The Greatest Equipment Ever!

By PF Staff in Influential Photo Gear on Jan 20, 2013

When I first started taking photos I really wasn't that great...

But now, due to the discovery of such a great photographic tool, I've gotten must better.

Its been quite a journey over the last 3 years but I'm certainly alone in this discovery. But before I tell you more about the discovery, I would like to tell you of my own person journey with my first DSLR - the venerable Pentax K-x.

1. Early Days

When I first got my K-x I was like an excited kid, running around taking photos of everything I could. I started out with the mode dial stuck on the green "Auto Pict" mode. Looking back I did take the odd good shot here and there. The camera did a pretty good job and with the large number of shots taken some just had to turn out good. However, as so many have found, the photos were just not as consistent as my old Point and Shoot camera!

2. Experimentation with the camera

So I thought the problem must with the "Auto" mode - right? I must have the wrong settings I thought. I started uses the scene modes but had mixed results with those. Then I started trying Av and Tv modes. I ended up with a lot of blurry shots but at least I felt I had more control over the camera.

3. Experimentation with lenses From what I had read, I realised that the problem was I didn't have the right lenses. So what followed was a very budget oriented LBA (Lens Buying Addiction) – my thanks to my lovely wife for keeping that in check. I bought various old 50mm and 28mm manual lenses including some lovely old Takumars (still very fond of them). Hey presto! Straight away I saw a very slight improvement – sometimes.

4. Experimentation with accessories I bought a reasonable tripod and a Remote F to trigger the photos. They made a difference. Most of my shots were still hand held and still are but for those landscape and night shots, a tripod is hugely useful. Next came an external flash. To be honest, while it does add capability, it does not get used much. When I can get away with it I much prefer my photos in natural light. Maybe that will change at some point? Then came a Raynox 250 clip on close up lens. I must admit I have some good photos out of that.

5. Rediscovery of LBA

Ok, actually LBA is something that does not seem to go away. I bought a lovely FA 100mm F2.8 macro. Wow! Such a nice lens that takes wonderful images that just make me look good even when my composition is not so great! Then came an M 50mm F1.4 – again a nice lens that open up all sorts of possibilities. Then a Sigma 10-20mm F3.5  - which opened even more possibilities. All of these things made the biggest improvements to my photography – right? 

Well actually no!

Over the last 2 years I discovered, progressively, that greatest accessory was:

No not the Sunglasses...  

That's right my eyes. Its was a matter of learning how to use them. Learning to really look, not just see.  What does that mean? Focusing on:

  • Different angles
  • Composition generally
  • Opportunities
  • Always looking
  • Actually taking less photos (but better)! 

I'm still very much evolving and probably doesn't stop until my heart does. Could I have discovered this great tool with out going through all these steps on the journey? Maybe but its sure been fun.

Who would have thought – it was staring me right in the face!

- kiwi_jono

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