Monday, December 17, 2007

A Warning to all Potential Photographers

There was once a day when I had a camera, and was content. I didn't even know it was called "a point-and-shoot" and couldn't care less about how it worked. I was naive to the world of dSLRs, and photography in general.

But then I had a baby. And as soon as he was born, so was "the photography monster" in me. I just couldn't take enough pictures. And I began to wonder if I needed a better camera, one with a faster shutter speed, since I missed so many great moments between clicks (and also a long flash-recharge time). So we upgraded to another point and shoot. This one had a manual mode, where I began to play with making my pictures better. Then Chuck decided he wanted a dSLR when our second was born. For the first year and a half, I told him I didn't want to even touch the thing, it was way too expensive, and I am way too accident-prone. But then, one day, my friends and I wanted to have a photoshoot in the bluebonnets. Chuck couldn't come because he had to work. So I did Eve biting the apple, I borrowed that fancy camera. Here were my results.

Bluebonnet Photo Shoot

Bluebonnet Photo Shoot

Bluebonnet Photo Shoot

What I had feared the most came true: I really liked this camera. It's shutter speed was sooo much faster, and the pictures were sooo much better than my point and shoot. Chuck had already informed me I needed to get my own (he has the photography monster in him too, and it doesn't like to share). My birthday was 2 weeks later, and I found the same camera on craigslist and was so excited when my dad told me he wanted to invest in my photography skills...aka addiction. Chuck and I could now share lenses, too. Come to find out, lenses are just as expensive as the camera itself (and even more so!). So Chuck's photography monster starts throwing a fit about wanting a new lens. My monster could now sympathize, and eventually, we "invested" in a new lens. It's called an "investment" not because it increases in value, but because anything that expensive shouldn't be considered "spending." Ha!

Then I found flickr, an online photo-sharing website. And my monster grew as I saw all of the excellent photos out there. So many new ideas on how to do things! I also stalk a few of my favorite photographers (I read their blogs). For your myspacers, be warned: it's even more addicting than myspace!

Then I had to learn about photo editing software, like picasa, bibble, and photoshop. I had the first two and have learned more and more about how to improve my photos, but soon realized that nothing compares to photoshop. But having photoshop meant having a computer that runs Microsoft Windows (which Chuck abhors, but that's another story). Yet my monster began to crave photoshop, and so Chuck lovingly stood in the freezing cold at 2 AM in order to get me a (Windows) laptop, just so I could have photoshop.

So now, I have it, and I have no idea how to use it. ;) There's one technique I have managed though, the eye-pop. Here is an example:

Chance -another eye pop Chance -another eye pop

Oh, and now that I can do this "eye pop" thing, I am longing for photos that can really show eye color better than my zoom lens. And guess what? The photographer monster is craving again! This time it's a 50mm lens, and it's not cheap. It's also wanting a photoshop manual, which is so ironic to me. I have NEVER desired to read a manual of any kind, especially one on how to use software. That's Chuck's department.

There's a moral to this story. You may be thinking photography is fun, and that you might want to further your skills. Let me warn you, as one who is lost down that road...DON'T do it! ;) This hobby is fun, and it's also expensive! It sucks you in and doesn't let go. My dreams of being debt free are now being rivaled by dreams of being a better photographer. And now as I look back on those simple day of naivete, I see photos that are so poor in quality, instead of the beautiful moments with my baby. I also actually take less photos now, because I know they won't turn out very well. The more you learn, the more you know you have so much more to learn, and the monster is never satisfied! If you're still in the ignorant stages, please do yourself a favor, and resist the temptation to move deeper into the world of photography. The fruit tastes sweet, but it comes at a high cost.

And until then, anyone want to donate for a new lens? I may have to go into business, just to keep this monster happy...


Angie said...

Comment from Stacia:

Oh girl! you know I'm there with you. I'm telling you, I'm working at letting it go. I'm shooting in Auto and working hard not to feel guilty about it. I'm using the built in camera flash and thinking hey, at least I'm capturing the moments. Take the camera, let it go. It's so hard but your boys will thank you for it that not only do you have fabulous pictures in bluebonnets but you have those priceless snapshots of them hanging out inside the house that you might have missed if you were trying to figure out what ISO and shutterspeed you should be shooting at.

I completely get the monster. I really need to have you guys over so you can see what has been created in my house because of it. :)

Angie said...

Comment from Sarah Jones:

Oh, yes... you know I sympathize. And it is unending! There is always a better lens, a new body, better software... all of which I have my eye on.

Angie said...

Comment from The Thiers &- Blog Archive &- The Photography Monster Strikes Again! (And Christmas recap):

[...] Before I delve into the sweet events of Christmas, and overdosing on toys (if that's possible), I think I need to update my blog from about a week ago. Basically in it, I lament how photography is an expensive hobby/habit. And how I'm never content with what I have, always wanting the next better thing. For example, I was unhappy with the lens I have, wanting a 50mm lens, so I could get more indoor photos. The ironic thing is, as I wrote the blog, I had my younger sister Anna in mind, as she also has a knack with a camera, and I was indirectly warning her of how expensive things get as she ventures further. What I didn't expect, was she told my dad about my latest desire (the new lens), and my dad calls me a few days before Christmas, telling me he's in the third camera store trying to figure out exactly what I wanted!! LOL. So, the photography monster has been satiated for now, as my dad got me the new lens!! Actually, I told him I could pick it up myself, so as soon as I got it, Chuck took this photo of me to show my dad how happy the monster really was: [...]