There was a time when I knew absolutely nothing about photography… and it wasn’t all that long ago.
Back in the day, I would often tell people that I couldn’t take a decent picture to save my life — and it was true. I never used a camera beyond taking some snapshots of my kids and family. I had no idea about composition, lighting or exposure. I never heard of an f-stop or a shutter speed. When I began work at a now-defunct electronics mail-order company in 1996, I looked through the catalog on the first day and noticed that they sold cameras without lenses. To this day, I still remember thinking to myself “Who would buy a camera without a lens?” It seemed ludicrous to me. That’s how little I understood.
A few years later, I went on a vacation out of country with my wife and I bought a two megapixel Canon point and shoot (the Canon A20) to take pictures with. It was my first digital camera. By the time I came back from the trip, I was in love with photography.
For the next few years, I shot with that simple two megapixel point and shoot. After a few years, I moved to an advanced point and shoot and, a few years later, finally bought my first DSLR and lens.
Over the following years, I worked at my photography — but it took some time. There was a learning curve. I had to learn about exposure and composition. There were plenty of times that I made mistakes and came away with some truly awful pictures. But I worked at it and, as the years went on, my photography improved.
Even today, I’m still learning. Learning is, I believe, a life-long process. If you want to improve, you have to keep at it – otherwise, you’re just letting your skills stagnate. Hopefully, as I continue learning and continue practicing, I will get better.
So, that’s my photography story in a nutshell. What’s yours? How did you get involved? I’d love to hear about it in the comments.