Beginning Photography

The musings of a budding photographer

Archive for the ‘Personal’ Category

My 52

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My 52, a challenge for the coming year. A 52 is simple in concept, one image a week that relates to a theme chosen at random taken specifically for the challenge. So how exactly does it work? Well, I’m joining a number of people from the talkphotography forums for the challenge, each of us working to the same theme chosen at random each week from a pool of about 300 or so.

There are no real rules for a 52 since it is a personal challenge, but I intend to try to complete all weeks and I hope to get something with artistic merit from each rather than a simple snapshot to meet the theme. Undoubedly this may be hard if not impossible in some weeks due to other commitments so I won’t stress too much if I miss a week, I may return to an uncompleted week when I have time.

I will be posting all my “52” entries here, with a link to my own thread on talkphotography so you can check out other responses.


Written by James

December 30, 2009 at 11:22 am


with one comment

A silver lining in the cloud that was my camera breaking. I have been a member of the talkphotography forums for a couple of weeks and started a thread detailing my camera woes when they were discovered. I had hoped that someone might have a fix.

No fix was forthcoming, but as I am a noob to photography it was agreed by myself and others on the boards that I wasn’t in the best position to judge if the problem was lens or body related. The solution, test a different lens. Of course I have no spare lenses so this didn’t seem to be an option. That is until another member discovered that she lives only 15 minutes from my house.

At 11pm at night she sent me her phone number with an offer to help. I met up with her at 11:30 where we tested a different lens and determined that the problem lay with the camera body. This act of kindness was huge enough, but the amazing part was still to come. Knowing that I was attending a wedding the following day this lady just gave me a camera to use! A canon 300D, which I can keep until my own camera is back in working order. She practically forced me to take it.

I am shocked and stunned, she wins the award for the most trusting and kind person I have met. I have been a forum member for only 2 weeks, she has no clue who I am, and yet I now have 150 quids worth of her camera. A nice bottle of wine will accompany the camera when it is returned.

As for the wedding, of around 250 snaps I have maybe 6 that I deem to be good photos. This was a HUGE learning experience for me, I will be so much better next time. The event will be documented in later posts, along with an upload of a few of the pics that did make the grade. I may yet save some in lightroom, we shall see.

Written by James

October 31, 2009 at 8:06 pm

Posted in Personal

Why Photography

with 3 comments

It started out as a fascination with the sky at night. I have always loved images from the hubble, galaxies and nebula that are effectively time machines, looking back millions of years. At some point I stumbled accross an image taken by a guy with a simple camera and a tripod, a long exposure of the night sky, and I was blown away. If done properly you can see our galaxy, or at the very least the arm of the spiral in which we reside. Right there and then I wanted a camera to do the same. Of course, that would keep me entertained for a few nights and then I would pack it away never to be seen, so I put the idea on the back burner.

But then I got a new influence. A mate of mine had been interested in photography for some time and started to show me his work. I was pretty suprised, there was some really good stuff there. Over the course of the past year he has continued to link me to his exposures and they have gotten better and better. The stuff he was capturing got me thinking about taking it up myself.

Then I had another thought. I wonder if there is any money to be made. Well, it turns out there is, but not a lot unless you are very good. I looked at lots of options, stock photos, setting up on ebay and the like. It dawned on me that it takes a lot of work to make money that way, however in the search I found loads of cool photos. So now a bit of a kernel of interest was forming, the next step was to start to learn a bit.

First step, the library. I figured I needed to get a basic understanding of terms and find out what is involved in a good image. I read a book called “Understanding Exposure” and would reccomend it to anyone starting out in photography. It introduces you to the big three: shutter speed, aperture and ISO in a way that is easy to understand to the rank amateur.

And so, a year after my first interest and a month after I really started looking into it, I decided to invest in a camera. The big question now, what to buy?

Written by James

October 24, 2009 at 10:19 pm

Posted in Personal

Starting Out

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The first post in the blog, so I better introduce things properly. I’m a 27 year old self employed chappie from Barnsley.  I’ve been contemplating learning photography as a hobby for most of the past year and in the last couple of weeks finally did something about it. I have ordered myself a digital SLR camera, a Canon 400D, and am currently waiting for it to arrive.

Until a few weeks ago I knew absolutely nothing about photography. I now know almost nothing, just a few basics, and I have no experience. So, why blog on photography? Well, this blog will follow my learning curve. Each post will be a bit of a snapshot into my levels of knowledge at the time. Undoubtedly I will get things wrong as any newcomer to any field would think.

The next couple of posts will concern my journey so far, up until I get hold of the camera. Then things should take off in a more lively direction.

Lets see where this thing goes.

Written by James

October 24, 2009 at 9:04 pm

Posted in Personal