Some of you may know that I have been dabbling in photography for a few years now.
Before I get too far, let me start off at the beginning. I remember as a kid, back in the late 70s, way before there was digital photography, when you actually had to get your film developed to see what your pictures looked like, I got this little camera for my birthday. It was a little instamatic, similar to the picture you see here on the left. The film was in these cartridges like you see on the right. You had to open the back of the camera, insert the cartridge, close the back, and spin the dial until it stopped, then you could take your pictures. You couldn't open the back of the camera until you used up all the film because it would ruin the pictures you already took. I think I might have taken about five (5) rolls of pictures, which I don't think I ever got developed. I remember taking this camera on a school field trip to Fort Snelling, and I took maybe two (2) rolls of pictures while I was there.
In the early to mid 80s, my parents got a polaroid, similar to the one on the right, but ours was all black, and I played with that a little bit, not really very much. One of the things I loved about this camera is that the pictures didn't need to be developed and you could see the picture within minutes of taking the picture. I thought this was the coolest things I'd ever seen.
It wasn't until about the mid 1990s that I used another camera, and that would have been some of the disposable cameras, like the one seen on the left. One of the great things about this style of camera was that I didn't have to spend a lot of money on a camera. I could just stop by one of the local convenience stores and pick one up as I needed, and when I was finished, I could just take it to the local developing center and have it developed in something like an hour.
In the late 1990s and early 2000s, I got a digital camera as a free gift when I ordered some coffee from a coffee company. I ordered the coffee because I wanted the coffee beans and the grinder. I didn't know I would get a digital camera with my coffee, so when I opened the coffee box, I was pretty happy and excited to see the digital camera. There was no display, no zoom or anything special, just a basic point and shoot digital camera and you needed to plug it into your computer to get the images off of the camera.
I didn't really know a lot about taking pictures at this point, I just pointed the camera in the area and pressed the button. I didn't think too much about it, like I said, I would just point and shoot. It wasn't until I moved to Thailand and was with @hirondelle. When hirondelle and I were getting ready to go to Cambodia to see Angkor Wat, where hirondelle took most of the pictures, but I played around a little bit with the camera.
It was during this time, that I kind of started getting pretty serious about taking pictures. I didn't know a lot about taking pictures back then, so I would just point the camera and press the button. In 2008 hirondelle and I did our first bike trip, I've written a whole blog post about this before, so I won't do that now, but on that trip I started playing around with our camera more, and I started pictures in what I call wonky angles, but photographers call Dutch angles, which is a picture that isn't exactly square, or at an angle. Some people like this, some people don't. hirondelle suggested not taking so many pictures like this, but she also told me about framing my pictures and about what I should look for when taking a picture. From that day, I started looking at things differently.
In 2013, @icewlf came to visit us for the first time. While he was here, we went and looked at a camera shop, and icewlf got me interested in taking pictures again. So I took some of the things hirondelle taught me and icewlf added to that, so I started looking more and more at framing my pictures better and getting better angles and trying different things to highlight different things in the picture.
My favorite picture that I took when hirondelle and I went to Krabi in October 2014, during my schools break, we went to Railay Bay West in Krabi, Thailand. This was our second time going to Krabi. One day, we were sitting down watching the sun set and I was shooting some pictures, trying to get some good sunset pictures, and I saw this couple standing on the beach being all lovely, and I wanted to try and capture them with the sunset and the sea, and the picture to the right is what I came up with.
One of the things that I loved about this camera is that I could take panoramic pictures. I could set the mode on the camera to panorama and then point at one side I wanted a panorama of, hit the button and move the camera while I took the picture. You just had to make sure not to go too fast or too slow and to keep it in a straight light. Below are some of my attempts at doing this.
After this, I started playing around with hirondelle's Pentax Km DSLR camera. I'd never played around with an SLR or a DSLR before, so this was like a huge learning curve. It was a lot of fun learning, and I took some really good pictures. This was the first time I was taking picture in RAW format. Prior to using the Pentax, I could edit images and pictures in FireWorks, but now I needed to learn how to use Photoshop, this was another huge jump for me. If I can find the pictures I took with this camera, I'll make sure to share them here.
Around this time, I started trying to take better pictures with the camera on my phone. I started applying the principles that hirondelle taught me to my phone, and mixing in a few things that I had picked up from watching photographers like Fro Knows Photo, Some of these pictures turned out really good.
My next camera, the one I use now is a Nikon D5500. I got this in 2016. This is my first DSLR camera. When I started taking pictures with this camera, I set the file type to jpeg, and then I started following a photographer that strongly suggested that people should show in raw format, so I started doing this. When I started shooting in raw, I needed to learn Lightroom. One of the problems with shooting in raw format is that the images take so long to edit. I could easily take 100 or more pictures in just a few hours. For example, when we went to Lincoln this past year and I got to meet hirondelle's friend, I took over 300 pictures during the day. This doesn't sound like a lot of pictures until you go to edit those pictures. I can get lost in editing photos so easily, peaking and tweaking all the little things, and I can edit one picture four (4) different times in four (4) different ways. I can see if I'm doing pictures professionally and getting paid to do these pictures, but these are just for fun, and I just don't have the time to edit these pictures that much, so starting this year, I've changed my Nikon to take JPEG Fine pictures. I'm excited about this as I won't have to do as much editing of the pictures. Below is a gallery of some of the pictures I've taken with this camera.
I've also been trying to better pictures with my current phone, which is an iPhone 8+. I've been really happy with a lot of the pictures I've been taking with my phone. I've been more particular with what I'm shooting and trying to make sure I have it framed better.
Well, I think I've bored you enough with my photography talk. I plan on taking more pictures this year, so let's see what happens.
Always Remember: Always take the tie to do the things you love.