At the beginning of the month, I attended a photography workshop with the intention of getting more comfortable with using my camera. I have owned my camera for over eight years, but have only skimmed the surface with how to use it. I've read books and online articles, but I knew that in order to really get the most of it, I would need someone to show me.
The workshop was perfect. It was an afternoon packed full of information, but it was small and informal. There were practice challenges and ample opportunities to ask questions. I finally felt like I grasped the trifecta of manual shooting - ISO, aperture, and shutter speed. I'm extremely slow at setting them, but at the least, I understand them.
We also learned about light and storytelling and how capturing images is about more than just capturing pretty images. This aspect resonated with me thanks to my art background. Every single detail contributes to the story in your image. There are ways you can play with light and detail to create a stronger, more meaningful image. I love this idea and once I master the technical, I know that I want to play around with this idea even more.
Earlier this year, I seriously contemplated buying a new camera to replace mine. It feels outdated and clunky. I spoke to a few different professionals about different cameras and brands. I received some recommendations. But the cost felt steep right now, so I put it off. However, what I came to realize (thanks to some wisdom from a series of very talented people) is that what I should consider doing instead is replacing my lens. The only lenses I ever owned were the kit lenses that came with the camera, both of which were zoom lenses. It was recommended that I grab a simple 50mm prime lens and learn to shoot with that. The best part? They're only around $150 new compared to buying a new $1200 camera. I figured it was worth a shot.
The results? Night and day! It has proven to offer a bit of a learning curve with the fact that I can't just simply zoom in and out but instead have to physically move my body around to find the shot I want. But this is a small sacrifice. The act of doing so actually makes you feel much more connected to the photographs and the results are so stunning. Small investment, big pay off.
These are just a few random photographs from the past couple of days as I have been playing around with my new lens. It has felt so good to capture some special moments and memories of time on a real camera instead of my smartphone for once. We're going away this weekend and I'm excited to bring my camera along to see what I can capture. There is so much to learn and explore and I'm excited to finally feel like I am in a place where it is fun, not frustrating, to learn.
Here's to always learning and growing and trying something new. I've owned my camera for eight years, but just now I am really embracing it. It just goes to show you that just because you don't get something right away doesn't mean you never will. There is always an opportunity to start again.