Updated: May 16
For a number of years I have been persistent in messing around with whatever cameras I came into contact with. I grew up in a house that had a strong appreciation for photography
as an art form, and once I found my way into college I spent more time learning the art through a 35mm lens. Although I found it almost cathartic, I never had the time or resources to truly hone my craft, and after graduation, it became almost an afterthought for the
next 10 years.
Almost by luck, I found my way back into the hobby after leaving the active Army in 2013. Transition can be difficult (there is plenty already written on that topic), and I needed to find ways to establish my identity out of uniform. To that end, I got back into SCUBA and started to pick up cameras again. Starting out with a GoPro and a Nikon D5000, I began taking photos as I had the time to travel and realized that a few of them were actually worth looking at.
As time wore on, I started to get more ambitious with different projects, traveling to locations not just to see them and meet the people, but to photograph some of the beauty that exists in every corner of the world. I bought an old Nikon D700 from a good friend and started to figure out how to actually process photos once I took them. I started becoming serious about it when I traveled to India with that same friend to photograph Holi Festival in and around Banke Bihari in early 2017.
I was wholly unprepared for the experience from a photography equipment and mindset perspective, which made it a steep learning curve, but an insane amount of fun at the same time. Once I returned from that journey, I made the conscious decision to invest more time and resources into actually producing documentarian style imagery of my travels. I invested in better equipment, started taking classes and spending a lot of time attempting to master the fundamentals of the art form in order to at least produce technically correct photographs.
From there, I managed to travel to a number of other places and saw some of my efforts pay off. I had managed to mature from just taking snapshots to planning and "making" images, which allowed me to delve deeper into the arena as an art form. With a little luck and a lot of persistence, I even drew interest in some of my art in terms of selling it, which sparked the need for a platform to do just that - share my experiences and my perspective on the world through my lens.
Which brings me to the purpose of this post in the first place - the origin of the Spear 3 name.
As I was working to create an identity for my artwork, I wanted something beyond just "George Hamilton Photography". I wanted something that spoke to my passions (conservation, travel, the outdoors), that also nodded to my family's history of appreciating those very things. After a little research and some talks with my Dad, I remembered that our family had run cattle operations in various parts of the United States for a long time, and one of the things that comes with that is a unique cattle brand for the ranches involved. Spear 3 was the family brand for a while in Arizona. Realizing it was no longer in use, and that this was a way to carry on some of the family heritage, I adopted it (and with some help from a good friend) modified it to reflect the things that I want my photography to reflect.
The image itself represents my family history of conservation efforts, outdoors adventures and traveling, and the addition of a harpoon tip represents my love of diving and marine conservation. The rope that is wrapped on the 3 is indicative of my love for the outdoors and trekking. The aperture of course was added for the photography element that runs throughout my adventures and reminds me that there are 7 billion perspectives in the world, and every time we take a moment to understand one outside of our own, the world gets a little smaller, and a lot friendlier.
So there you have it, the origins of what I like to think is a unique identifier for the artwork I hope to continue creating for years to come.