I just realized that it has been six months since I bought my DSLR camera. I remember walking around my back yard and shooting everything that didn’t move. The one below is from that first batch. I remember thinking how cool that the background was blurred. (Look, I even have bokeh) Of course at that point it was sheer luck because I had no idea what I was doing.
Basically, I still don’t. But I think I’m learning. In fact, I’ve learned a lot. (Oh, to create a blurred background I use a larger aperture opening to create less area in focus? Well, alright then.) It’s just that there is so much to learn that I suspect the learning never stops unless you want it to. Right now, I’m still having tons of fun progressing.
To learn the basics of my camera, I’ve read the book “Nikon D3200 – From Snapshots to Great Shots” by Rob Sylvan three times. I’ve moved from JPEG to RAW. I’m thinking more about composition when I frame my shots although I still do a lot of cropping. I’m trying to slow down and think before I click. (Duh! You’d think that pine cone is going to move the way I fire off five or six shots before even looking at my settings.) I now have a tri-pod, which I’m still too self-conscious to tote around.
I’ve thrown away the first book I bought to learn Photoshop Elements 12 as it was totally confusing and am slowly making my way through my second purchase, “Photoshop Elements 12 – the Missing Manual” by Barbara Brundage, which is much better. I actually think I’m beginning to understand layers – hallelujah! YouTube videos are invaluable, too, I might add.
I’ve discovered I’m not into portraits or street photography, and I hate to admit it but black and white just doesn’t get me that excited either. Nature photography seems to be my niche. I started out stalking birds and find that’s still where most of my photo treks take me. Even though my 55-200mm lens is somewhat limiting, I’m okay, for now, with seeing what shots I can get with it. One thing I do hope to get better at is conveying a story, not just always settling for ID shots.
Actually, I’m leaning more and more towards abstracts and macro work. (A macro lens may be my next splurge.) I love how nature holds such interesting colors, textures and designs just waiting to be captured. I find I’m always going for close-ups. And the bonus is I don’t have to travel to exotic places; possibilities are everywhere. I’ve always tried to be open to God’s beauty and creativity, but photography has really enhanced my awareness.
And then there is the whole new world of post-processing. It’s mind-boggling! Yes, straight-out-of-the-camera is my goal, but I definitely intent to learn how to improve my photos after the fact. I love dabbling around with textures and creative blur and other artistic effects.
Finally, I have come to make visiting the photography blogs I follow on WordPress an enjoyable part of my morning routine. Photos by these super-talented people take me to places all around the world I’ll never visit, constantly wow me and encourage me to keep clicking away. So thank you, thank you, thank you!