Welcome to Composed and Focused!

What and Why I'm Writing


Hello everyone!


This is the inaugural post for Composed and Focused. My name is Aaron and I've been into photography since 2005!


My photographic journey began simply because I had to take an art class in high school to graduate. Now, for reference, I actually majored in Engineering, so art at the time seemed more like a possible distraction than something I should pursue seriously. For better or worse, my art teacher was a photographer who spent more time teaching his craft than things like sculpture and drawing. I was hooked! Making photographs required a totally different mindset and skill than I was used to and I enjoyed the mental exercise. We used Holgas but I quickly asked for a camera (a Sony point and shoot) for my birthday. The following Christmas, I asked for an SLR and got a Canon 20D with the 17-85mm lens. Been hooked ever since!


Now, I've given a somewhat brief blurb for some of my photographic history, but that doesn't explain the purpose of this blog. Over the years, I've gotten questions from family, friends, and complete strangers as to how I go about planning or making photos. Before, I would try to write notes on posts I made to social media, but I found that those platforms didn't really allow for the sometimes longform articles that would fully explain pictures. As such, I thought I would start writing more seriously here.


You should expect to see a few kinds of posts here:


Techniques and Explanations of What I Think Makes for Good Photographs

Notice that I didn't say "rules"! While there are things you can generally do to make for good images, that doesn't meant that they should be rigidly adhered to.


Equipment Explanations and Reviews

I've used a variety of different cameras over the years and I figured I should write up the results and feelings I get after intimately using equipment! These will run the range from cameras and lenses to peripherals like filters and bags. While some would say "You're just doing this for potential affiliate links", I'll be honest and say that it's largely to remind myself of how to use different items and why I like some more than others (I'll say more on this later).


Art and Artists I Like and Why

Despite the short art class I took, I'd consider myself mostly self-taught…but truthfully, is anyone TRULY self-taught? I'll write about art and artists that I like and how they influenced my expression. Plus, I enjoy appreciating the work of others (my personal spaces are decorated with the art of others!) and hope to pay that forward.


Breakdowns of My Own Trips and Photos

Lastly, I'll do writeups of my trips and photos! This includes planning, preparation, recaps, and why I took certain pictures. Hopefully, this isn't the least interesting part of the site, haha.


Where possible, I'll link to good articles that explain things better than I can.


One more thing: I'm not just writing for others…I'm also writing for myself. I do forget how to use certain things and why I like pieces of equipment over others, so I'm hoping this blog will keep me on my own toes! Something like a reference that I can look to, especially if something happens to me and I have to reteach myself!


Anyway, I think that's enough for an inaugural post. Do reach out and contact me if there's something you have questions/want to know more about something and feel free to share this site/my info to people who may be interested!