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Your passion for photography: how did it start?

Wondering how did you get interested in photography and what is your camera history
11 years ago, January 27th 2008 No: 1 Msg: #26193  
B Posts: 53
Hi there,

I was wondering how did you get interested in photography and what is your camera history.

I like photography since I was a small kid. My dad had an expensive SLR camera and I liked to play with it. Needless to say that he didn't exactly liked it (no wonder why) and so he gave me a Fisher Price camera at the age of 7 that, surprisingly, did a good job. I was lucky enough to start travelling when I was just a baby, and haven't stopped since. In trips, family and friends reunions, I was the photographer.

When I was 15, I got a Pentax as a b'day gift. It was my first proper camera, and I took nice shots in trips to Europe and USA. At that point, I had never read about photography rules, tips or brands. I just instinctively used the camera, and took memorable shots. I plan to scan them and write some back dated blog entries. It's in my to-do list 😊

I got my first digital camera 5 years ago - another Pentax (Optio S40). I had no idea how to use it and read the entire manual twice. I was amazed by the amount of things a digital camera could do. It was good. But sometimes it let me down, and I started to develop some techniques to deal with its weak points, and I managed to do a few miracles with it.

A month ago, after some advice and research, I got a Canon SD 950 IS. I'm loving it 😊, using it widely: trips, Christmas, NY's eve, birthdays, parties, proms, sunsets, concerts, random, and it's been doing an excellent job.

I really enjoy seeing people's photos here in Travelblog, especially the front page ones. Some are very inspiring and I always learn something new. My plan is to keep on practising, read more about it, get tips here and there, and (hopefully) see the improvements at my photos. I'm still learning, still making mistakes and still have stupid questions. When it's time, I'll move on to a DSLR 😊

Hope to hear from you 😊 Reply to this

11 years ago, January 28th 2008 No: 2 Msg: #26214  
B Posts: 23
I have the "original" digital camera used by Adam when he was a boy and I love it!. It is an Olympus C4040z and what is today, a piffling 4.2 megapixels. It cost nearly US $700 in 2001 ( a fortune back then). BUT it is still a great camera because it has a great lens. I think this is more important than other gizmos that you hardly use on cameras. When all said and done, it's "the nut behing the wheel" that is most important: empathy with the subject; insight and imagination; the right light and composition and a bit of retained editing are the shot. The only problem with my old camera is that it uses discontinued/obselescent "smart media" which aren't made any more. Everybody has these dinky little camera cards. When my old cards finally stuff up, I'll have to ditch a wonderful camera. It's a conspiracy!! Reply to this

11 years ago, January 28th 2008 No: 3 Msg: #26262  
I really wasn't into photography at all before this past year. When Kel, my wife, and I decided to quit work and take the world tour we knew next to nothing about pictures. Now, after 200gb of pictures taken, we have become pretty decent photographers. What was merely a chore when we started has become a passion. I find the process and thought behind photography to be freeing and really enjoy having people see through my eyes.

Ana, I'm glad that you are pleased with your canon SD 950 IS. Those little canons are ultra portable and take some pretty sweet pictures. When the time comes and you want to step up to the DSLR, feel free to reach out to your fellow travelers for advice. There are tons of photographers here on this site that would be glad to give you their thoughts.

Keep up the good work!

Mike T.
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11 years ago, January 28th 2008 No: 4 Msg: #26281  
In 1994 I was selected to be an exchange student, so my mom helped me buy my first decent camera (I'd had some cheapies before that). It was an Olympus stylus. Over the course of my year in New Zealand, I was never without my camera, and came home with over 1000 photos.

Eight years later, as I was preparing to go back to New Zealand for another visit, I decided it was time to replace my faithful Olympus with an SLR, and I replaced it with a Canon EOS Elan 7. I was disappointed with many of the photos, because I didn't understand the features I was trying to use.

