I am obsessed with taking pictures. I haven’t always been obsessed. I used to just love it and before that I liked it. I still remember the Christmas when I got my very first camera (a Vivitar I believe). Or when I was in high school and bought myself the new Kodak Advantix camera. It had that nifty kind of film you didn’t have to wind through the back of your camera and I could take panoramic pictures with it! So cutting edge in the point and shoot world.
Shortly after I got married I remembered that my mom had an old-school SLR camera and I asked if I could borrow it. I didn’t have a clue what I was doing though and quickly realized self-teaching when you have to buy film and can’t see whether or not you have settings correct until after you develop said film was rather pricey. That was when I started really wanting a DSLR. That was probably 7 years ago.
When I first started desiring a DSLR they were big $$. Instead I stuck with my little digital point and shoot (I think it was a whopping 3.5 mega-pixels). The camera took decent pictures outside…
(Light house near where I grew up)
This picture actually landed me in the top three at a nature photography contest at church a couple of years ago!
I was even generally happy with outdoor, natural lighting shots of people. Inside shots was a whole different story though. Sure, I could do some minor tweaking with photo editing software, but not enough to not make me cringe when looking at the pictures.
My niece Abigail with my cousin Hannah
Nick with our niece Jazlyn
See what I mean? Terrible! I eventually taped a thin piece of cotton ball over the flash to help dull it a bit. That did seem to help somewhat, but I still was displeased. In this very early picture of the boys you can see how blown out their clothes are, and that was even with the flash dulled by the cotton ball and using some photo editing.
The boys’ first Christmas my parents took pitty on my camera woes and bought me a new point and shoot. This time a Canon PowerShot and it took much better pictures. I didn’t even need to use a cotton ball!
I can remember admiring the photographer displays at art shows. Whether I was with a friend or my sister, we always remarked how we wished we could travel the world and take pictures like that, and how cool it must be to be a professional photographer.
Last June I borrowed a Nikon DSLR from a friend. I just wanted to see if I really liked it as much as I thought I would and I figured showing Nick just how much better the pictures were would help him see how much I “needed” a new camera. I fell in love!
I couldn’t believe the gorgeous colors that came through the pictures or the fact that I didn’t have to do any editing to get the color balances correct! Wow! Sadly, Nick didn’t see the necessity. So I gave the Nikon back and went back to making do with my point and shoot. For the next several months Nick had the pleasure of listening to me grumble about my crummy camera and how much I wanted a DSLR.
Finally this past Thanksgiving I cashed in a bunch of savings bonds I’d received as a child and bought a Nikon D3000. It’s one of the lower end DSLR cameras out there, but it’s mine and I love it. No, I’m obsessed with it. Nick is constantly making cracks about me bringing the camera with me everywhere I go, or making cracks when I haven’t brought the camera somewhere.
I figure taking as many pictures as I can is how I’ll learn. I’ve been self-teaching myself by reading various tutorials online and seeing what other photographers do. I’m proud to say I shoot exclusively in Manual mode and feel like I get decent results with that! I loathe using my flash and rarely do. I love that my DSLR allows me to take indoor pictures that rarely need flash.
What can I say? I just love taking pictures! I love taking pictures of the boys, I love taking pictures of nature and I love seeing pictures others have taken. It’s a healthy obsession, right?