Monday, July 28, 2014

My New DSLR Journey

A few years ago, I asked myself this question, if the world were coming to an end tomorrow, what would I have regretted not buying when I have the means to get it? (Yes, I do ask morbid questions). So I’m eliminating stuff like a ticket around the world, visiting the moon etc and the answer hit me immediately: a DSLR.

I’ve been going through this internal debate for years (it’s worse than me trying to buy a phone since a DSLR is not a necessity). If I start on this DSLR journey, I’ll need to then add on stuff, I’ll need to be able to keep it in a dry box to prevent mould and goodness, it’s darn heavy to carry it while I’m travelling!

Last year, an acquaintance found out he had stage 4 pancreatic cancer. The chances of survival were very slim and he had less than a year. So what did he do? He went ahead and bought a new expensive car, tried to travel as much as he could and still purchased properties. He passed away earlier this year but I must hand it to him, he really lived life to the fullest. He once said of me, "Analysis paralysis!" when I was sharing with him my struggle to own a DSLR.

This got me thinking, what am I so fearful about getting it anyway? My problem is that I regret something before getting it but know that after I get it, I will have no regrets.

So when there was a promotion to get the one I’ve been eyeing on, I took the plunge and now am very happy to announce that I have purchased my very first DSLR – the Canon EOS 700D!

KS suffered through the whole process with double intensity, “Should I REALLY get it? Should I get the zoom lens or not? What, you mean Nikon has better reviews for the same price range camera?” until I finally took half a day off to ensure I went to buy it on the last day of the promotion.

Poor Angku has been the main subject of my testing out my camera. After taking the first few shots, I was quite happy with the bokeh. Until I downloaded it and viewed it on my computer. The picture was blurry! Even on Auto mode! Oh the horror!

Seriously, these were the only two shots out of like 30 which were closest to being clear.



These were taken at night so of course it was trickier. My other daytime shots fared better but I don't intend to just use my new camera for outdoors now, do I?

Clearer shot in the day.

One day, I walked past this camera shop looking for silica gel when I noticed one wall displaying gorgeous black and white photography. Thinking they belonged to the owner, I was surprised to read the different names of the winners. Upon asking, the shop said they hold lessons and these are their students international award winning work. And oh, a new beginners class just started in English which is very rare since the teacher usually teaches in Mandarin, would I like to join?

I debated for about 10 minutes. Compared to my other decision making durations, I'd pretty much say this was an instant decision. SOLD.

Okay, sure I'd love to be able to have one of my photos published one fine day but for now, I think I'm just happy to be learning the basics of how to handle my camera.

Sharper focus on her annoyed face. She looks like she's saying, "Again?!"
Learning how to use f.22 to make the water "smooth"
Learning about lighting

Pretty excited about my new journey! And of course, the gear suggestions pour in every lesson. 50mm lens, various filters, solid tripod, dry box... I'm going to see how long I can resist not getting new stuff!

3 comments:

Life On Planet Mum said...

People think that taking a picture using f2.8 is so easy but it isn't because you have to know where to aim your focus on to make it sharp (eg the eyes of the subject which is closest to you) and the rest all blurry.

Kelvin Kang said...

Hey Jo, I love the "Learning about lighting" shot that you made. It's pretty amazing! You've always had a great eye for shots; I think that's probably the most important thing. I believe a DSLR gives you a ton more flexibility but you first need to start with a great eye. Enjoy your new adventure!

jo said...

thanks for the encouragement, kelvin! :)