Shadow Stairs by Arvin Chaikin
Arvin studied photography at the School of Modern Photography in New York City and for a brief period was a professional photographer. When he left that position he got a job at Macy's Department Store where he was in charge of the camera department. It was there where he discovered his talent for fixing and tinkering with anything mechanical. He became an expert at camera repair. He never lost his love of photography and still is actively taking pictures. You can find a sampling of his photos at his gallery on pbase.com.
Best Friends by Ann Chaikin
Ann received her first camera from her father when she was 14 years old. She's been hooked on photography ever since. Through the years Ann moved from print to slide and back to print photography. All this changed in 2000 when Ann got her first high resolution digital camera. The slide and film cameras are all gone and Ann spends her time taking digital pictures. Many of her photographs are available for purchase at annchaikin.exposuremanager.com/g/photographs. Ann's family photos are on her gallery on pbase.com.
There is a thriving community of digital photographers on the Internet. It is a great place to learn and explore new techniques and to meet and share ideas with other photographers. One of Ann & Arvin's favorite sites online is DPReview. This site has a wealth of information about digital cameras including reviews and forums for each brand. Since Ann & Arvin both started out with Sony cameras that is the first group they encountered among the forums. Later when Ann got her first Canon digital camera she joined the Canon Forums as well. Most of the groups that discuss digital cameras on DPReview also run challenges. Photographers take pictures on a given topic during a two week period. At the end of the period everybody votes on the best images. The winner gets to decide the topic and run the next challenge. These challenges are a great way to learn from other photographers, get feedback on your work, and improve and grow photographically. The challenges Ann & Arvin participate in include the Sony Talk Forum Challenge, the Canon Single Lens Reflex Talk Forum Challenge, and the Canon Talk Forum Challenge.
Ann has also become active in a site dedicated to photographic challenges called DPChallenge. This site runs several different challenges each week. Photographers have a week to locate and shoot something that is on topic. Each photographer can enter one photograph. At the end of the challenge period everybody votes for winners. This site also allows members to upload photographs for sale to the public.
One of Arvin's favorite sites for photographers is Photosig. A large community of photographers using film, slide and digital cameras shares and critiques each others photos. Both Ann and Arvin have portfolios of pictures there and both really enjoy seeing the work of so many other photographers.