Written 1/1/10. Updated 06/08/2011, 11/17/2011 and 08/25/12.
Welcome to you old-timer NikonSniper bloggies. I also want to welcome the many new people that have fallen off a log into the NikonSniper blog over the last several months. Thank you for coming. I thought I would tell you a little bit of what NikonSniper is all about.
First, ... my name is Stephen Baird and I am from Woodstock, Illinois for the last 24 years but my life has also had long stints in the Dallas area as well as the Toronto area. I am no spring chicken any more. I was born on the day that President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the National Aeronautics and Space Act (NASA) so I am truly "space age". I have actually outlived the space age as of this writing.
I have been taking pictures for more than 33 years and many of them are still completely horrible. For many of those years, I majored in family video rather than still photography as our 5 children were growing up, playing sports, and getting into trouble. I have literally thousands of photo prints from the film days ... so I paid my financial dues so to speak. Now I am grandpa to 6 darling girls and our first grandson is due to arrive any day now. About 11 years ago I began taking digital photos and have collected hundreds of thousands of them since. My wife and I were the only ones to ever look at them because I kept them in digital form only and they just kept filling up hard drives.
Less than 4 years ago, I began to post some of the photos on NikonSniper for extended family to see. I knew nothing of blogging. I still don't write that much on the blog because I really don't want to tell you too much about the photos before you decide what a photo means to you. I don't want to crowd your thoughts with mine. I am always fascinated by which photos people respond to favorably.
Why the name NikonSniper? Well, I have had a few friends that are hunting and fishing types over the years and I was never that much on hunting animals for food. But, I have hunted the same animals with many cameras and I believe I did it with the same excitement. I guess I have always felt like a bit of a sissy with the hunting to kill side of that equation.
It was ironic how similar the hunt would be with a camera. I spent hours and hours of my weeks aiming a zoom lens at turtles or red-winged black birds to get that perfect shot. I practiced doing what many hunters did even to approach an animal and yet I just carried my Nikon. No fellas, ... I wasn't a complete sissy. I had a Federal Firearms License for many years and still own handguns but I was more of a target shooter than a hunter. So, if you can, think of NikonSniper as a name for a guy that would rather shoot moose with a Nikon than a rifle (unless that moose was trying to stomp me into the ground).
As I mentioned, I live in Illinois. For nearly 25 years, I worked in the printing industry and traveled to visit customers around the world. I have spent a great deal of time more recently in Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, Colorado and Arizona. And, yes, ... I DO haul my camera everywhere I travel and I photograph between 10-15 thousand photos per month. NikonSniper has become a mix of work travel photo opportunities and personal trips to many other places. I have a huge backlog of files in order to keep things mixed up so that you never know what you will see next as you scroll through the files.
My favorite place on this planet is Australia. Australia is very special to me because I had a photographic awakening there in 2005 while on our 25th Wedding Anniversary. I began to see the incredible beauty of creation on that trip. In a very new way, I came home with opened eyes to the many very simple and beautiful things that God has placed all around us every day of our lives. I have continued to record them to show others near and far from the flatlands of Illinois.
I want NikonSniper to be an encouragement to you. Only you can see and photograph the world that is close to you. Only you can report on that beauty that is uniquely yours. I learn from everyone I see post photos. Many of you may wonder how on earth I found your blogs. I find them many many ways but the way I prefer to find them is to find others that list photography as an interest. You all teach me new ways and some very cool ideas to bring to photography.
I hope you enjoy yourselves while stopping here. I love to hear your comments. And Yes, you can call me a sissy if you are a real hunter. Welcome aboard.
All the best to you in 2012 and beyond!