I have always been interested in photography. I remember my high school offered a class that a few of my siblings took as well as many of my friends. I was always interested in the projects they worked on. They made cameras from soda cans, learned to develop their own film and played with double exposure.

Why did I not take the class? I knew that the highest paying jobs were lawyers, doctors, accountants and engineers. I didn’t want to waste my time with artsy stuff! It wouldn’t help me get into college!

I don’t want to sound like I have regret because I don’t but I do want to say my opinion has changed and my life’s experience has changed my attitude towards art and creativity. I have always enjoyed the arts but I have ignored them.  Many of my learning goals now relate to the arts. I want to learn photography, music and graphic design most of all.

My Camera

I didn’t know much about cameras when I got married but I knew I wanted a nice camera.  It was 2005 and we were both still in college. For my birthday, my wife let me get a nice camera. It was about the nicest digital (non SLR) camera we could get and it wasn’t cheap. I think we paid something like $400 for it. It is a Canon S2 IS. It was been a good camera. It does video and has a nice 12x optical zoom. I remember that was one of the features I was most interested in. I also wanted to make sure there wasn’t a shutter delay. My camera at the time took forever to take pictures after pressing the button.

Fast forward 5 1/2 years. Last week I took my first course on Lynda.com. It was a sweet course about Photography and exposure. I learned all the ins and outs of shutter speed, aperture and ISO settings.

15 seconds wasn't enough time to get the "H" on the end of my wife's name.

I actually learned some settings on my own camera that I never knew how to use all these years. I was motivated to get out my manual to see what my camera was capable of and I was surprised how much I could do. I learned that I could change the shutter speed to 15 seconds. This is cool if you want to take interesting pictures at night. I also learned that my camera has some serious limitations.

 

ISO Makes Good Photographers Great

The ISO range on my camera is 50-400 and at 400 the images are really grainy. In case you don’t know (I didn’t really), ISO is basically a setting where your image sensor amplifies the light as it captures the shot. ISO is unique to digital photography and can compensate for low light. So I basically learned that my ISO capabilities are pathetic. To get a good image without using the flash I need to be outside in sunlight. Nice DSLR cameras these days have ISO ranges up to like 3200!

Why do I want to upgrade my camera? It mostly comes down to the image sensor and the quality of image it can capture. There are a few other nice benefits of owning a DSLR; for example, you can look like you are professional. Although it seems like more and more people are opting for fancy cameras. Sometimes I think this is similar to soccer moms with SUVs. They have them for looks and never take them off the paved road. Especially after taking this class and learning how much I could do with my existing camera I couldn’t help but wonder if the people I know with nice cameras actually know how to use the different settings or if they mostly use them like point and shoot cameras. I don’t want to do that.

Going Pro

My goal is to work with what I have and prove to myself that I will not put an expensive camera to waste. I have some ideas of how to become a professional and I think they just might work. I can totally justify getting nice equipment if I’m making money with photography. More on that later. I have a long ways to go before I can consider myself a professional.

If you know photography help me out please. Critique, critique, critique. I really want constructive feedback don’t just tell me these look good because I know they have a ton of room for improvement. I want to know what I can do now with what I have to improve.

Photos I’ve Taken This Week



K, Thanks.