What camera do I use ?
I think my favourite possession is my camera.
I am generally not into material things. However if I had to run from a burning building I would try my best to grab my camera.
So my photography journey began 18 years ago in Ireland.
I was 23 , heading off on a round the world trip with friends. I had been working in a factory after completing my studies in Aquatic Science ( cause there are lots of aquatic organisms in a computer factory ).
I was a ‘slide-line girl’ in the factory. What a sexy title I hear you say !
I sat on a swivel chair and had to plug myself in by a blue wrist strap onto a steel button on the bench I was working at. As if I was truly a living breathing robot. This was to ground me and direct my static electricity away from the circuit board. So that I did not blow the little components up.
I had a box of electrical components in front of me and I had to quickly plug them into the right spots on the board and pass them to the next “slide-line girl”. On occasion due to my speed and efficiency I would be promoted to the top, the very beginning of the manufacturing line, (the end being a product boxed ready for sale). I was queen of the ‘slide-line girls’ all young women in our early 20’s.
We worked though the night, eating dinner at 11pm. I always felt sick.
I would daydream of the beaches in Australia, somewhere that I had been fascinated with since I was a young child and fell in love with Skippy.
At the weekends I would go to raves and dance those electrical components out of me. Let my static electricity light up the dance floor………
Anyway I digress……
So my camera,
My parents gave me a tiny film Olympus as I embarked on my travels.
I became interested in capturing everything, from big red boulders called “The Devils Marbles” to crazy interesting people.
I would have pictures developed and scan them in and email to my family.
Every young person should travel. I prescribe it.
Skip ahead a few years and taking pictures was still an obsession. Mr D researched cameras that could help me improve and found out about the Panasonic Lumix Digital Camera. Along came this gorgeous camera for my birthday.
The clarity and vibrancy was beautiful. The Australian nature began to jump off the screen at me. I was hooked.
Alas my lovely Lumix broke and I was lost.
Next my hero researched bridging cameras. One in which I could begin the journey of using a DSLR or Digital Single Lens Reflex. I’m not going to bore you with the tech. Google it. Another birthday came along and I was given a beautiful purple no less (my favourite colour and one which he had to search and search for) Olympus Pen Mini. This was a game changer for me. It had interchangeable lenses. A zoom 14-42mm and another zoom @ 40-150mm.
I was able to zoom in and out optically, to take macros, portraits and landscape.
All the while I was still using Automatic settings. I had tried to read the manual. But I’m not really a manual reading girl , I’m more of a watch and learn kind. So I did not get very far.
However having this camera with interchangeable lenses helped me to develop my eye. Begin to think about composition, light, story. Not just snap but think before I press that shutter.
Then once I had children and wanted to record every damn crazy beautiful second I knew I wanted to take this photography business further.
So I enrolled for an online course. A Diploma in Professional Photography. I was assigned a tutor and thoroughly enjoyed all my assignments. The first few modules were very technical.
Many others studying at the same time struggled with this. However I found having worked in a technical job for so long I really enjoyed the science of photography and found it relatively easy.
That said my heart is an artist, rather than a technician and so for me photography has become an expression of my heart.
At the end of the 12 modules. I knew portraits were where my heart lay. Despite being a nature lover since I was a small child, its portraits that tell the story of this human condition.
My hero could see there was something to this. My camera and me attached at the hip. While I managed to use my little Olympus to its full capacity in manual mode. I reached a point where I needed a professional level tool to help me grow further.
So Mr D found one on gum-tree. I took off in my little car with my toddler in the back loaded up with snacks and drove an hour from home to check this camera out.
The girl I bought it off had done the same course as me and dabbled in business but decided it was not for her. So the camera had hardly been used. I took some photos while there and had brought my laptop so I could see the output. I zoomed into 100% to check for missing pixels which may indicate the sensor is damaged. All looked brand new.
I left with my toddler and my new baby and I honestly felt like I had won the lotto. I was shaking with excitement.
So today I use my beautiful Cannon 5D Mark II. It’s not the newest model by any means but it is more than fit for purpose.
While photographers are always looking for the next best lens I absolutely love my 50mm prime lens for portraits. It creates that beautiful bokeh or blurred out background when using a wide aperture, to make my subject stand out.
I have one zoom lens 24-105mm , I also use this for portraits at the 105mm focal length. It is also great when I want to incorporate the landscape with my subjects for family photoshoots.
So just like the field of molecular biology which is my day job, the field of photography is one in which you never stop learning.
And if there is something I have discovered about myself it’s that I love learning.
Hence the eternal student and late bloomer vibe I got going on.
If you have read to the bottom and you are not asleep maybe you want to learn too ??
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