Challenges | Photographers input needed

February 18, 2014


Dianne Poinski Photography

This picture reminds me of a time, twenty-one years ago, when I had completed cancer treatments and decided I would take on any activity that sounded like fun. That decision led me to a creative writing course, getting published in major magazines, and earning an honorary college degree in journalism. BIG! REAL BIG! For a girl who had struggled academically in elementary grades and high school.

I came upon this picture the same day Photographer Dianne Poinski posted it on Facebook; two hours after finding out I have papillary thyroid cancer. What I saw and still see in this photograph is dense fog slowly drifting AWAY from strong upright trees that have most likely endured many storms. Immediately, the image took me back twenty-one years. I don’t know why. But it did. A half second later I decided once again to do whatever sounds like fun. The difference this time is that I know what the activity will be—to pursue my love of photography, my passion for landscape, macro, and still life.

Thyroid cancer is not a death sentence and easily curable. But I also learned a few months ago that I have two conditions requiring a difficult life-changing diet, and I have glaucoma. Fortunately this disease progresses very slowly. I have faith the fog will not overcome me, that these health issues are merely placing me on an extraordinary path.

I don’t share this with slouched shoulders. (Okay, slightly slouched.) There are worse health conditions and people far worse off than me. I don’t know where this new venture will lead. But I know where I need to begin and now that I have cranked up my nerve and shared the bad stuff, it is time to move on to the next step—a new camera.

I’ve done a little online research, but there is so much information it leaves one confused. Most readers are nervous about commenting and I understand. Still, I hope a few photographers will share their knowledge. I already received one suggestion, from Dianne Poinski,  “. . . lenses are where you want to get the best you can afford.”

If there are any other professional photographers willing to comment, I would love to hear from you.

(Thank you Dianne Poinski for allowing me to share your beautiful work.)

Join me  on:






  1. Thank you for sharing your story of what inspired you to face and address your health challenges and for pursing your passions and decision to pursue difficult paths. You provide us inspiration and hope when things in our life cause us discouragement and fear.


    • THANK YOU for the heartfelt encouragement. It wasn’t easy sharing personal problems, but I want my words to make a difference, however small that may be.


  2. I agree with Dianne that lenses are important, but also give serious consideration where you may want to go with your photography, and purchase the best camera for your endeavor that you can afford. I can only speak from a Nikon point of view, as that is all I have owned. If I had known yesterday, what I know today, I would have bought a full frame sensor camera. I had the choice back then, but didn’t want to spend the money. Now I am replacing lenses that work best with the full frame sensor camera I now own, which is a Nikon 800. It is a memory hog and a bit heavy, but I love that I can make BIG prints without up sampling my files. I print and show my work so that is important to me. There is a good compromise with the Nikon 600 if you want to save a little money though.

    It is difficult to give advice, as no one size fits all. I would suggest before you spend the big bucks, rent some equipment. Also, Lightroom is a wonderful program for file management and editing.

    Thank you for sharing your personal story, I found it inspiring. Photography is wonderful, I feel such joy when I am out wandering with my camera. I truly believe whatever you are passionate about will show in your work, and for me, that passion lies with photographing the horse. My best to you!

    My website: http://www.maryaiu.com


    • Mary, your photographs are beautiful. I hope everyone who sees this will go to your website (http://www.maryaiu.com); it is truly a treat. Renting different equipment is a good idea. You expressed exactly how I feel about photography, “. . . I feel such joy when I am out wandering with my camera.” Thank you for your input. It was helpful.


  3. […] “Fine Art Studio” (see sidebar) is now open for orders. Proceeds will go toward a new and better camera. I am excited about the possibilities and sharing this journey with you. More image options will be […]


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