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Rachel Rippie

I am a Digital Photographer. Not only is digital my medium, but my evolution as a photographer has been shaped by developing digital technology. Before digital, photography was a mystery to me. I appreciated it, but could not figure out how to produce it reliably on my own. I would take snapshots sparingly, with days or months between frames, and have them developed even months later. By the time I saw the images I barely remembered taking them let alone the camera settings I had chosen or in some cases what my intent had been. I could not rely on recreating anything I had done if I liked it, and if I didn't like it I had no idea how to avoid similar mistakes in the future. Very frustrating! Digital technology changed all that. I could instantly SEE what I had done, right or wrong, and make adjustments in the moment. And with that, I could see how those adjustments effected my images. The slope of the learning curve was lessened, and learning to take better pictures was instantly rewarding. And fun. Every step I have taken to improve in skill or add to my toolbox of equipment has been motivated by the joy of seeing my visions, my moments, captured in time. I think that that is what excites me most about photography, whether it is a landscape, an architectural detail, an animal, or just an emotional essence. I have caught a moment in time as I saw it and as I want to show it to others.
Raul Touzon, a National Geographic photographer with whom I studied said something that changed forever how I think when I take pictures. He said that you don't "take" pictures, you MAKE them. Every choice I make, from equipment to time of day, from my angle in relation to the subject to what I chose to leave out of the frame, goes into the creation of my photograph. Another person can not have the same picture even if they stood right next to me as I took it. When asked to define myself as a photographer, I struggled. I enjoy taking pictures of so many things that I didn't want to limit myself by labeling my genre. That is how I came to create the term Digital Photographer. I take pictures of things that catch my eye and digital allows an immediate confirmation of the moment. I have recorded the world as I saw it and now I can share my vision with others.

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  • Illinois, USA