I enrolled in a photography class at my community college, and when I went to Costa Rica after finishing the course, I got some fantastic shots. I was already pretty invested in photography as a companion to travel (literally and figuratively), but on this trip the two became intertwined passions.

I made the switch to digital late in 2004, after being frustrated with taking film through airport security, especially in Europe. My first big trip with my Canon 20D was to Malta (coincidentally, this is also when I joined travel blog). I was averaging 100 photos per day, and I was really thrilled with the results. I started seeing everything in terms of light, and colour, and composition, whether my camera was with me or not.

Three weeks before I was due to head on holidays to Central Europe, in 2007, my beloved 20D broke, and so I replaced it with the 30D. I love it. It's a minor upgrade from the 20D, but the kit lens is much higher quality than the lenses I had before (it has image stabilization, which I don't ever want to shoot without again). I came home from five weeks in Europe with 2000 photos.

I find that each time I head out to take photos, whether it's while travelling or at home, I refine my skills a bit more, which I absolutely love. One of my favourite things about photography is that it has given me a new way to see things, and there will always be ways for me to refine and develop my skills. Reply to this

11 years ago, January 30th 2008 No: 5 Msg: #26353  
I got my first camera when I was 3 years old. I have no idea what type it was, but it was probably bought second-hard and they certainly don't make the right size film for it anymore. I used to go out in the backyard and take pictures of flowers and things. Now I use photography mainly to document travels and because I enjoy the process of capturing moments in time. Still like taking pictures of botanicals though! That hasn't changed since I was a kid (although I'd like to think I've improved a little).

My dad had a Pentax that I used growing up and he was always into photography, so I got that from him. Appropriately, he gave me my first Pentax 35mm SLR as a Christmas present a few years ago. I had a hard time giving up film for digital but I've finally seen the light, especially after all my photos from a recent trip to England/Wales turned out grainy and overexposed and of course I didn't find out until after I was back home and they were developed. Now I use a digital Pentax K100D for taking photographs, and a Pentax Optio point-click for every-day use, although it's batteries are practically always dead. Why Pentax? Well, mainly because I already had some pretty nice lenses I didn't want to replace.

I don't know the most about photography, but I do enjoy taking pictures and people tell me a lot of them turn out nice so....that's a plus. I hope to improve with practice, but havn't found the time for a photo class.

I often find the need to draw a distinction between traveller and photographer. I don't want be stuck behind the lens, and yet am always looking for the next great shot. Sometimes I have to purposefully leave the camera behind to fully emerse myself in where I am and what I'm doing. I think a camera can place a bit of distance between the the photographer and his/her subject (either human or not) and I try to be wary of that. But that's another discussion for another day...
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11 years ago, January 30th 2008 No: 6 Msg: #26358  
Great post! My photography history spans 8 years now, Im getting old. I've only used digitals, I bought my first 1.3 megapixel Sony point and shoot camera in 2000 before a grand road trip from California to Texas. This is what got me into travelling and photography, and like Ana I would love to post a travelblog of that trip. I knew nothing of lighting compostion, anything! I was just capturing the things I would see that captured my attention. Sometimes pictures would turn out good and sometimes not- and I didn't ever bother to ask why. I took road trips across the southwest, then drove home the next year on another 2 week road trip taking more pictures.

In 2002 after starting school for a new career, I upgraded my camera and bought a 3.2 megapixel Olympus point and shoot. I got some great pictures with that camera, backpacking the sierra's alone practically every month. This is when I started to find out the why's and how's of taking a good picture... Is the lighting too harsh? Is everything that caught my eye to cause me to want to take a picture being included in the frame? Is their too much contrast in light between the foreground and background? I never once thought of getting an expensive camera, I always saw myself as still learning. My method was simple, and still is today- if something catches my eye, I capture it with my camera: "Zoom in...Is the island in the far right of the frame as possible to show the forested cliffs on the left? I want to show a hint of the crater rim at the top, but I also want to include the snow patch at the top right, zoo out. The island needs to be on the far right so as much of the forested cliffs on the left can show, that's important to the shot. Ok now is the lighting balanced, is it in focus? Adjustments... hold your breath... SNAP!"

