When I first got my camera I noticed it was a whole lot different than my phone… It was challenging and at times discouraging because I knew my phone so well.. but I did my best to put these thoughts behind me and press on!
I remember watching videos explaining the functions of a DSLR camera. (Oh, if you wondered..DSLR means Digital Single Lens Reflex, aka the kind of camera with detachable lenses ;) It was overwhelming and I paused every 30 seconds to understand what the heck was going on haha. I remember one video specifically, the guy ran through all the different shooting modes and what they do and at the end he talked about “manual mode”. Having full reign over the camera. I thought..”that’s exactly what I need to learn! How to control my camera fully!”
Having been shooting in “auto” for the time being, I knew it was a must.
I went cold turkey. I turned my camera dial to Manual and never went back even when it was painfully difficult! It wasn’t long after I got it. I’m thinking only a few weeks in that I made this decision. If I wanted to do what I imagined doing, I needed to know how to make my camera do what I wanted. And I soon found out I needed to understand the three main components that make up a photo: shutter speed, aperture and ISO.
It honestly confused me for weeks. But for the first few months I spent almost every day with my camera. Sometimes for hours at a time, just experimenting and getting familiar. I didn't have to many fantastic shots at this time haha.
I even read the manual! A lot! And watched more videos and tutorials and how-to’s. But mostly, I was outside taking pictures determined to understand why my photos came out too dark or too bright or why the photo was blurry. What the heck? I needed to know!
I remember one day specifically at a place I am familiar with called Leesburg Falls, it clicked in my head how the aperture worked. I realized that when I focused on these little yellow buttercup flowers(not joking) with a low aperture everything else in the background will become blurry so my subject would stand out and in focus. Haha it might not sound like much but it changed my life! You know those moments when you don’t understand something and then, vuala! Yeah, that was it.
The shutter and ISO and all 3 components together soon fell into place and it made sense! and I gained a comfortable control over my camera through trial and error.
There was something I was always learning, and still am even within my cameras capabilities, but one thing I always wondered was how to photograph the stars?!?!
It honestly blew my mind that you could actually capture stars in a photo. And not only the stars but the Milky Way Galaxy! Like what? Haha I had no idea! So after researching how I might be able to do this, I went in to the back yard of my home in New Jersey, pointed my camera to the sky and soon found my camera screen lit with stars! (After a few trial runs of course). This quickly led me to explore this “new” photography during the night! It’s so different. It was as if a new door opened for me to walk through and see something I’ve never seen before. Whoa…There’s nothing else like shooting the night sky. It’s my absolute favorite and always a challenge working when it’s pitch black out side.. It's also cool because you can add your own light to the photos unlike the day because the sun has so much light you can't really add much of anything comparatively.
The reason my photography progressed was because I put in the time and had the passion for it to move forward. I had vision and imagined. And because of that I was determined. Practice makes perfect!*
Next week : This is what it became
Until then, thanks for reading :) let me know what your think!