Friday, January 1, 2016

A Photo a Day 2016: Day One

I have wanted a not-point-and-shoot camera for YEARS. At first I was going to say "I've wanted a DSLR for years" but that's not true. When I was in college, I dreamed of owning a fancy FILM camera and running around taking gorgeous pictures. Spontaneous pictures. Pictures inside and out. But I couldn't afford it and I didn't pursue it.

I have always loved taking pictures though. I wanted it to be a serious/hobby - despite the small impostor voice in my ear saying "You are terrible at it. You are not as good as everyone else. You're going to get made fun of. You're doing it wrong. You are a poser. You just want to copy other people." That voice....that damn voice.

At the end of 2015 I was given a wonderful financial gift. As I wrote notes upon notes about what I wanted to do with the money - save! spend! save and spend! - I kept writing down DSLR. Over and over. Then erasing it. Frivolous purchase. I don't need that. (Did I mention I have a long Amazon wishlist of cameras I like? That every single Black Friday I'd add to that list? That I'd get overwhelmed with choices and back away? That I'd feel like I was wasting my money and close the tab?)

And then last night* as I was perusing the local yard sale groups on Facebook, as I often do, I came across a local woman selling an older version of a DSLR for what appeared to be a great price. I did some research and...I closed the tab. The research told me that the camera was great and the price was great. But again, I gave up.

Today the post was still there. Nobody had claimed this camera. I said to my husband, "Should I do this?" YES! YES YES YES! And after a bit of back and forth with the seller, I claimed it. It was mine. She was extremely enthusiastic about the camera - she'd simply upgraded to a newer model - and that sealed the deal. I bought it.

I now have to learn how to use it. I refuse to use Auto mode (except when....necessary). I want to understand every single tweak I can make. I want this older model to lead me to buying the latest and greatest down the road. I am ready.

I figure I should start by forcing myself to take a photo a day and to post it here. To show my mistakes as well as my successes. And to shut that fucking voice up. I am NOT a professional photographer. I've owned this digital camera for....a few hours. But we'll see where I go. At the very least my goals are to take nice pictures of my family, to upgrade the pictures on my crafty website and in my Etsy store, and to also update the pictures (taken with my phone) that I use on some of my crafty wares. I just want to PLAY this year. I haven't had a new hobby in a while.

Here is one of the first photos I took today. It's of my cat. I was trying to see if I could take a decent picture in low light, and I learned after the fact that I'd had some of the settings backwards - my ISO was too low in a lot of my test pictures, for example. I'll learn. So I don't remember offhand which settings I'd tweaked or anything, but I will start to take notes about that too so I can learn what works and what doesn't. I figure I'll look back at this picture in a month - in six months - and laugh. But I have to start somewhere.

Mr. Moo.
And now to read all the tutorials, watch all the videos, and possibly sign up for a class - or beg one of my local photographer friends to teach me the ropes. I'll get there. This isn't a whim. This is a LONG TIME COMING.

*It was, yes, New Year's Eve. I was home with my cats on the couch - husband and child both asleep for the moment - and I was on Facebook. Yup.

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