Pikes Peak, Garden of the Gods, and Rock Ledge Ranch, Colorado (© F. P. Dorchak, November 27, 2016)

Pikes Peak, Garden of the Gods, and Rock Ledge Ranch, Colorado (© F. P. Dorchak, November 27, 2016)

I used to take a lot of pictures. I used to have a Sears KSX 35mm camera.

Then it broke.

Life moved on…but I always thought about that camera. Missed taking “those kinds” of pictures.

Then, earlier this year…around Spring or early Summer…I suddenly got the most intense impulse to get back into photography again. Real bad. I don’t know what “clicked,” pardon the pun, but something inside me just kept nagging…photographySLR camerasphotography. I started looking into the various cameras…talking to everyone I knew who dealt with any kind of photography, a couple of professionals I know (thanks, Scott P. and Jan C J Jones!). Started pricing those bad boys. Yeah…ouch. Not cheap…but you know, you get what you pay for. I remained patient…kept watching…reading up on them. Thought about going used…realized I didn’t have the experience to discern being ripped off, thought Scott P. said he’d gladly help me out. But the more I thought about the whole logistics of it all, it just seemed a bit much having to synchronize our schedules, reading through all the ads, ferreting out all the chaff, et cetera x 2…

Branches (© F. P. Dorchak, December 10, 2016)

Branches (© F. P. Dorchak, December 10, 2016)

Then came Black Friday.

Newspaper ads.

Wife asks “Is that the camera you’d been looking at?

I see the ad, and couldn’t believe it. A local camera shop was offering a camera and dual-lens deal that I’d previous not even seen for just the camera body (sometimes DSLR cameras are sold without any lens, just its body).

I jumped on it!

Ever since November 25th, I’ve been messing around with my Nikon D3400—and I love it!

I love the heft of it, the feel in my hands, the images it captures. How sturdy and solid it is. It’s design. I have nothing whatsoever against Canons…for one reason or the other, I’ve always been partial to Nikons…even at their physical design level—their look.

In short, holding that camera in-hand: I feel like I’ve come home.

Dark-eyed, Gray-Headed Junco (© F. P. Dorchak, December 18, 2016)

Dark-eyed, Gray-Headed Junco (© F. P. Dorchak, December 18, 2016)

It’s weird…I’m not a professional in any sense of the word when it comes to photography, but having camera in-hand and taking images of life (and death—I’m a fan of cemeteries) around me just feels so natural! Like writing. When I was in high school, I was on the year book staff as a photographer. I loved taking pictures! I loved being “that guy”…roaming around the school annoying everyone with a 35mm camera and capturing images of school, my friends, of the daily living we were all doing…and seeing some of those images being used in the yearbook.

Later, I remember my mom buying me that Sears KSX Super. I think I was in college? I remember taking all kinds of shots with it, and loving how they came out—on film. Yes, I was around in the Caveman Days of B.D. (Before Digital). I still love film. There’s just a “natural look” to it…especially over time…as the photographs “age.” Sure, now there are digital effects one can apply, but it’s just not the same. One day, I really want to get my old KSX fixed and do some film again.

Now I feel reconnected with my old amateur photographer self.  Which is, in and of itself  interesting. It seems I’ve done a lot of the retro/introspective visiting this year, including having gone through all my old short stories…then also returning to photography. When I was talking with Scott about getting back into it all, I told him that I didn’t plan on getting all gonzo into it—I have my fiction writing—and he said that’s what he said…and now he has a photography business. And when I told him I’d bought my Nikon, he congratulated me, then added: “This can be the start of a real bad habit.


Might his words prove prophetic?

I hope not. I am a fiction writer first and foremost, but, damn it, I do love taking pictures! But I plan on keeping it easygoing. Check back with me this time next year.

Red Lion Amaryllis (© F. P. Dorchak, December 29, 2016)

Red Lion Amaryllis (© F. P. Dorchak, December 29, 2016)

I love capturing the images I’m capturing now…amazed at their quality! I’ve been doing a lot of flower shots with the Red Lion amaryllis I’m growing—it’s a natural subject, and oh, so damned gorgeous!—but I’ve also taken shots of tree branches and birds. Landscapes. I’ve put together another page on my blog site where I’ve started included some of the better ones. My wife liked one of my Gray-headed, Black-eyed Junco (bird) images so much she asked if I could frame it! What an incredible compliment! Thank you, hon!

There is so much capability to this Nikon that I’ve signed up for two photography classes as a local camera shop. One is from an actual Nikon manufacturer rep. I’m really looking forward to these!

My First 35mm Camera! Sears KSX. (© F. P. Dorchak, December 29, 2016)

My First 35mm Camera! Sears KSX. (© F. P. Dorchak, December 29, 2016)

Then I found another amateur photographer out there through my posts—well, actually, she found me through another friend’s blogs it turns out we both read—and her photography is absolutely stunning! You really have to check out her work! She goes by “Queen Farm Chick,” she’s a farmer, but she carries her camera with her when she hits the fields, and the images she captures are truly incredible…professional grade. I’m a huge fan of her work, so, please, go check her out!

So, here I go…back into the world of [D]SLR photography! I’m looking forward to it, enjoying the collected imagery, and hope to share much more with you all in these posts!

As always, thank you all for following and reading my work—I hope my photos will also get your attention—and I wish you all a Happy New Year!

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About fpdorchak

Upmarket paranormal fiction author. I write gritty, Twilight Zone-like fiction. Please check out my website:! Thank you for stopping by!
This entry was posted in Art, Fun, Leisure, Photography, To Be Human and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Photography

  1. fpdorchak says:

    And, BTW, all these files are compressed way down from their original, 10 or 12 M files for this blog.

  2. Karen Lin says:

    Au contraire. Getting back into photography is finding, once again, the visual aspect of storytelling. I think it will helo you to add vivid, relevant details in your writing. And besides, no film development cost! Cheaper to tell those stories now.

  3. xtian54 says:

    Welcome back! Quite a few of mine are posted at,,, and I scanned some of the shots I did way-back-when with my Argus C3, and they look pretty good.

    And I echo what Karen wrote.

    All the best, old friend.

    • fpdorchak says:

      Hey, Mike! Thanks and thanks for stopping by!

      I’ve scanned some images, but many have that scanned “warp” to them, since I used a mini hand-scanner (i.e., a scanner “bar”) you literally swipe the length of the images. I’m hoping with my new camera and update tripod I can take pictures of them and have them look 1000% better!

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