It’s All About Light. 

For my first blog entry, it’s only right that I define what photography means for me personally.

From my days of point-and-shoot cameras to my current DSLR camera, I have always had a passion for taking pictures. I like pretty places and capturing them in images. Whilst living in Northern Ireland, I had no end of pretty places to shoot. Unfortunately, with limited time (due to work) and the notoriously inclement Northern Irish climate, I never had much opportunity to get out and spend time taking pictures.

It is only really within the last 2 years that my love of photography has become a passion and I made the transition from picture-taker to photographer. I believe this transition has happened for a number of reasons. Time, effort, enthusiasm and practice.

After closing the door on a 20-year catering career and re-training as a motorcycle instructor, I found I had more time to get out and take pictures. Having the time to use my camera and simply taking it with me on walks was crucial to my development. It was not long before I had a real passion and as a birthday present I received a bridge camera. All of a sudden I had so many settings on hand. I had modes that changed how the camera behaved and I found myself learning many different techniques to get the most out of my new camera. As I said on my About JCD page, I enrolled in a basic photography course which taught me about the “exposure triangle” and how a change to one setting had an effect on the other settings. How changing the shutter speed would impact on the aperture and ISO etc. With a bridge camera I found I was limited to the amount of settings available to me and it was not long before I was craving something with more flexibility. This was not to say that my picture-taking needed a more sophistocated camera; I have many pictures taken with my bridge camera that I still think are some of my favourite images.

After a year of owning a bridge camera, I made the leap to a DSLR and everything changed for me mentally. It took me a month or so before I plucked up the courage to step out of automatic mode, where the camera made the decisions, into manual mode, where I now controlled the full settings. I learnt the hard way and experimented. I would take a picture that didn’t work then change the camera settings until I got it right. It was a learning curve and I was enjoying it. As my skill grew I found the way I viewed the world changed. I was now looking at the world with a different eye. Everything was a subject, everything I looked at I thought about how it would look in a picture. I think that attitude was what changed me from a picture-taker to a photographer more than anything else. Now I do not see things the same way, even without the camera.

A year after aquiring my DSLR camera I am making the move from amateur to professional photographer with a couple of events where I have been commissioned as the photographer and I look forward to future opportunities.

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