On Being an Avid Photographer
I remembered having my first Kodak Camera as a kid. I would save half of my daily allowance and then I broke my piggy bank one day to buy an Instamatic Kodak film camera. It was my mother who accompanied me to the camera store to buy my first camera ever. Since the color film was pricey and having the color film developed and processed to get color prints was even more expensive, I opted for a black & white film cartridge that was affordable. I loaded that camera with it and took it home after it was paid by my mom with the money that I saved for months. Later on I started using the color film cartridge and that was the young photography enthusiast that I’ve known all my life, me!
My goal was to take good pictures instead I ended up with great photographs (B/W & Color) that became priceless memories of growing up from a young kid to my teenage years and college days. None of my friends and classmates bothered to take photos and to this day I keep taking photos to preserve memories, some good ones but others are sad or not so good memories that are probably worthwhile to keep for generations to come. To them it was enough to get a studio photographer to preserve their memories but for me taking a picture of that particular moment in time and capturing those precious memories was my main goal. There’s only one disadvantage that I later found out being the photographer; most of the time excludes you from the picture but knowing that I took that photograph was not only a great satisfaction but makes me proud to have shot the scene and preserved it forever, no one can take that pride and thought away from me. It’s the candid shots that brings back memories alive again. When I see a certain photo that I have taken and remember when they were taken with family and friends, all captured with one click of the camera’s shutter, that is one of my happiest moments. Most of the time I am not even in those photos but when I use a tripod and put the camera on self timer, then ran to catch the shot with them; that completes the entire scenario, taken with me in the picture at last.
I have learned how to seize the exact moment of triumph, victory, or even defeat for that matter and to transform what you see and make them tangible memories in pictures to keep forever. Most people I have come across in life wants to pose and get their photos taken. That’s not my idea of a good photo only because it looks so artificial and doesn’t show the real emotions people have felt at the moment that picture was taken and they even look so stiff to say the least. It really bugs me so much that I’ve tried to discourage posing for pictures and try to elude the norm. And then I had started taking candid shots most of the time, photos that make people laugh, cry or joke about it and appreciate it later. Also it makes them remember the great moments when that certain photo was taken. It makes me so proud as an amateur photographer who takes photographs that are worth talking about and remembering.
Oly holding her old Canon FTB SLR Film Camera
Then a few years later, I bought a new film camera that I’ve always dreamed of owning, Canon FTB SLR for 35mm films, not top of the line but after I’ve taught myself how to use it, I started taking good photos. I took portraits, landscapes and get together party photos, even picnics at the park, and apple picking at orchards, too. After I taught my sister how to use an SLR camera, she wanted to buy my old camera so I sold it to her and bought myself a top of the line Canon EF SLR film camera with a sharp 50mm f/1.8 lens and a 75-150mm f/5.6 telephoto lens. By then I got so used to my new camera that I never bothered to replace it, instead I added more gadgets and accessories like a new wide angle lens 28mm f/2.8 and different kinds of filters. From there, I got myself an Olympus Infinity Jr. AF film Camera for point and shoot backup. This was the set of cameras that I brought with me on my travel adventures around the world from North America to Europe and back to Toronto. After the film cameras became obsolete and the digital cameras took over, I have to switch to the new technology. I have spent so much on the old technology so I decided to keep them as my own classic camera collection, even if they still work and are in mint condition; I have displayed and kept them on my bookcase and didn’t bother using them ever again. Then now, I use a Canon EOS Rebel XSi 12.2 MP Digital SLR Camera with EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Lens and an Olympus SP-800UZ 14MP Digital Camera with 30x Wide Angle Dual Image Stabilized Zoom and 3.0 inch LCD for point and shoot purposes. I keep a small Canon PowerShot A1000 IS Digital Camera with me in my purse all the time just in case I want to take photos anytime I need it.
Most people just leave their negatives everywhere, but I’ve learned to keep them in plastic file folders in a binder to perhaps last me a lifetime. Not only did I learn to do just that but I’ve encouraged my family and friends to do the same by buying them some binders with file folders for negatives to be preserved unblemished and mint for a long time. I have lots of negatives filed although some of them have faded, most of the negatives and slides have retained their original color and looks the same as they did the day they were taken. Nowadays, we have digital cameras with memory cards and gone are the film cameras of yesterdays, but I have kept some of the Canon 35mm film SLR cameras and AF ones that I owned and used over the years for my camera collection. They are constant reminders of the old technology we have used and learned from all our life. With all of these said and done, that to me is what real photography means, not haphazardly posed but real candid moments that’s captured as it happens. ‘Carpe Diem’ and yes, that is the very essence of my being an avid photographer.
Photograph taken with CANON EOS 450D (Rebel XSi) DSLR
Do I ever want to be a professional photographer? I don’t think I’d want to be a pro as a self-taught photographer, not having photography credentials to show for except my very own photographs and I won’t think about selling my favorite photos although I would consider the idea if a good opportunity comes my way. For now, I’d just enjoy whatever great photographs I had taken. It may not look so great to others but for me the memories that come with it is what makes a photograph great aside from the good cameras you used to take those pictures, be it film or digital camera which technology have offered so much to budding photographers like myself. I give away copies of my photos to my family and friends and most of the time they end up in their family albums and collection of photos. I let myself, my family and friends enjoy the beauty of the photographs that I’ve painstakingly taken, especially those that comes out almost perfect to me, even if they claim that it is a perfect shot, l know there’s always room for improvement. ‘To be humble is to be great’, someone have said that a long time ago.