For those of you who don’t know, when it comes to photography I’m what you might call a late starter. I became interested in photography after joining the US Navy in 1981 and my first camera, the Canon AE1 Program (left) cost half of my monthly salary. I was living in Italy and shooting with film was crazy expensive, plus I was a really crappy shooter. To save money, I sent my film to a company in California, they would develop the film as slides and send them back; it was cheap. Then I could pick out the keepers, send back the slides, and they would return the slides with prints. Why all this? Well, it prevented paying for multiple blurry photos shot with different settings (the crappy shooter thing) but it also took weeks to get prints. At just twenty years old, living in Italy, I wisely chose sell the camera gear and spend the extra cash on Napolitan pizza, pasta, and European beer. In the last years of my Navy career, I took up photography again with a little Sony DSC-W7 digital camera
and eventually moved to DSLR’s. This photo of Mount Vesuvius, at right called Morning Blues was taken with that camera. Retiring in 2011 after 30 years as a US Navy Musician, my remained on active duty. By 2014, photography was getting to be a serious hobby so I began blogging, it was a way to post what I was doing as well as talk about my photos. I currently hold the titles of military retiree, military dependent, and stay at home dad which is WAY harder than it sounds. In the summer of 2017, my wife transferred and we moved from Coronado, CA to the Washington, DC area. I couldn’t have been happier, my love of photography is paralleled by my love of history! My wife’s transfer put us smack in the middle of everything I loved! I was so floored by everything around us in the northern Virginia/DC area that I completely let the blog fall by the wayside…
By the summer of 2017, the blog was a memory, not intentionally, there was just so much to do and see near our new home. I didn’t leave the house without a camera it seemed. We lived thirty minutes from a half dozen Civil War battlefields, the Smithsonian Museums, near the colonial city of Alexandria, and everything that comes with Washington, DC! The last blog post in September 2017 was The Old Switch-a-roo detailing my recent switch from a Sony a7R II back to the Canon 6d Mark II, a move I don’t regret to this day. I had also been a user of Peak Design bags for a couple of years and loved them. However, after moving to DC, there was another company that I loved, more on that later – maybe a future post? I was selling stock photography at this point for about six months and was making a few bucks. Since then it has taken off in a big way, it has become a small business. Stock photography is tricky and it’s difficult to know where photos are used unless I search or someone tells me. By the time the blog died in September, I discovered one of my photos had been used on the cover of National Geographic India’s Road Trip Edition the previous April. My car photo, The Fifties, was used as a composite image where another photographer’s photo was used in the hubcap (right). I couldn’t have been happier, especially when credited for the photo inside the cover! It seems every photographer’s dream is to end up in NatGeo any way possible, that was simply amazing. Since then, my stock photos have been used many times, pretty happy about that too; click [HERE] to view them.
After a little more than a year in DC, my wife was transferred again; this time to Japan where this post is being banged out. While I hated leaving DC, at least it was for a place as cool as this. However, I recently pondered the mistake of not blogging while in DC and decided not to make that mistake again. I went back to WordPress, reactivated the old account, and quicker that jack rabbits making love – everything was sitting there just as I left it. It was as if Congress was asked to do something with it, nothing happened at all! Everything was there, even the previous followers! The goal now is to post something thought out, or as much as this brain can manage, every two weeks. In between those posts I’ll post live from wherever I happen to be shooting from, something for which I currently use Instagram (@ BillChizekPhotography). If you’re checking this out for the first time, THANK YOU! You can follow or subscribe on the right side of this blog to receive notifications for new posts. If you’ve returned, welcome back and thank you as well! I’m really looking forward to this blog and future feedback, hope to hear from you!