Edinburgh Castle

So I bought a new camera, let’s photograph!

After researching cameras for a mere 2 and a half years and after months where I delved into far too much detail on sensor sizes and agonised over memory cards (Who knew there were so many?), I finally chose a new camera. I wanted one I could carry around all day without killing me or my back or my shoulder or my neck. I wanted the image quality to be as good as possible and I wanted the option to grow into more advanced settings.

One fine day, it arrived in one of those Amazon lockers, which are actually really cool, space age almost. I turned it on and snapped a photo of my thumb. It was better start than dropping it, but not exactly hitting the ground running.

As far as auto settings go, I’m very happy with it but I want to have more control over the final image, or at least an excuse to fuss with the settings like I do with my film camera. So I delved into The Other Settings, the endless options in the endless menus. It’s scary stuff. What do all those focusing options mean? How do I set the aperture manually? What’s a rear sync flash?

So I’m learning, which I’m totally okay with, in theory. However, when faced with seemingly unlimited options, I tend to get overwhelmed and then I start to think the auto mode isn’t actually that bad. I get decent photos after all. I can work with them or attempt to fix them later on my computer. But I am stubborn (dedicated one might say), so I’m sticking with it.

First, I downloaded a guide that goes through each setting step by step with example photographs to illustrate the points. I’m working my way through it. This is partially so I don’t get overwhelmed and use the auto setting forever, but it’s mostly so I can take each feature one at a time and practice each one. It will be much better to actually learn how the camera works rather than just simply knowing these options exist, but not being able to remember where to find it when the perfect opportunity arises. It’s the worst when I not only miss a great photo opportunity, but miss out on experiencing the moment because I’m going back and forth in menu screens. (Although it wouldn’t be the first such painful experience.)

Second, I got some beginner accessories. While there is a huge range of high tech and/or very pretty accessories, it’s best to start simple and what you know you actually need. If I start with the basics, then I will be able to get a clear sense for what accessories, if any, that I will actually use and will actually improve or fill a void in the way I use the camera. l started with a case that’s easy to carry around and doesn’t scream “I’ve got a camera, please rob me!”, a spare battery and two memory cards (just reasonably sized at 16gb but there are some that store more photos than my laptop could).

Finally, I am taking photos. I’m taking my camera out of the flat and experimenting. The highlight is that I now have a pretty funny series of  a house plant from when I was testing the Instagram-like creative photo options. (These will not be shared!) I also got to practice in a recent trip to Scotland where the camera worked just as I hoped! My inner photographer is still developing, but practice makes perfect right?

Miniature Edinburgh Castle


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