This is a very old (40 years) plein air drawing:
These are older paintings from photographic references:
Up until a couple of years ago I was taking snapshots with a point and shoot camera. When I retired from my job in June of 2009 I decided to move up to a DSLR camera. At the time the Nikon D5000 was relatively new and being promoted heavily, so that's what I bought. I've found that the learning curve for the camera and photography in general is pretty steep. I shot in auto mode for at least the first year and a half. I found this web site, Digital Photography School (DPS), and it has become particularly helpful as a tutorial and reference tool.
Early examples from the Nikon D5000:
I'm finding photography to be much more demanding technically - that is, I find it to be much less intuitive than other visual art mediums. Most of the process of photography seems to be in the "getting-ready-to-make-the-picture" and once you're ready to shoot, if you're lucky, you'll still have a subject to shoot. The natural world slips in and out of moods with the blink of an eye. At some point I would like to be technically proficient enough to be able to focus more on the subject than the camera and not be so dependent on post-production software to save a poorly shot picture.
Whereas my painting method is almost totally right-brained, I find that photography is a close harmony between the left and the right brain. I've also found that what I do with a camera and what I do with paint are almost completely opposite in terms of subject and style. The camera is filling a hollow space in my creativity. It allows me the contact with the external natural world that is lacking in my current painting process.
These two images illustrate the vast difference between my photography and painting styles:
I hope, one day, to be able to confidently call myself a photographer as well as a painter. Bear with me while I grope my way to that goal.