I moved to Oklahoma in the Fall of 2007 to attend the University of Oklahoma. As an undergraduate at OU, I picked up my first “real” film camera and my interest in photography grew. I started with a simple Canon Rebel film camera. I stuck with black and white mainly because my biggest influence into photography is Ansel Adams. I feel like many photographers experiment with flowers at the start. Flowers are pretty. Flowers don’t move/change rapidly that way I can take multiple shots to see how every setting worked. I would sit down with the camera, tripod and a notebook and log each setting for each slide. After getting them developed I would compare it to the settings to really understand how each part worked. It was a long process but I found it the best way to understand the basics of aperture, shutter speed, etc. The faster I could get out of the automated modes and into shooting manual, the better.
I loved to get around with the camera after I got comfortable enough to catch people in action. I came across this street performer in Bricktown, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. He was out there juggling knives, bowling balls and jazz. I was losing interest but then the fire sticks came out. Luckily I stuck around long enough to get this. Early in my career, this was my favorite photo. Even now actually, 6 years later, it still is one of my favorites.