Monday, September 8, 2014

I think I'm winning....

...the camera battle anyway.  I finally managed to take some bright-sun shots with the new camera that I like. 

I've always been interested in photography, but was also always turned off by the technical jargon and seemingly endless rules that went with it.  Not to mention the expense, inconvenience and delayed gratification of film cameras. 

A friend gave me my first digital camera four or five years ago.  It was this blog though that actually got me out taking pictures.  Before that, I kept the camera in its case and only took it out for "special" occasions.  I was VERY bad at taking pictures. 

It was liberating when I finally decided that there was no point in having a camera that I wouldn't use and keeping it safe and clean defeated the purpose.  It's a bit like getting that first ding in a new car or finally starting that dirty job you've been putting off.  The best thing is to just plunge in, get dirty and the job is easy after that.  Photography is like that.  You have to accept that, yes, the camera will suffer for being carted around in a pocket every day and used extensively, but pictures don't take themselves.

I still don't understand the technical stuff.  I don't think I could tell you the definition of an F-stop except to say that when you get to the point that you're using the F-bomb too much, you should stop and put the camera away for a little while. 

I think it's just the way my brain works, I won't understand the jargon until it has context.  My hands need to learn it before my mind can.  Having worn out three cameras in the last few years, I can usually tell when a picture is going to work or not and that is enough for me for now.  I still find myself annoyed and baffled by all the technical gobbledygook of camera speak, but I think it will come on it's own in time.

My previous cameras were all given to me and I simply accepted them as-is and learned to work with what I had.  I think I have learned more from their limitations than their abilities.  Learning to work around them has shown me the key to photography:  get a camera, any camera, and go out and use it. A LOT.

As for "Rules of Photography"...I don't really know what the rules are or what works for other people so I've come up with my own set of "rules":
  1. The number one rule according to me is: ignore all the rules.  
If you want to shoot directly into the sun, go for it.  You might like what happens.  

I have come up with some of my own guidelines for taking photos:

Take pictures of things you love.

Take pictures of ordinary, everyday things.  Take pictures of boring things you wouldn't normally think twice of.  I think it's the best way to develop an "eye" for photography.

 Take pictures of big things....

and tiny things.

Take pictures of things you don't think you can take pictures of.

Play with the buttons and dials on your camera.  It doesn't matter if you know what they mean, just pay attention to what happens. 

Carry your camera with you.  Take A LOT of pictures.

I want to thank everybody for your camera input.  I can't say I am in love with my new camera, but it has taught me some new things already.  I doubt I could return it now regardless, but at least it isn't making me feel stupid anymore.  Given that I do carry it around in my pocket all the time, I doubt it will be too terribly long before I am looking for a new one.  I think I'll check in with you guys first next time:)

PS - I am off from work this week for a desperately needed "vacation".  I probably won't be posting much either.  Have a good week!


  1. Have a wonderful week off!!! This was a great post and I'm so glad things between you and your camera are smoothing out :-).

  2. I think you might eventually be 'in love' with your new camera. This one shows more color nuance and texture and it looks like you're beginning to manipulate that. I like these pics!!

  3. Way to go. I love the first two shots. Enjoy your break.

  4. You have a good week then doing what you do around the farm and TAKE lots of photos! I agree with you about all the rules of photography.
    I have been in a group since last year that gives us 'assignments' for Fine Art B&W photography. I have a love - hate relationship with it as the assignments ask me to do things I don't normally like to do or want to do.
    But it has helped in some aspects.
    And then I go out and do exactly what I wish to do and enjoy it anyway!

    I will be curious as to how you get along with this camera as my two pocket cameras are on their last legs!

  5. Fantastic shots! and excellent photography advice. It's true, if you try new things, experiment, or don't know that you're "not supposed to do it that way," one will get some of the best results ever :) And not just with photography either.
    Enjoy your vacation!

  6. I love this post. I love your rules and guidelines AND I love your pictures!

  7. Oh, Kris, your pictures have always been perfect to me... you have such an eye!

  8. What a spot on post for me in so many ways. Love your f-stop/f-bomb idea. That's me!
    Terribly stupid question here, but I didn't know you could wear out a camera? Maybe that's what's happening to my camera. I just thought maybe I'd lost that magic touch with my lovely little point-and-shoot camera. Maybe it's the camera and not me!
    I hope you enjoy your time off from blogging this week. Breaks are definitely needed!

  9. Yes yes yes! You are doing a fabulous job and always have. The driving factor still is - take the photos of things you love and you might just find you take photos of NEW things to love!

  10. Yay for vacations! Have fun with the camera! I would love to take a class and learn the rules.

  11. An American in TokyoSeptember 11, 2014 at 8:14 PM

    Glad to hear that you are starting to enjoy your new camera!
    Enjoy your vacation!