I call myself a casual photographer. I like taking pictures. I guess you could call it a hobby. It’s not one of those hobbies where I plan an activity with the goal of filling up my SD card. Rather, if I am headed out somewhere and I think there might be some photo opportunities I will grab my camera as I head out the door.
Over the years I have used a few different cameras. The first camera my parents bought me used a 110 Film Cartridge. I was probably about 10 years old and I look a lot of pictures of the family cats. Later I was upgraded (if you would call it that) to a Disc Camera. This camera was also used to take a lot of pictures of the family cats. In high school I was given my first 35mm point-and-shoot. This camera took a lot of pictures of my friends and me goofing around.
As a senior in high school I had permission to borrow my dad’s Canon SLR for photography class. I learned photography basics and took scenic black and white shots I developed in the dark room. As I recall the only function we changed on the camera was the f-stop. Most of the class centered on the composition of the pictures such as using the Rule of Thirds and paying attention to the background (you don’t want trees growing out of people’s heads when taking snapshots outside).
Now I have a real camera. I have a Nikon D7000 and it has all kinds of bells and whistles on it but they scare me. They scare me because I don’t know how to use them properly. I’ve tried using some of the manual functions a few different times but I didn’t like the way the photos turned out, especially when compared to the photos I took using the automatic function. Sometimes the pictures were too blurry, other times they are overexposed. Sometimes I just didn’t have the time to play with the f-stop or shutter speed. Whatever the case, the auto function has become my photography best friend.
I have had my Nikon for a few years and I have said more than once I need to take a photography class so I can learn to use my camera properly. I guess all that talking inspired a friend of mine. I was given two photography classes as a thank you gift. And now I start a new chapter in my photography journey – Mastering the Manual Functions.