When HHBL gave me that first “big girl” camera in 2005 I had no clue what photography would come to mean to me.
That first camera seemed so big and intimidating to me. There were like LENSES that you could switch out. And there were lots of buttons and choices. Of course it would be a LONG time before I realized that I could actually take the camera off of Auto. A long time before I even had the courage to do that. What if I broke something!! What if I couldn’t remember how I got there!!! What if I couldn’t get back into Auto mode, that nice safe place. I thought, when I figured out (thanks to Papa) that I could put it in “P” and bump up something called the “ISO” (not knowing what that was but who cared) that I could take pictures without having that pesky flash go off.
Have I ever told you that I am not all that fond of flash. Or at least not fond of the on camera flash. That must be why I shoot natural light.
But I digress….again.
I didn’t even know what Aperture or Shutter speed or ISO was let alone White Balance. Sorry Dad, I missed that one when I was growing up. Nor did I even know that I should care about those things. And shooting in RAW? Why would I want to photograph anything without benefit of clothes? I don’t understand. I couldn’t even figure out where to look on the camera to see if I could even shoot in RAW. But when others spoke in glowing terms about all the control that shooting in RAW gave them I just nodded in agreement and vowed that I was going to figure this out….someday.
Yes, I know, if I had actually read the manual thoroughly I might have been a bit wiser. Sometimes with me the learning curve is long and steep.
And along the way, as I worked with the camera every day my “eye” started to develop. And I came to love photography.
But that first camera was a gateway drug. It led me to a another camera body that could do just a bit more than the previous one.
And then there were the lenses.
Oh my stars and garters the lenses.
First there was the Wide angle lens that I so didn’t need let alone know how to use. It sounded like something I needed (sorry HHBL). NOW I use it all the time, it is an essential tool for work but then…..ummm…no. I walked along for a number of years with just the “kit” lenses that came with the camera body (not knowing that I could just buy the body), a very light 18-55mm (which I still have) and a 75-300mm (which I sold last year). Oh and the wide angle that sat in my camera bag and was never used because I didn’t really know what it was for.
Then along came the 85mm lens. A supremely SWEET piece of glass. It spoke to me with the siren song of the prime lens. But, I would give a piece of advice if I may. I would NOT buy your first prime lens 5 days before you shoot your first solo wedding, have it shipped overnight and then try to become proficient with it three days before the wedding.
I’m just sayin’.
And then along came my “Nifty Fifty”. I can blame that one on TSiL. I looked at his camera (which was my old camera) and inquired what might be the lens that he was using….
Had to have one. That was a great decision. The 50mm (albeit the lowest priced one) is one of my favorite lenses to use.
And then……the Tamron 18-270 Super Zoom. Be still my beating heart.
I thought I was done. I swear I did! What more could I want.
And then I actually started to pick up more work. More interior work. A baby here and there. A wedding or two. The Cleveland Food Show. I pushed Old Faithful to her limits and sometimes beyond. I scoured the internet and books and blogs to find out how to get her to perform feats of Natural Light Magic. She played nicely with the flash unit……most of the time. She gave, and gives, fabulous results.
But there came a moment in time when she looked at me and said,
It’s time to take the next step. I am tired. I like ISO ranges that don’t exceed 800. I can do 1600 but I am going to make you pay for it. I don’t want to get along with the flash anymore.
She is heavier. She is more complicated. Much more complicated. Just the shutter sound has more “heft” to it.
And now it is back to learning. When you have had a certain camera for a long time it is sort of like a marriage. You know where all the buttons are. You know which buttons to push to get the result that you want. You don’t really have to think about it some times. You have camera muscle memory.
All my camera muscle memory counts for nothing at the moment. All the buttons are in a different place. There are several more wheels that do different things. There are more options to choose from. I can access ALL the camera setting to change what I want by clicking on just one button. I can change White Balance easily. Heck, I can set the White Balance by KELVIN scale if I want. I have just started making my way through the manual.
My head may explode from all the knowledge that is being introduced into my poor cranium.
But what a way to go.
(Oh, and I might have bought a new and better 50mm).
(Ummmmm, and perhaps a new Speedlite flash).
(And…..another camera bag).
BUT THAT IS ALL I SWEAR!