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Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Photography

Old cameras in an antiques fair.
I know, I know, these days everybody will tell you that he's a photographer. Well I don't. I don't intend to be a photographer, I just want to learn to take better photographs.

(Insert flashback harp music here along with swirly images)

A very long time ago and like everybody else at the time, my first camera was a film camera. A very simple point and shoot Minolta camera that was a gift from my father for my birthday. It didn't click anything in my head towards photography, and at the time I would just mindless click away pictures of me, my family and friends without any concerns regarding how good the pictures were or could be.

Eventually the camera broke and by that time digital had reached a good pricing point and the size of the pictures was starting to be good enough.

Then in 2003 (I think) I bought my first digital camera, a Kodak Easyshare CX6200 with an astonishing 2 megapixels, a fixed focal length lens of 37mm. An impulse buy due to the price because I didn't had done any research. Still snapping away with little or no care about how I could take better pictures.

It also broke and for a while I had no camera.

In 2006 I decided that I needed a new camera. Also didn't research much, and ended up buying a camera due to a promotion. This time a Canon Powershot A540 came home, and only after I had bought the camera I did some research and to my surprise the camera was actually reasonable. The camera still lives and powers up. Still no clue about what I was doing when taking pictures.

Because the A540 was bulky, in 2009 I bought another camera, but one that was small and pocketable. This time I did my research and ended up with another Canon, an IXUS 100 IS. I think it was by this time that I started to notice that my photos were not very good, or at least that they could be better, a lot better. I really cannot blame the camera, the fault is all on the photographer.

Last year, and after a lot of though, research, and thinking a bit on what I wanted and on my limitations, I ended up buying, yes another Canon, an SX220 HS, a called "travel zoom" camera. It's a bit better than all my previous cameras, it has manual modes to fiddle with, it has some zoom and it takes decent pictures with low light for a compact camera.

(Insert again flashback harp music here along with swirly images)

Yes, I know, it's still a compact camera, not a DSLR or a mirrorless. And I also know that the camera is just a small part of the equation.

But somehow this camera, despite all of its limitations, and the photos it allowed me to take ignited my interest for photography. I wanted to take better pictures of the people I love, of my pets, of animals and insects, of nature, of landscapes, of strangers, of my travels, of objects, of the mundane and everyday life, of everything that might interest me.

I also started to research for other peoples photographs and I was mesmerized with what they were doing with cameras, lenses, light and software. I wanted to do similar things.

So now, I already know the basics and I'm learning a bit more every day and I'm already planning to buy a new camera (this time probably not a Canon), but not quite there yet. I think I can still learn a bit more with this one and take few more thousand shots. I know myself and don't want to buy a new toy so it will end up in my shame box.

One side effect of photography is that I fail often and most of my shots are not good, but I will get there.

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