Right! So I’ve lasted as long as I could. It was only a matter of time, really. I’ve finally given in.
If you’ve been around my blog before you’ll know that I’ve taken up my long-lost almost-hobby of photography in earnest earlier this year. At the beginning of time I had a small 35mm camera. I rarely used it because it was (is) so expensive to get the film developed. It sometimes meant having to save up for a month or two before I could hold the pictures in my hands, and by that time I’d already forgotten what/how I took a photo. A person can get really frustrated and unhappy that way, so I decided to let it go.
When digital cameras came onto the market I felt a faint stirring of optimism at the possibilities. No more buying of film, no more saving to get it developed, no need to try to work that extra expense into the budget. But it’s been such a long time since I took any photos, and it wasn’t all that good anyway, so should I really spend a lot of money when I buy a digital camera? That’s the question I struggled with. Here’s a bit of advise for you – if you are looking for a good way to get demotivated, do what I did. Instead of taking time and saving money to buy a camera that received good reviews, I spent a few hundred Rand on a very entry-level type thing. For me, this was not the best way to find my way around digital photography. No matter what I did, the photos just never looked good. That’s not necessarily the fault of the camera alone, though!
The year before last I decided to upgrade to a better quality compact camera, the Canon Powershot A470. At first it didn’t get used much either. It took some encouragement and lots of reading before I finally started taking photos that looked like something. I call myself an amateur photographer but realistically I’m probably more the happy snapper trying to photograph interesting things. After only a couple of months I felt limited with what I can do with my newly appreciated little compact camera and I started to look at camera reviews with more interest. Perusing other photoblogs ,and seeing what else is possible if one has a SLR camera, I started to dream big. I want one of those babies! But they are incredibly expensive to the average happy snapper, and even an amateur photographer.
How much good will a better camera do me anyway? I have this notion that pictures should look good right off the camera, without software processing after the fact. It must be something I held over from the “beginning of time” when it was impossible to salvage a photo that wasn’t taken in ideal conditions. I’m still struggling to come to terms with the fact that the digital aspect of photography is a lot different from film. The only processing I’ve done on the photos I took thus far was to use the auto setting in the software that helped correct the contrast. That doesn’t count, right?! 😉
I still have so much to learn, but upgrading my camera equipment might help, so I gave in. I splurged and bought a Canon Powershot SX30IS – the closest I’ll get to a SLR for now. Sadly it arrived at a busy time so I’ve only managed to take a few practice shots with it, after which I discovered I have even more to learn than I first thought. There is a world of difference between the A470 and the SX30IS. I’m really looking forward to “getting it right” with my new toy! And I somehow have to make peace with the fact that I may need to do some serious photo processing. As you can see from my first “stitch” attempt, I need to learn fast – I have no idea if I can doctor this one right!