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12-17-2012, 09:36 PM   #1
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OK, OK, I'm posting.

My intention is to lurk, but I wanted the messages to go away. So here goes:

I am NOT a photographer. I am at best a "snapshot" taker. I liked cameras as a kid but film was always "in the way." I had a 110 camera and electronic flash (!) from various birthdays and Christmas presents, but I rarely used it because film and developing cost money and had to be dropped off. As I became an adult, I decided that everybody and their brother knew photography so why should I bother?

When digital cameras got cheap, I picked up a point-and-shoot and thought, "Hey! Nearly free photos!" I inadvertently picked up one of the best low-light P&S cameras at the time only to be incredibly disappointed at its low-light performance. (Canon Powershot A510.) Then I heard how much they'd "improved," did my homework again, and got a Fuji F31fd. Again, disappointment.

Then I started to study photography -- not how to compose a shot or make photos look good, but why I couldn't buy a decent P&S to save my life. I wanted to be able to take a picture of someone inside without blinding everyone else with flash. Then is when I found out that everyone who sells P&S cameras lies. They talk about megapixels and zooms like they mean something while quietly putting sensors no larger than your pinky fingernail in them (and that only if you're lucky). This really, really upset me: to be able to take decent low-light photos, I was going to have to get a "real" camera.

It was 2008, and I'd never owned an SLR in my life. I had no legacy or system to be compatible with, so I looked at the lenses each mfr. offered, along with a few other things. Pentax lenses appealed to me, first off, especially their pancakes. They were unique. Sure, Canon and Nikon offered a prime in 2 to 4 mm increments from one end of the scale to the other, but I had read enough by then to realize that was unimportant and even silly. (Although I assume they make them because they sell them . . . )

Only one manufacturer had what I considered to be a unique, practical lens line-up with image stabilization (very important to me) to boot -- and their camera was weather-sealed and took REAL batteries!

While I haven't had money for upgrades like I'd like, my K200d with my FA43 and M135 has pleased me. The Katz-Eye enabled me to focus (stock screen was worthless). It's been a learning experience, but now people like jsherman are making me wish I could actually compose a photo (not to mention get some wide-angle lenses; I don't like the 18-55 too well because it feels "clunky").

Maybe someday I'll be able to take a photo worth looking at . . .


12-17-2012, 10:21 PM   #2
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12-18-2012, 08:01 AM   #3
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That's the beauty of this hobby - it's not just one hobby. Whether you're meticulously planning still-life shots, attaching your camera to a telescope in the dark wilderness, sniping pictures of warblers or insects or taking snapshots of the dogs and kids, it's all photography and we can all learn.
12-18-2012, 08:15 AM   #4
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Welcome! I, too, came here after many years of using P&S's. Here's a link to some composition tutorials I found useful - have fun
Photo Composition Introduction - Part 1 - YouTube

12-18-2012, 02:37 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by paulh Quote
Welcome! I, too, came here after many years of using P&S's. Here's a link to some composition tutorials I found useful - have fun
Photo Composition Introduction - Part 1 - YouTube

I've also been thinking of taking some basic art composition/graphic design classes to see if that helps. So many photography tutorials seem to focus on the camera. I'd be happy with using all green settings if I could get my composition right. (Well, except for auto-focus -- I _do_ have a K200d, after all.)

*ist, eh? A lot of people still seem to love their *ist's, and I've seen a lot of nice photos from them. While I'd like to upgrade to the K30, that's a reminder that I could get better with what I've got, first.
12-18-2012, 03:13 PM   #6
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Welcome aboard James. One thing that would help you imminencely is the book called Understanding Exposure: by Bryan Peterson And keep shooting. Practice, practice, practice!!

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