I think I'm officially a photographer now. I've gone from a pocket-camera to an auto-uploading camera I've learned more than I knew existed about the aesthetics of pictures and more than I realized was necessary regarding the mechanics of photography. Though I've not been paid for any photograph job I've done so far, I have done a few.
White Pentax K-X DSLR
I got my camera, a white DSLR Pentax-KX off eBay for $499 for Christmas of 2009. This model is considered an "Entry level DSLR" or "prosumer" camera. It has features and quality that compares with the big boys though, not to mention it came with a decent lens which none of the ''big boys'' do. The market suggests the decision on this camera model was good, considering a year later the price is still about the same on eBay and even more on Amazon- which says a lot for any electronics item. I don't normally like the idea of splurging on expensive things, but I figured since I work at a photography studio, it might help to learn about the actual photography side of things. Before I knew it, I was taking hundreds of photographs :)
My loving family dared be my first subjects.
I had a lot of fun and still love the pictures, but composition was not my forté.
Within about 6 months I was asked to take photographs of a daughter of my wife's friend. I was really thankful to have the chance to capture a part of that early part of her child's life for her and her husband who was at least at the time a soldier overseas. I was glad she liked the pictures. I tried to up the ante on composition this time. I was also using manual settings at this point for many photographs. The "Auto" setting was producing motion blur. Luckily my friend Peter had taught me a few things about it.
Photographing precious moments.
I'm now to the point where I realize composition is important, but it's not everything. Some of the shots which are probably best from the photo shoot with our friends daughter did not have the greatest compositions, but the expressions were timeless. Around this time I got two shots I feel are worthy of a portfolio of my children. Honestly, the shots were mostly their doing, I was just there to record it with a good camera and settings.
Just the next month, I became a wedding photographer! My wife's best friend was getting married and she needed a photographer. I didn't make it a secret that I was kind of new and instead of a charge, it would be a wedding gift to them. My wife was the brides maid and I was the photographer. I took so many shots, choosing which ones to print was the hard part. I didn't have a stand-alone flash yet, I was still using the built-in or "pop-up" so I was just thankful the skies were clear. The pictures turned out really nice. I hope they're something they'll be proud to show for years to come. I tried focused on candid shots where they were caught up in the moment, but there were a few traditional poses I felt it was right to intrude to be certain we captured.
*White wedding music plays in head*
My first wedding as a photographer
When I had continued on this photography venture for almost a year, I felt it acceptable to upgrade equipment. I got a new lens which allows me to zoom in really far and focus well, which is great for macro photography and bird ''catching.''
Tamron 18-250 3.5
My first after-market lens
I have to work with the Tamron pictured above to get sharp pictures, but it's worth it. I got it for about $250 used on Amazon. See some pictures I took with it below. Not great for low light shooting, but great when the light is decent and especially bright.
Testing out the new lens
This bug was about 1 inch.
Last but not least, the latest weapon in my arsenal is an Eye-Fi Wireless SD card. It's not just any SD card, for this one allows me to upload wirelessly direct from my camera to any wireless router then automatically to Flickr, Facebook, and many other photo-sharing sites. It is the Eye-Fi Pro X2 which I paid around $100 for. There are lesser models for half the price of this pro version which allow automatic online sharing, but I wanted the best model since I may be using it for work. Look forward to a separate review of the Eye-Fi card.
Eye-Fi Pro X2
Uploading via an 802.11n enabled SD Card
Now you know where I stand as a photographer. I like it enough to take a risk onit. I'm still new at it. I've invested in it. Of course, I plan to continue it. Hopefully it will continue to be fun while I aim to earn a supplemental income for my family.