Real photographers scoff when I mention that I use iPhoto. They're appalled that I've never used PhotoShop or Aperture. They roll their eyes when I ask about exposure, lenses, and shutter speed.
I used to take compliments about my pictures in stride and say "Oh, thank you." But I have this fear of being found out. I picture the complimenter and I in South America when I pull out my little 'common' camera. They would turn to me, jaw drops and they'd say "You're not a photographer!"
The truth is, I've had the opportunity to be in situations that would be a photographer's dream and I take my little Canon Elph, point it in the direction of something interesting and push down the button.
So, I appreciate your compliments lately, but I really am below amateur status. Someday, I'd love to take a course and find out what all your terms mean and how to take a picture that was more than an accident. Here are some that I have up in my house and a bit of history behind them.
I was riding on a the back of a motorcycle in Cambodia, heading to Angkor Wat. My motorcycle driver was behind this guy in traffic, we sped up and passed him. I held on with one arm and raised the other one to take a picture. I love that the speed is captured...but not on purpose.
This is what Thailand looks like. There's no enhancement needed when it's paradise. In the distance you can see Burma.
After some pad thai on a small island named Koh Phayam, my friends and I walked to the pier to see all these fisherman mending their nets. I love that the lights from their boats casts such dramatic shadows. It's rare to get a picture in Asia without someone looking at the camera. I took this before they realized 4 American girls were standing next to them on the pier.
This picture comes from a day with the Panga tribe in the mountains of Orissa, India. The Panga women tatooed their faces and wore dozens of earrings for decades. It dates back to when India was British India, and British men would come take tribal women from their families. Panga women in an effort to be less desirable to the British men tatooed their faces. It worked and they were able to stay with their families. The tradition has continued. This is the tribe leader's wife and son.
I took this picture in Xi'an, China (the home of the TerraCotta warriors). We were walking down a back alley looking for a cheap restaurant for dinner. I saw a woman reaching into a giant burlap bag and grinding peppers. When she bent down to pick something up, I reached over and snapped this. I expected it to be blurry, but my trusty Canon pulled through again.