally click, there was an upcoming surf competition in Panama City Beach called the Mr. Surf's Cold Water Classic. As an aside, being a New Yorker who grew up surfing in snow storms, I found it amusing that Floridians had a competition called the Cold Water Classic. But to be fair, the water was cool enough you needed a wetsuit, so I'll give them that. 

I decided this competition would be a great opportunity to try my hand at surf photography. It was just down the street from my house, so why not. I walked down to the beach, took pictures for a little while, and went back home to see what I caught. At the time I was still using my Nikon P510, and only had the Nikon editing software that came with your camera when you bought it. I didn't know the first thing about editing. Color correction, white balance, exposure, highlights, etc. were all completely foreign terms to me. I basically just played with the editing tools and just eyeballed it. Whatever I thought looked good, I went with. And I had one shot that I was pretty happy with.

This shot of Matt Zimmer in Panama City Beach, FL is the shot that really started everything for me.

This shot of Matt Zimmer in Panama City Beach, FL is the shot that really started everything for me.

This was my best shot of the day. I had a handful of others that turned out okay, but I was pretty stoked with this. So I sent the picture to the owner of Mr. Surf's Surf Shop who hosted the competition, Tony Johnson aka 'Mr. Surfs'. I basically said "Hey Tony, I caught a good shot at the comp today, check it out!"  Well Tony liked it also, and he posted it on Facebook . But what he said with the image was "Great shot from today. Rich Brooks has a bunch of professional shots from today's competition, go check them out!"

That was nice of Tony. The only problem was, I didn't! I didn't have a bunch of shots, and I certainly didn't have a photography page! I only had my personal page with all the security settings that no one would've been able to find me. So I spent that Saturday and Saturday night editing a handful of pictures so I at least had something to post, and then figuring out how to create a Facebook page for my photography. And that's the time I was accidentally forced to create a photography page. 

Hope everyone has a great week. Cheers!

Where Did This All Start?

I thought the most appropriate topic to first get into on the blog would be how this whole thing even began.  

I moved to Panama City Beach, FL in the spring of 2012. I was still in the Navy at the time, and somehow hit the billet jackpot and was assigned to be the Port Operations Officer in the beautiful spring break capital of the world. The spring break piece actually wasn't as bad as anticipated, but the landscape was also much more beautiful than I had anticipated. I had never been to the Gulf Coast before I moved there, and I was blown away. White sandy beaches and clear turquoise water, it was like I moved to the Caribbean. Add in the fact that PCB is also situated on a little piece of land sticking out from the panhandle of Florida so that it actually faces a little to the west, so the sun sets over the water. Basically, it was probably the prettiest place I've ever lived. 


This was the first picture I took on my first trip to the beach, with my iPhone. 

This was the first picture I took on my first trip to the beach, with my iPhone. 

I was never interested in photography, or any form of art for that matter. I had a bad art teacher when I was a kid, and I hated art for years. Fast forward a bunch of years, and at 26 years old armed with all this new technology like camera phones and Instagram, I realized I had an interest in photography.  But it was really the landscape of Panama City Beach that peaked my interest, and after a few months of living there I decided I wanted to start capturing the gorgeous landscape of my new home. My mom bought me my first camera as an early Christmas gift (thanks Mom!); a Nikon P510 ultrazoom. I have owned point and shoots before when I was younger, but this is what I consider to really be my first camera. 

So that's where this all started. A beautiful new town, and a Nikon P510. And in the next blog post, I'll tell you how I was accidentally forced to start taking surf photography seriously. It's an amusing story.