Exactly one week from now, I will be celebrating my sixth year in digital SLR photography. It was on February 4, 2010 when I received my very first DSLR – a new Nikon D3000 as a birthday present from my husband and my daughter. It wasn’t a surprise. I knew I was going to get it because I requested for it. I had been anxiously waiting for it in the mail.
I owe my introduction to the wonderful world of photography from my brother Alex. He used to have a SLR camera and shot with it occasionally. During Christmas break of 2014, he brought his new Nikon D3000 camera with him when he came to visit. I was so curious and kept asking him questions so he let me borrow it. I remember my very first shot was not good at all. I didn’t know how to make the camera work – I didn’t even know the proper way to hold it. I didn’t know what all the buttons and dials were for and what the numbers meant. I didn’t even know how to focus properly even though it was set on auto focus 🙂 But as I kept firing the shutter, I got more and more curious. I asked my brother if he will give me his new camera, but my pleading didn’t work.
Here are a few of the shots I took during the very first week of owning my DSLR camera that I am happy with. I wish I had kept all the photos, but I guess they were too bad that they weren’t worth keeping, so looking back at the shots I only kept the photos starting from #23. I also noticed that I didn’t shoot a lot on the first day. I guess my thought was just to try to see if it’s working, then read the rest of the user’s manual.
When I got a little more comfortable with the camera I started taking more shots. Like most people who just started photography, I took photos of almost everything – pets, food, walls, many inanimate objects in our house, people, trees, shadows, you name it. I started devouring photography books, magazines, videos and podcasts to learn as much as I can about it. I was obsessed with it. It was always on my mind.
As the years went by I have learned to be selective of what to shoot. It took me almost five years to realize that what I really love to shoot are Landscapes and Nature (see my Store to see some of my work). The reason it took so long was because even though I knew from the start that I love being in nature, I always hear people say that if you want to be a professional photographer, money is better in weddings and portraits, and that landscape photography should just be a side project or a hobby. But I realized that money isn’t my main goal here. When I am out shooting in nature, I forget the time. I don’t get hungry or thirsty. I just feel so alive and carefree. I am inspired. I am in constant awe of what I find. To me, that is worth more than the money you get when shooting something you don’t like or are not interested in.
Here are a couple of shots taken in early December of 2015 at the Pflugerville Lake, unfortunately this was the last time I was out photographing for fun.
If you are at a stage in your life where you are trying to figure out what you want to shoot, my advice is to shoot what you love and to shoot what makes you happy. It’s by doing this that your work will improve and get to the next level. Hopefully it won’t take you as long as I have to realize this.