Wednesday, February 06, 2008


Love is. . . .

Jud asks in a comment: How did you get your start as a photographer?
I could reply, "Well, I'm not really a photographer." But leaving that aside, I'll try to figure this out.
I think I first started to enjoy photography because my father did. Like many parents, my father enjoyed sharing his hobbies and interests with his kids and I was generally happy to follow in his footsteps. I wouldn't say my dad was a great photographer but he was a hobbiest and I remember him as having a basic SLR and a couple of lenses. He encouraged me by buying me nearly every camera I ever owned, starting from when I was quite young. All my early cameras were of the point and shoot type. I took pictures of my family and of scenery. I don't think any of my pictures were striking or unique in any way, just the usual people and vacation shots. Of course, I had good subjects to work with: it is hard to fault places like Yosemite and Paris, even for a novice photographer.
I think I enjoyed picture taking but kept it on the back burner because my life was too busy to do anything with it. Besides, a good camera was outside of my starving student budget. Then one day I awoke and realized I was no longer a starving student and I really wanted to learn how to use one of them SLR thingies. I didn't really know what an SLR was or meant but I knew that you needed to be able to use different lenses and change camera settings to take optimal pictures. I was very frustrated with the limitations of the point and shoot model.
So two years ago, I got my first (and only) DSLR. For a few months I didn't even use it all that much. I guess all the bells and whistles were a bit intimidating. Also my husband felt more confident with my new toy and he tended to play with it quite a bit.
Gradually I have gained a bit of confidence. Flickr and Blogging have helped because I can share my photos and realize that people like them. At first I thought everyone just was admiring the fact that I had a good camera. It really does help.
But I take a lot of pictures. Today, for example, I was downtown briefly and took a few photos. The weather was interesting and downtown Chicago is always photogenic. Carrying my camera nearly everywhere I go can be a bit of a pain. It is bulky, I don't like to check it in stores, and I feel a bit ostentatious going everywhere carrying a camera bag but I photograph what I see and hate to miss an opportunity.
I take shots everywhere. From my car window (often), from my back yard, from my neighborhood, from neighborhoods I shouldn't be in. Because of the blog, I shoot photos to fit memes and adapt photos to fit the theme I am writing about on any particular day. I chronicle my life and my travels with photos. I've even dared one or two self portraits.
I had a little pocket camera that I took places when I didn't want the big camera with me or taking pictures was too obvious (or embarrassing). Unfortunately my purse was stolen last year and I have yet to replace it. I'm waiting for a new model to come out in March.
I also read photography books and magazines (or at least look at the pictures) and try to absorb more that way. If I am photographing a lot of a particular subject, I might read up on the subject too. This makes me more informed as I take the photos.
So that's all folks. Of course, I have a fancier camera on my wish list, a few more lenses and a camera course or two but those are for the future. For now it is just me and my Rebel.


Karthik S said...

This is my first visit to your blog. I'm not a photographer but like to see good photos.
Yours are really awesome.

sarala said...

Thanks Karthik. I hope you come by again.

Chris in Oxford said...

I'm wondering if you would recommend the DSLR that you use? I'm getting into the market for one and am finding it difficult to filter through all the choices. Any suggestions?