My name is Don Hanson and I live in Abilene, Texas. I’m a freelance digital photographer. My interests as a photographer include live music, action, nature, and architecture photography.
Currently, my main focus as a photographer is live music. A lot of the bands in the Abilene area are finding it difficult to publicize themselves, and affordable photography is something they need. Through Facebook I met a member of the band Three Shades Blue, and we got to talking. I asked him if it would be alright to photograph one of their shows. I had never done that, and it sounded like a fun challenge. My first photography shoot for them was at the Little Texas nightclub in Abilene. They play a lot of Southern Rock music, so there was a lot of action to capture. Their drummer is truly an action drummer. It seems like he literally puts everything he has into every song.
The camera that I used that night was an Olympus SP-565UZ point and shoot. It cost me $300 new, and I wasn’t sure it would do a very good job. I took a tripod and a remote shutter release. I didn’t know what to expect as far as the results I would get.
As it turned out, the band thought my images were great. I was pleasantly surprised. I’ve had several people encourage me for some time to become a serious photographer, so I’ve set out to become just that. A serious photographer that has fun at what he’s doing.
I’m drawn to action photography more than anything else. Whether it’s birds flying up to a feeder, live music, bull riding, drag racing, or running horses, action is what I like to capture. I used to think that the goal was to photograph everything in perfect focus and tack sharp, but I learned that sometimes I want the blurry out of focus image. That helps to bring the image to life and show the action as it was in that split second. I’ve learned that there is a lot of action in live music, and occasionally a magical image is captured.
I’m also interested in nature photography. Here again, action is my favorite type of image. I put up some feeders in my front yard in the summer of 2011 to attract birds. I was having trouble at the time trying to come up with ideas of something to photograph. It struck me that by feeding the birds, the subjects would come to me. It was a lot of fun learning how to capture images of the birds. I took quite a few photographs of the birds sitting on the feeders or tree limbs. I had difficulty catching them in flight, and learned from reading on the Internet that anticipating the action of the birds was key. Focusing the camera on a spot where I knew the birds would eventually fly up to, and then snapping the photo as the birds came into the viewfinder. Then I set the camera to capture sequential images, and ended up with a few series of photos showing the birds coming in for a landing.
An area that really fascinates me as far as architecture goes is old structures, whether it’s an abandoned barn or hospital. I’ve always had a habit of imagining events that may have happened in an old building, and the people that passed through there. An old structure that is still in use can be interesting as well, such as an office building.
I’ve learned a lot, and will continue to learn. I would encourage anyone that has a dream to follow it, and don’t wait till you think you’re totally ready. If you wait, that time will never come. Just step out with some faith and courage, and try to do something. That’s what I did with photography. I had a cheap little camera that I knew was underpowered, but I tried it anyway and got some great results. I could have waited until I had a bunch of high end camera equipment, but may have never bought any because I wouldn’t have known how much I like photography.
There’s always a reason to avoid trying. A long time ago I had a really cheap electric guitar, and was learning how to play it. I got into a conversation with an older man about playing a guitar. I told him about my instrument and how sorry it was. He said something I’ll never forget. He said “Son, if you can learn to make a bad guitar sound good, just imagine what you could do with a great one.” I believe that bit of philosophy applies to a lot of things.
Now you know a little bit about me and the photography that I do. I hope you enjoy my work. Thanks for stopping by.