The Photographer’s Apprentice: I’m Becoming a Force to be Reckoned With

A few years ago, I decided to forego the relative expense and distance capability of of a high end super-zoom digital camera with moderate advanced features and i decided to buy an entry-level DSLR. I bought my first Canon Rebel, a T1i and discovered a true passion for enthusiast photography. The creative possibilities available to you as you master using your camera as a photographic tool are extremely exciting once you get beyond the initial intimidation of the features and controls.

After getting a taste for adjustments to depth of field, shutter settings and the importance of managing light, I bought another lens to photograph over a longer distance (not nearly what can be captured with a super zoom, but the quality of the pictures is significantly better) and also picked up a couple of tripods to improve sharpness and flexibility. Eventually, I decided to purchase a second body and upgraded to a 60D, an even more powerful, faster model with the ability to record cinema-quality HD video. I also bought two external flashes (a 430 EX II and a 589EX II–not at the same time) and my first lighting stand and umbrella for even better interior shots and portraits in addition to providing me with a portable lighting studio.

I use Adobe Elements for software editing in the rare event that I do any out of camera editing and prefer to get my best shots with the camera. The great thing about digital shooting is you can take all the pictures your memory cards will allow and instantly learn from your mistakes.

For me, photography is a perfect blend of technology and art that allows me to share my eye for the unique and interesting with others. Finding different ways to capture a scene or record a memory add to the challenge of proving entertainment and joy to others through my work. It’s great when you take a picture that really expresses a moment or truly captures the essence of a subject. It’s a hobby that grows with you at a pace that matches your experience. You can spend a little or a lot but mastering the fundamentals is more important than relying on technology to do the work for you.

I’ve found that as I become better at taking pictures and get lured into getting more gear, I’ve benefitted tremendously from a photography shop in my area with experts who know their gear and are willing to help me make sensible selections. I also visit popular websites and forums, in addition to reading magazines devoted to the craft. By networking with other enthusiasts, I’ve learned time-saving tips, avoided common mistakes, saved some money, made new friends, and my hobby has developed faster and further than I ever thought possible.

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