In 2004 I finished school and had planned another grand road trip through the Southwest to Texas to see family. I upgraded my camera again, this time to a semi-fancy 5 megapixel Nikon 5700. After I settled down and started working 2 months later, I bought a point and Shoot Canon A95 I still own. I feel like in 2004 when I started taking international vacations (first to Chile, then to Puerto Rico and New Zealand I, II, III) my photography started getting much better. When I discovered Travelblog, I finally had a way to post my top 50 pictures from a trip and post a story in a great format, and my presentation became better as well!

In November 2006, I made the ultimate upgrade and bought a very expensive Nikon D80 with 20-200 mm lens. At first it was heavy, cumbersome and difficult to get used to not seeing the picture on an LCD screen *before you press the shutter. I also found out what you see is NOT what you get when you look through the SLR viewfinder. First off slightly more area is included in the captured image than what shows through the eyepiece- second what you see through the eyepiece is just like looking with your eyes- so if your final picture is too dark because of incorrect shutter speed/apeture you wont see it until you take the picture! I missed seeing the final picture in an LCD screen before I pressed the shutter, it compensated for my lack of knowledge about shutter speed and aperture! but the pictures it produced were excellent. I now knew why people think cameras make good pictures, because in terms of clarity they do. I first took my new camera on a trip to the Sierra's, and soon on another trip to the Sierra's as well. I got some great shots!

This highlights my own learning process- I never took any classes or read books, and I never bought a super nice camera first and learned how to take pictures later. I learned by trial and error, a process film photographer could never even dream of due to expense and time. I feel like a lot of people try to learn photography the opposite way they should: First buying an expensive camera and taking classes and reading books, and only then going out to take pictures. I feel like we should be going out to take pictures, and sort out the specifics of processing our own film, $5000 cameras and lengthy photography books later! Its like being a Buddhist or Christian- are you going to read books about it all day, or go out into the world and practice compassion and love? (A lesson from Ajahn Chah)

Some professional photographers grow tired of all the expensive cameras and people thinking it is the equipment that's what takes great pictures. Purists, they handmake pinhole cameras: a small 2 inch cardboard box with film inside and a hole poked with a needle on the other side with a brass slider to expose the film. The pictures in the article were as good as any photographer shooting with a $5000 Hasselblad camera- which carries home the point that capturing with your camera whats captures your attention and good lighting makes a good picture- not the equipment!

I still suck at portraits, look at the portrait taken by Cumberland Sausage and drool. How does he capture locals like a National Geographic pro? I also see pictures by Crazy Canucks, Ali , lovelyplanet and TeamTurner too- how did they capture that with their cameras?

I also think photography is always something you can improve at. Look at all the great photographers- David Muench, Galen Rowell, Jim Brandenburg... they are all noticed and successful not before the age of 50! Certainly their early work is good, but maturity in photography comes with age, and as long as we have our eyesight and one hand we can take pictures.

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11 years ago, January 31st 2008 No: 7 Msg: #26431  
wow those photos are amazing!

My passion for photography started in my younger years. You could say I got it from my dad, and in a way I was forced (heh). Every time we're on a vacation, I'm always tasked as the photographer for the clan. What started as a task became a hobby, and in colllege, I took up a few electives in photography where I held my first SLR. Ever since I've been taking photos, and with every batch of photos I take I see how my style is changing (you could say maturity in photography as Stephen Paul mentioned) and in a way, you could say I'm improving 😊 Reply to this

11 years ago, February 1st 2008 No: 8 Msg: #26524  
B Posts: 53
Team Turner: yes, this Canon is great and when I decide to move to a DSLR, I'll definitely open a topic here!

