As a photographer, Michael J. Barnes has evolved from a beginner with a passion for using the tools and technology of photography (film and the first auto-focus cameras), to a professional photographer serving families, individuals, churches, ministries, and schools in the Naples, Florida area, back to simply using emergent technologies to see his world through the lens of a camera.
Michael’s father introduced him to photography at an early age, but it was the gift of a Nikon SLR upon graduation from the University of Tulsa that kicked the passion into high gear.
As a graduate student pursuing an understanding of cooperative behavior in colonial vertebrates (behavioral ecology), Michael knew the importance of using photography to document his study sites and subjects in the desert of southeastern Arizona. Consequently he enrolled in a photography class at the University of Tulsa where he was pursuing his graduate studies.
This class was a turning point in his love of photography. Until that time, while it was passionate, the love was better described as infatuation. However, the opportunity to roll 100 feet of undeveloped Kodak Tri-X 400 speed black and white film into 36 exposure canisters, expose the film with the Nikon SLR his father had given him, develop the film and make prints in the university darkroom, and present the finished product for peer review in class pushed him over the edge. He was hooked and passionate to the point of obsession.
For nearly 10 years following that class Michael pursued photography as a hobby and considered himself an advancing amateur. In 2005 he purchased his first Digital SLR and wonders how he ever afforded film and processing!