To those that are looking to do photography. I want to definitely welcome you to my blog. I’ll be doing blogs, vlogs and the like here. I know where I was about 12 years ago and it was not anywhere near a camera. Then time past and met a few people who inspired me to pick up a camera and low and behold, I now have a journey as a photographer story to tell.
Lately, I have had an inner voice telling me to keep my camera around me at all times. Well, that voice never went away and now look at what I’m doing. I’ve got a few gigs under my belt as well as a wedding in an incredibly small location. I can only imagine the amazing things I’ll be doing in the months and years to come with my camera.
As you can see from the photo above I love to visit the beach here in Oregon. There’s much more traveling that I am looking forward to doing with my camera at my side. Doing landscape photography is one of my passions. However, I love capturing the memories that people (like yourself) love to have saved digitally.
There’s plenty of things that I plan on doing with this site and if you’re not setup yet on a blog, I have to say this is one place on the internet that is yours. What I mean to say is that you won’t be filtered and lose all your photos on a blog whereas on a social media account you’ll definitely run the risk of getting shut down or going to social media jail.
This blog is completely setup on WordPress and using SiteGround as the hosting company. It’s very much like what you see with Wix or Square Space.
Now I didn’t write this post to sell you on a blogging setup. The reason I wrote this post is to give you an idea as to where I started out.
The Photography Bug
Back in the early days when phone cameras were not a thing (yet) and if you wanted to take decent photos, you needed a point and shoot. if you were lucky enough to have a point and shoot that could do video that was pretty cool as well. I remember well the Sony 3mp camera that I had which could also do video in some very fuzzy format. Probably something close to a 480p resolution back then. I’m talking close to around 2000-2002.
First Video / Photography Camera
This is a photo of the first camera that I had which took video as well. I remember a video that I took of my daughter when tinkering around with the features.
She came up to me, posed, then said,”how long does it take to take the picture”.
I then told her I was taking video and she was a bit embarrassed.
This was a great camera but there were some flaws. For instance it took its own memory stick/card. The camera came with a 128mb “usb” stick. I also didn’t like how terrible it did in low light. The camera didn’t offer control over the shutter speed or the aperture. I thought, there has to be a better way to take photos of people inside a building for instance.
Moving into Prosumer / Professional Cameras
Of course this camera was a toy comparatively to todays DSLR and mirrorless bodies. Which is why this camera wasn’t something on my person all the time. Batteries were always running out and well it wasn’t very friendly to me at my level of expertise.
In 2006, I started looking for a different camera body to use and that’s when I bought a Nikon D50.
The entry level model at the time for Nikon, gave the marketplace the Nikon D50. My research showed Nikon was the best at photography and had the best glass in the industry.
I took in as much as I could about the camera and discovered it’s weak points and where it excelled. This really got me going and thrusted me into photography. Now i could control the shutter and aperture – which allowed me to take long exposures at night!
The Photography Learning Process
I started taking photos of the bridges in downtown portland and getting some really good photos. I wasn’t quite aware of the high F stop anomalies nor did I realize that low F stop would not keep my photo in focus through out the photo.
It was a learning process.
Losing photographs & memories
It was during the many different operating systems that Microsoft put out duing the early 2000’s. WindowsME, Windows 2000, and just prior to Windows Vista/WindowsXP were all sort of smushed together. The hard drive that took a dive on me was also hosting the WinMe operating system and from then on all I could get back were tiny little 50kb pictures that were maybe a quarter inch square.
After all the searching…and I mean I searched my hard drive thoroughly. All I found were thumbnails. This taught me to start backing up my data. You’d think I would have already learned this lesson. After all I worked in the Information Tech space.
The downfall to this camera was that the SD card cannot be larger than 2gb and it only shot 3 fps for 1-3 seconds.
So, I played around with night photography using this camera for several years. I was able to upgrade in 2012, Where I purchased a rare combo at Costco.
The Nikon D7000 with the 18-200mm kit lens.
This was a dream for me at the time. This camera gave me some flexibility and better quality for landscape photos. The kit lens was the same 18mm but more megapixels. This meant better light and resulting in better photos.
Now all of these cameras to this point are all crop sensor cameras.
How to Calculate Crop Sensor to Full Frame Equivalent
If you want to find out the “real” zoom or lens length you need to times the length by 1.5 for Nikon and if you own a Canon, you would times it by 1.6
So a kit lens would equate to a full frame lens equivalent of 27-300mm (Nikon) and ~29mm – 320mm (Canon)
This was a boost of 10.1 megapixels from 6.1 to 16.2 with some pretty good glass that came in the kit. Not many of the kits back then featured this lens. They were still including the 18-55mm lens which I already had with the D50.
Trips to Portland
Many summer evenings, I would take off and land in downtown portland to take some photos of the bridges. One of them got published in the publication for Pacific Power. This was during the Oregon Ducks run at a national title in Football.
This photo is one that I took with the D7000. It’s a bit dark but this is strait out of the camera with no post editing. Portland is where I started my photography and built my love for night time photography.
What’s Needed To Be A Good Photographer
To really get a good perspective on how to do photography, I had to learn what F stops were and how they related to aperture and bokeh. Then learning how things moving needed to have a faster shutter speed. Sure, everyone will start out using the auto feature but at some point you need to move to the “P-mode” then to manual. I did that mostly with the D50 and then fine tuned that with the D7000. I really enjoyed getting tack sharp photos during a night shoot.
However, the night shoots were tricky as well. I learned that if you shoot at 9pm vs 10pm, you’ll get that better shot without having to do any editing. The shot above was taken at around 10pm when the sun was pretty much out of sight. Still it didn’t stop me from learning.
The D7000 has served me well on my journey as a photographer. It’s also helped me learn about the many levers that are involved with shooting with a DSLR. Nothing like a phone these days being on automatic. Yes, they get good shots but nothing like what a full frame camera can get.
Transition to a Professional Level Nikon Camera
Now days, I’m using the Nikon D850. It’s really a beast in the photography world even thought its production date is September 8, 2017.
The 45.7mp, full frame sensor with a buffer that literally does not run out is amazing. I’m able to get photos of people that truly bring out more colors and depth with this camera. I get comments about how well the photos look after editing them all the time. That is the bare bones of my journey as a photographer. I invite you to tell me your experience in the comments below.
If you’re looking for a photographer to photograph your wedding, event, or to do your social media. Send me a message and let’s talk about how I can best serve your needs.