It is embarrassing to admit to how long I have been taking pictures and how little progress I’ve made. From the time I was a young child my love of photos has always been an extra connection to the outdoors. I never wanted to come inside and always wanted to be out exploring one more thing. Photos were a way to continue and extend those adventures.
About 20 years ago I made my first trip to Utah with my husband and I didn’t want to leave. The only way to bring Utah back with me was to take pictures. That trip reignited my childhood interest in photography. I even bought a Canon Rebel film camera with the 35 – 80 kit lens and a 70 – 300 lens at Walmart in Cedar City, Utah when my point and shoot quit working during our trip. Before our next trip to Utah I purchased another Canon film camera and a nicer 24 – 105 lens so I could shoot black and white slide film in one camera and color in the other. I was developing an eye for composition, but still didn’t bother to learn the specifics of photography. I managed to get lucky and get some good shots, but it really was just dumb luck.
When digital came around I purchased a Canon point-and-shoot with a built in zoom and used it quite a bit. The DSLR was still not around and when it came around it was way out of my price range. Six years ago, after I was absolutely DONE with the slow shutter speeds of digital cameras, my husband surprised me with the Canon Rebel T1i DSLR that was compatible with all of my old Canon lenses. I started learning about aperture, shutter speed, ISO, and composition. I was encouraged when, several years in a row, one of my favorite Utah photographers included photos in his calendar that were they exact same compositions that I had photographed. But my photos did not look anything like his and I was starting to get frustrated because I just didn’t know how to make mine look that good.
Two years ago I started listening to podcasts, reading books, and dedicating myself to becoming a better photographer (between being a wife, mother, teacher…). The journey has taken me in many unanticipated directions and opened up a can of worms. Full frame vs. crop sensor, post-processing, noise, histograms, and many other things I didn’t even know I would need to learn. I can see that it will be a life-long process and I’m not sure why I thought it would be any different. Starting next week, I’m asking you to join me as I go through the technical details of using your camera, whatever camera you own, to it’s fullest potential. The technology has advanced so far that nearly any camera can produce spectacular results when used properly.
The photo below was taken with my daughters 8 MP Canon point-and-shoot camera. Her camera cost less than $100.00 so I took it out in my kayak instead of risking water damage to my much more expensive camera. I have a 20 inch x 30 inch poster of this photo on the wall in my office and no one has commented that it must have been taken with a cheap camera.