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A (not so) brief history of Jim

charicature of Jim Babbage and secret link to brief biography!Snapshot: A visual communications specialist for over two decades, my skills include writing, teaching, digital imaging, web design, landscape, nature and commercial advertising photography.

Photography and digital imaging

Photography began as a necessity; before I ever picked up a camera, my creative outlet was through writing. So, it was natural for me to enroll in a Journalism program. A mandatory piece of equipment was a 35mm camera, which my father gave me as a high school graduation gift. That summer, before college began, I taught myself some of the basics by shooting landscapes (trees are great; they don't move and they'll let you take all day to get the picture you want <g>). When I got that first roll of film back from the drug store photo lab, I was hooked!

Since then, photography has been a passion of mine. It's a creative release for me, especially my landscape and nature photography. Looking through that viewfinder - capturing my own personal vision of what's in front of me - is both relaxing and invigorating at the same time.

My personal interests grew into web design and imaging - a natural progression from photography. I found Fireworks and Dreamweaver and well, never looked back!

Teaching

Aside from photography being both my hobby AND part of my business, I also was also a teacher for 21 years (geez, talk about a focused career path!). Until May of 2011, I taught credit courses in photography/imaging and newmedia at Centennial College's School of Communication, Media and Design (SCMD).

A few years ago, thanks to a referral from my good friend Tom Green, I started teaching at Humber College's School of Media Studies and Information Technology (SMSIT) and in May of 2011 I concluded my position at Humber.

Thanks to over 20 years of teaching experience at The Centennial and several years at Humber, I continue to offer training services to small groups at very affordable rates.

What happened in May, you may be wondering? Well, in May I accepted a full-time position with Adobe Systems, in the role of Solutions Consultant, supporting the Canadian educational sales team. So I'm still in education, just on the other side. :-) And over 3 years later, I'm still loving this job.

Writing

When I was in high school, I always thought one day I'd be a writer - a science fiction writer to be more specific. But . . . as fun as it was, I'm the first to admit I was no Robert Heinlein, or (these days) Scott Sigler or Robert J.Sawyer.

I never lost the writing bug, though, and eventually - as things do sometimes - writing found me. I began by writing tutorials for my students and then press releases and newsletters for one of my studio jobs. Then, after presenting sessions and workshops at TODCon (sadly now no more), I was invited to participate in a new venture called Community MX (also no defunct), where do date, I've written over 300 articles, tutorials and videos.

My exposure on Commmunity MX and participation in the Adobe user forums led to other industry recognition and projects: writing for the Adobe Dev Center, book offers from Peachpit Press and video training opportunities with Lynda.com.

Other work

Years of teaching have also helped prepare me to speak in front of large groups, which I've done at workshops and conferences such as Adobe MAX, D2W and App-alooza.