DSLR Weekend

This past weekend was the very first time I used a DSLR. It might sound strange considering I’m a 23-year-old with a knack for photography, but ever since I started taking photos I’ve either used a smartphone or SLRs. I have a small collection of film cameras and have gotten experience with those, but I’ve never been able to afford to delve into the world of digital. In fact, I still can’t, but my ex (who I hate calling my ex) let me borrow his DSLR so I can finally practice and I can begin to build my portfolio! I’ve mentioned before that I want to finally work hard at something and that I’ve been taking baby steps to achieve my goals, and getting my hands on a decent digital camera feels like the beginning of a long journey of hard work. Needless to say, I am ridiculously excited about this journey.

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A building at The Pearl in San Antonio, TX. Taken with Pentax K100D.

My ex and I (for the sake of this blog, I’m going to refer to him as J) met up at The Pearl and decided to walk around so I can test drive the camera. First off, it was so amazing to me how quickly I could adjust the ISO. It sounds ridiculous to say that but coming from analog, I’m used to only being able to shoot with one ISO (the film) and hoping that the shutter speed and aperture settings result in something visible.

Also, before I go any further I should say that I’m still a beginner and one of the reasons I created this blog was so I could document the things I learn as I’m on this journey.

As I walked around with the camera and adjusted settings trying to perfect the exposure for the time of day I couldn’t help but feel some kind of power having the digital object in my hands. I love cameras. I adore them. That’s why I have so many. But I couldn’t help but feel so amazed and blessed that humans have created a technology that allows an instant review of the picture you just shot. Of course, I live with that technology every day because of my smartphone, but this was something different. Having that camera in my hands I was able to realize how much I take that kind of technology for granted.

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Another shot at The Pearl. I noticed the shadows and thought, “this needs to be in black and white!”

I also realized that auto-focus is a godsend. The K100D has the option to switch from manual focus to auto-focus, and being so adjusted to analog I thought I could trust myself to manually focus in on every photo and get something great. But as you can see in the above photo, the words on the left aren’t as focused as I thought they would be. This was evident in a lot of the photos I took, especially of J. I was pretty disappointed, but the realization that I recognized my mistake made me excited for the next time I took the camera out.

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Taken inside the Emma Hotel. This photo of J would have been so much more successful had I been using auto-focus (and had a security guard not stupidly told us that we couldn’t take photos inside the lobby.)

And I did take my camera out again! I was spending a lazy Saturday, and a beautiful, brisk Earth Day, watching Steven Universe and as the sun started to descend in the sky I thought it would be the perfect time to have an impromptu photo shoot with my dog and actually use auto-focus! Every time I take Scout’s photo I feel so blessed because it’s as if she was made to be a doggie model! We had such a fun time running around and throughout her attempts of trying to eat the lens–and trying to run after anything that enters her domain (the backyard)–I got quite a few great shots of her!

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I’ll never get tired of that giant smile. I was also surprised about the camera-made vignetting in the corners. 

I noticed that the timing between the auto-focus and the shutter is a bit slow, and I’m not sure if that’s because of the camera or if I’m just using it incorrectly. I’m sure I’ll say more about it the more I use it but it was a little frustrating since my dog moves really fast and gets distracted very quickly. Another thing I noticed was that even in manual mode the aperture changes when I zoom in and I’m not sure if that’s a K100D thing or a DSLR thing. I still have a lot to learn. (And if there’s anyone reading that can provide any tips, that would be greatly appreciated!)

I am immensely pumped to take more photos and keep learning, and as I said, finally build a portfolio. With all the hobbies I have, photography is the one that speaks to me the most and absolutely captures my heart. Especially when I can take such beautiful pictures of the things I love the most. I can confidently say that photography is the hobby I am most passionate about and one of my goals is to make it more than a hobby one day. And as long as I’m surrounded my beautiful things and animals and people, I believe that it is possible.

Caro

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