Nice to hear all these histories 😊 Reply to this

11 years ago, February 9th 2008 No: 9 Msg: #27085  
B Posts: 5
I guess my interest in photography came from my mother. She took hundreds of photos over the years and I have some going back to before I was born in 1946.

I don't remember when I got my first camera, but a friend of the family gave me his old Pentax SLR when I was about 19 or 20, and it followed me around Europe until I left it in a cafe in London somewhere in 1970.

Over the years I've taken the happy snaps of the kids, and places we've been. About 4 years ago I got my first digital and the love affair returned. People think I'm nutz. I take pictures of everything. Even the food I'm eating. Check it out sometime. Food has such incredible colours and textures. I would put some in this post, but don't know how to yet. Reply to this

11 years ago, February 17th 2008 No: 10 Msg: #27772  
For me its about story telling..I found that a phot could tell the story of some trip I took...or a place I had been..so i started taking photos of everything even little trips to the store..I used to carry a camera in my bag(throw away ) but now phones fix that..My Nikon D50 rocks.. I have now traveled to 33 countries..Next stop South africa,Kenya and Tanzania.. Reply to this

11 years ago, February 17th 2008 No: 11 Msg: #27773  
My photo history started when I got a job at a one hour photo lab. At the time I was trying to paint but I was not very good so I got a camera. It was a Canon EOS Elan 7E 35mm SLR. When I got it home and took it out of the box I realized that I didn't even know how to turn the thing on. I decided I needed to take a class. The photographer I took the class from ended up hiring me to "assist" him. That mostly consisted of me cleaning the studio. But eight years later I have a Canon 30D that I use for personal stuff and work for one of the best jewelry photographers in the Dallas Texas area. Unfortunately my travel photography is limited but thats why I come to this site, for inspiration to save the money and get out there. Reply to this

11 years ago, February 18th 2008 No: 12 Msg: #27858  
When I was younger about 5 My parents gave me a plastic 110 camera. It's been going ever since. I have upgraded a couple times since then. My father was a photographer also. Reply to this

7 years ago, June 29th 2012 No: 13 Msg: #158149  
What a great question-- I thought I would revive this thread so we can find out how some current travel bloggers have developed their interest and passion for photography.

As many of the others above I was given a camera for a birthday when I was about 8 years old. I would run around taking pictures of flowers and our dog.

At ten years old they gave me the new Polaroid one step cameras. All my friends thought it was "cool" because it was the latest camera out on the market and I had it. Honestly, the film was outrageously expensive and didn't take consistent photos. Yes, part of the problem was learning about lighting and composition but not a fantastic camera.

In college I took one photography class. We learned how to compose the shot, played around with a variety of cameras, learned to develop film ( not a valuable skill these days) and played around with some black and white film. I would love to take some photography classes now.

For years and years I used a 35mm Minolta. I had multiple lenses. I grew tired of having to change the lenses. (that never happens quickly enough to get a great shot)

For a period of about 5 years my interest wained and I went with the digital point and shoots. They are light weight and easy. I was tired of lugging around a big camera bag.

We bought a Nikon D90 about three years ago and have been wonderfully happy with it. This camera has infused enthusiasm to taking photos again. We would love to upgrade to the D700. That may not happen for another year or so. Time will tell.

Again, I'd love to take some additional photography classes.

MJ Reply to this

7 years ago, July 3rd 2012 No: 14 Msg: #158283  
I wasn't actually into photography before college. I was more into writing and drawing. But my degree required me to take three units on basic photography. We were required to use film SLRs so I bought a secondhand Nikon F10.

I soon grew into photography and found myself taking a lot of pictures. It was expensive since you'd have to develop the film and print the negatives.

Then during my senior year I enrolled in a creative photography elective. It was then I bought my Nikon D40x, which I have been using for almost five years now. I also apprenticed for a time for a wedding photographer, who gave me some valuable tips especially on shooting portraits and events.

