An Introduction

I am a casual photographer. I am an amateur photographer. I am a casual amateur photographer. I take photos mostly when there are occasions,

I remember the first camera I ever used, it was a Kodak Ektralite 10. The sounds of the clicking mechanisms were hypnotic. Does anybody remember that? The camera was easy to use and convenient to use during any occasion. It was around this time that I first thought of taking up photography. But I soon realized that this could be a very expensive hobby, I did not have a job and I could not afford this on my measly student allowance.

Let us now fast forward to college. Among the clubs I was looking to join, was the photography club. I now had a bigger allowance, enough that I could have joined and learned more, but I was taking engineering, and I should invest my time and money on engineering endeavors, shouldn’t I? So, while a couple of my classmates did join, and got their expensive camera equipment, and developed their skills,  I had to make do with my trusty Kodak Ektralite 10. Maybe I’ll try again after college and I have a steady income.

Over time, different jobs had come and gone. The available resources in both time and money had increased but there is always something more important that comes along, like higher education, an apartment, a car, a date, while the cost of being a photographer never got cheap enough. The development of the commercial digital cameras back in the 1990’s made the prospect tantalizingly close, but not close enough. I know, I’m cheap but, if I really wanted to, I could have moved resources around, made some sacrifice.

In recent years, the advent of even lower cost digital cameras, and today’s smartphone removed any excuse I might have. Today, all you need is an investment in time, and a little determination. I may not still have too much time on hand, but my young kids are now young adults, starting to develop their live their own lives, and I am more determined than ever.

Below I have listed some steps I am taking towards achieving the goal of becoming a more serious amateur photographer, but still a hobbyist. The steps are general guidelines that can be broken down into smaller steps and allow me to make each step time oriented.

    1. Read and learn about the basics. Video/Motion or still photography
    2. Terminologies
    3. Camera types. What is the difference between DSLR, SLR, Point and Shoot, Mirror-less.
    4. Subscribe to photography websites, blogs and newsletters. This is to keep up with the latest trends and knowledge.
    5. Choose your camera. Compare the quality of shoot and practice to see how each compare using different settings. The answer may be that you use multiple types depending on the condition and situation.
    6. Practice as often as you can. Under different conditions, lighting and settings/situations. Use different types cameras, if possible.
    7. Share experiences. Join other photographers. Ask questions and share knowledge. This can either be an on-line group or maybe a meet up group.

Some of these steps can be worked on at the same time as another, the order is not very important although sit may make more sense to start some step before starting on another. Example, you should know terminologies before joining a group.

The most important thing to remember, is that you need to enjoy yourself. You need to enjoy taking photographs, and in the long run, that will make learning easier.

© 2015, Norman Talon. All rights reserved.

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