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. But for this post, I’m going to tell you my story about my photography in the Pacific Northwest.
I know where I was in 2008 and it was not anywhere near a camera.
Over the last few years, I have had a 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 whenever I have a chance. There’s much more traveling that I am looking forward to doing with my camera at my side. Doing landscape is one of my passions, but I love capturing the memories that people (like yourself) love to have saved digitally.
The reason I wrote this post is to give you an idea as to where I came from in the beginning until now (mid pandemic of 2020)
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.
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 stick. This camera didn’t do well in low light, which helped me realize that I had no 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.
Of course this camera was a toy comparatively to todays DSLR and mirrorless bodies. This Sony Cyber-shot would suck up batteries so fast that I needed to charge after an hour. Better have multiple batteries on hand.
Moving Up To The DSLR World
It was about 2006 when I started looking for a different camera body to use and that’s when I bought a Nikon D50. I remember walking out of the store thinking, “whoa, I just bought a camera that will help be get any shot I want”.
It was the entry level model at the time for Nikon. I did the studying at the time which 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 more of an advanced photography. Now I could control the shutter and aperture. This would allow me to take long exposures at night! … but I would need a tripod for that.
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. I also didn’t I realize that low F stop would not keep my photo in focus through out the photo. It was a learning process.
I searched my hard drive but unfortunately, I did lose an entire hard drive of photos before I got better at backing up my data. 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 the night photography using this camera for several years until 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 because it gave me some flexibility as well as for landscape photos, I could get a wider shot. Now all of these cameras to this point are all crop sensor cameras.
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
This was a boost of 10 megapixel from 6.1 to 16.2 with some pretty good glass that came in a 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.
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 Portland Power during the Oregon Ducks NCAA title run 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.
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 and 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 true camera can get. Even though there are plenty of places to shoot photography in the pacific northwest, I tend to stick around the portland area. Yes, Seattle is amazing as well. Parking is a struggle though.
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.
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.
Leave a Reply