For my birthday in June 2003, I bought myself a digital camera. My Canon PowerShot A70 takes 3.2 megapixel pictures, with adjustable aperture and exposure time settings. Since then I've really started discovering the artistic side I never knew I had.

Some people are much more technical than artistic, and others are much more artistic than technical. I used to think I was in the former group, and my skills with computers proved the point. But once I got my hand on that camera, I found out that I really could create things that I felt were beautiful. Go figure.

It's not like I switch modes, though. I used to think that was the case, but I've found that my artistic projects almost always involve deep technical processes as well. Things have to line up just so, this object needs to be described by this mathematical process, etc. The math is beautiful in its own right.

Then I realized that, all along, my technical projects, whether they involved programming, construction, repairs, or anything else... those were always beautiful too. I strive to write elegant, flowing code, and I love a nice, crisp, clean solution. Something probably wasn't right unless the math worked out "nicely". So it's been in there the whole time.

Fast forward to Christmas, 2003. Thanks to the parents, now I have Paint Shop Pro 8, the new version that includes a user-accessible scripting API. Now I can write scripts to create visual effects. Suddenly I'm able to bring both sides of my mind fully into the process. My projects involve scripts, and the scripts themselves involve beautiful mathematical principles, with simple and elegant algorithms. The process looks as good as the end result.

I fall firmly in the "amateur" end of the photography world. I'm self-taught, and I haven't even done that much reading on how to get good shots or find good subjects. Mostly, I shoot things I find interesting, using settings that make things look nice, and to hell with the way it's supposed to be done. The results, of course, are a slew of bad images, but I like to think at least a few of my shots are worth something.

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