I've been meaning to buy a more high-end version, especially now that the model's obsolete. I'm having problem with the battery and there are no more available batteries here for D40x. Reply to this

7 years ago, July 8th 2012 No: 15 Msg: #158557  
I was given a 12 photo concertina B&W camera when I was about 13 by a boarder who lived with us. One of the photos I took with that camera I thought was great but the others were disappointing.

After I left school I bought a Practica, an East German film SLR, which was the only one I could afford, but my shots compared well with my mates who had expensive cameras.

I bought a whole lot of filters, simple lenses over the years but only the UV lens was worth it.

Shortly after Denise and I married in 1981, we were burgled and all my camera gear was stolen plus Denise's Opium perfume.

With the insurance money I bought 2 Olympus OM1-N SLRs, a Sigma wide angle zoom lens, and a Sigma telephoto zoom lens and had one of each lens on each camera permanently.

I was constantly disappointed how many of the film shots once developed were not as amazing as I expected, but some were good enough to have framed and adorned the walls of our home.

Then in about 1994/95 I had a month on the Great South Road in Southern Australia, taking photos of the Twelve Apostles every day for about 2 weeks trying to get shots as good as the postcards.

Then one day there were massive seas, so we went to Lochard Gorge which has a narrow entrance of tall headland cliffs and a little beach within. I stood on a small rock on the beach taking shots of the waves smashing higher than the entrance, with both cameras around my neck.

I was using the telephoto zoom, sensational. Then I felt a push in the back, which caused one foot to fall forward, the wide angle camera around my neck swinging and dipping into a wave that had come around the cliffs and come up behind me. The camera dipped into the water for a split second and the water was gone.

The camera could not be repaired so I only had the telephoto left.

When I went to China in late 2002 I was paranoid of being robbed so I bought my first digital camera, a small Nikon point & shoot with adjustable LED screen.

I was amazed how good the photos were, I could see what they were going to look like in the LED and I could take as many as I wanted.

I upgraded to a Nikon S4 for a later China trip in 2005/06 and was taking shots in -20C conditions so I thought my camera was great.

Later in 2006 my camera failed in Malaysia so I upgraded to a Nikon S10, a small point and shoot with 10x optical zoom.

I took it to China, Patagonia and East Africa, blindly thinking my shots were as good as those with the fancy cameras and lenses, thinking as I had a pocket camera I would not be robbed.

As it turned out in Zambia I was the only one in the group that was robbed. The cook took all of my money and my passport, but not my camera!

Then in 2010 I was at a Blues Music Festival and was taking the same shots as a professional photographer there, or so I thought.

I went to his photo exhibition...and my years of blindness were wiped away...his photos were brilliant...and mine were shit!

So when planning for Mali & Ethiopia in 2010/11, I had to get a decent camera.

I wanted a camera whereby I could see a camel on a sanddune and take it close up and also wide angle without changing my lens.

I also wanted an adjustable LED as I hate looking through the lens for a portrait...makes me feel as uncomfortable as the subject!

I tried heaps of SLRs but settled on a point & shoot with a single 18-200mm lens...the SONY NEX5HD.

I can't take shots as good as the Blues photographer at night, but in daylight....another story!

I guess I am still blinded by my fear of technology, but now that I am a member of Travelblog my eyes are opened regularly.

Anyway I'm happy with my point & shoot SONY NEX5HD...here are a couple of my favourite portraits...until I get a fancy SLR...this thread may inspire me.

[Edited: 2012 Jul 08 10:57 - Dancing Dave:192151 ]
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7 years ago, July 8th 2012 No: 16 Msg: #158563  

In response to: Msg #158557


Wow, my socks are knocked off understanding that you are doing your photos with a point and shoot...even if a good one. My mind stands still at the thought of what you might do with a more complex piece of equipment.

All photographers know the camera is the equipment and what makes the real difference is the photographers eye, sense of the scene and the ability to use light properly. I would welcome an opportunity to see what you might do with different equipment.

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