I've had a digital point and shoot for a while, but when I was pregnant I started thinking about getting a dSLR. I knew that even if I used it as a point and shoot, the snaps I took would look so much better. I figured it'd be fairly easy to figure out how to use it in manual, and managed to convince S that, in the long run, getting a dSLR would be cheaper for our family rather than hiring a professional photographer to take pictures of E every 6 months or so. Yeah. So that was before I got a dSLR and actually learned how to use it. I'm quickly realizing photography is an expensive little hobby!
S got me a Sony a290 dSLR--a pretty basic, starter camera in the world of dSLRs--when E was born in January. I was terrified to use it at first, and when I did, it was always in Auto mode and usually with the flash. I attempted to decipher the crazy manual, and figured out that shooting in Aperture-priority would get the pretty blurry backgrounds the professionals always managed to get. But, that was pretty much the end of my progress in terms of self-study.
I'm pretty much obsessed with being a student and love learning, so the obvious way for me to get more out of my camera was to start taking some courses. But, we had a newborn at home so taking a class at a local college or basically anywhere but my living room was out of the question. I had a couple of books, but they weren't cutting it. I needed a teacher to push me and tell me what I was doing wrong and assignments to hold me accountable.
I started out with snagging a great deal I saw on Doodle Deals for a 10-week workshop called Photosanity. The course was all online, and once I started it, I was hooked. Based on the recommendation of the workshop instructor, I got my first "good" lens (aka stopped using the silly kit lens), a 50mm f/1.8. When we wrapped up in June, I wanted more and stumbled onto Clickin' Moms. I've taken Shooting 101, 201 and Lightroom 101, and am about to start Natural Light 101. I have to say, I've learned more from CM than I ever thought possible! Seriously, what great classes!
So that's my photography journey, so far. I know that I am by no means a professional, but I do consider myself a pretty proficient hobbyist. I'm declaring October to be Photography month around here, and am going to be sharing with you what I consider the best tips and tricks I've picked up over the last 9 months (most of which are super easy to implement and made such a dramatic improvement in my pictures)!
And, just for hilarity's sake and to prove my point, here's a picture taken back in January:
yikes! the angle, the color. what was i thinking?!
And a more recent one taken in August:
still by no means perfect, but come on. much better.
See! Improvement. Now, if only I could convince S that I need that 30mm f/1.4....
Are you into photography? What inspires you to improve?