How my dad & my housemate got me into photography

 

As many of you would know, I love photography – ever since I was a kid, in fact. My dad used to show me the basics of photography on his old Minolta – just basic framing and “how to spot a good photo”. In terms of the slightly more advanced stuff like aperture, shutter time, ISO etc; I’ve since learnt a lot of that from my housemate, the internet, and also from a book that my boyfriend bought me a few years ago.

Back when dad was using his Minolta, everything was on film – so although it’d be fun to take photos of stuff around the yard on his camera, there was usually a wait of a few weeks as we had to first ‘fill up the film’ and then get it developed at a Kodak shop in a shopping centre that was 30 minutes drive away. Dad did develop his own film occssionally using a dark room and a bunch of chemicals – which was certainly quite exciting!

I remember once borrowing dad’s camera for a high school excursion to a farm (remember, mobile phones were briefcase-sized back then & certainly none of us kids had them like we all do now!) and everyone was wanting to have a go at using it, heh! But since those days, things for me were a bit quiet on the photography front.

It wasn’t till I met my housemate & now best mate, Flipp, that I started to get back into photography. I first met him during a bushwalk up at Mt Glorious. He had his DSLR with him (a Canon EOS 5D Mark II) and I just had a little $400 Canon digital that could fit in my pocket. I thought nothing more of it (other than “Gee, nice camera…”) – until a few days later, when I saw some of the photos he’d taken with it; waterfall & creek photos where the water looked soft & smooth as it flowed over rocks (see header image; sadly it’s not done justice when cropped into 350 pixels).

I asked how he’d done it and he mumbled something (haha) about leaving the shutter open… from here I just kept asking questions and eventually, bought my own DSLR from Kogan (it came in a kit with 2 lenses) and so began my renewed interest in photography.

I shoot on a Canon 600D and over the past 5 years, have bought essentially every lens from my wish-list (6 of them); from a macro, to a pancake, to your standard everyday’ers – and a telephoto, which was last on my list because it was the most expensive one and took the longest to save up for! I guess it’s good that me & my friends all shoot on Canon; we can share lenses!

600dsigmalens

My telephoto lens – great for taking photos of planes, the moon – or a gnat’s legs from 50 meters away!

For me, photography is about capturing the moment as I see it. Oddly, until last year, I never used to shoot in RAW – believing that “if you need to fix it in post, then you’re not setting up the camera correctly”, but upon reflection – you can do so much more by altering a few specs of a RAW photo than you can do on the average DSLR – especially given then not everyone around you may have a keen interest in photography and may not want to wait 10 minutes for you to get a decent macro photo of an ant on a log.

With apps like Instagram, everyone’s suddenly become a decent photographer – but it moves the focus of actual effort from the mind of the photographer, to a bunch of numbers & algorithms inside an app – and while there’s nothing wrong with this, it does annoy me a little me when people rely so heavily on effects in post. But to be honest, we all do it – it’s just a different type of photography, I guess – so no harm done!

Regardless, even today, being able to actually frame-up a good shot still takes an understanding of the basic rules of photography – there’s no app that can do that (yet). I guess it’s a little like a singer using autotune… sure they might sound great (I use the term loosely) on Spotify, but ask them to sing live on the spot for you then the truth comes out.

Either way, photography for me is a hobby that I thoroughly enjoy & there is always something new to learn. If you’re keen to get into it, just experiment with your camera. Research its functions on the web and ask friends who are into photography for ideas & tips – the good thing with digital cameras is that, unlike photography in the 90’s, mistakes don’t cost anything.

Say cheese! 🙂

 

Wanna see more photos?

Check out my photography section if you’d like to see some of my DSLR shots.

 

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