A hobbyist photographer, I first picked up a camera as a way to share my love of the outdoors with my friends and family. Looking back, those initial shots--from a trip to the Alaskan bush to volunteer on a political campaign--are pretty awful! I didn't understand what all those buttons on a camera meant, let alone how to find good light and composition, or post process an image. But that initial foray quickly turned into a strong passion as I honed my newfound skills. While I am not a professional and have a long way to go, I hope to use this as an opportunity to learn from the many talented and accomplished photographers both on the jury and in this community.