A thousand words

When I was younger, I’ve never understood how a picture was worth a thousand. At the time, I had trouble writing a thousand words about anything. But now that my knowledge has expanded, a thousand words is very little. College students can tell you that they can write a thousand words without any problems because they BS most of the things. But that’s not necessary if you know what you’re talking about.

It has been almost four years since I purchased my camera. During that time, I believe I have gotten better at taking photographs. At the beginning, I would only take my camera when I’m going somewhere special. Now, I take it with me everywhere just in case the opportunity presents itself. I’ve been burned a few times when something cool happens and I have no camera to capture it. That seems to happen more and more often now because I’m starting to see things that other might otherwise label as boring. Now when I walk out the door, I check to make sure I have a camera on me rather than something like my wallet.

What started out as random pointing and shooting has turned into planning and then executing the shot. Photography has made me keener to details and it has helped me see things from a different view. Sometimes it has given me different angles on things and there have been times when it captured something that I did not notice at first glance. There was one picture that I took in Hong Kong that took me by surprise. It was a picture that I took of Dim Sum. I was surprised that I was able to capture the steam rising. So far, I haven’t been able to reproduce that technique. I’ve tried it a couple of times in the kitchen but so far, no steam. I will have to go back to the Dim Sum picture and see if I can extract the settings that my camera was set to at the time. Since it was in my early years of camera usage, there’s a good chance that it was in automatic mode.

Sometimes, I like to go back to places where I’ve been before, where I’ve already taken a picture of. I like to compare the picture that I took at the beginning to the pictures that I’m capable of taking now. There are some minor differences but nonetheless, you can see the before and after. At the beginning, I was more concerned in capture the whole view because I wanted to get as much in as possible. Now, I know that capture the whole thing is not always best. I believe that photography is more about capture one thing and bringing out the detail of that one thing. The more you have in the picture, the more confusing it can get. You want to isolate your subject so that they are the main focus of the picture. There are times when capturing more of the picture is better but you should decide when it is necessary to do so. For example, taking a picture of landscape. You want to capture a wide view of the landscape to show how massive the area is. If you zoom into one section of the landscape, it may not do it justice because you don’t have any perspective to compare it to.

Many of the techniques that I’ve learned were from websites that I’ve read, pictures that I’ve seen on Flickr and stuff that my friends and I talk about. There are countless inspirations everywhere around you, you just need to look at it from a different point of view. It is possible to turn something boring into something spectacular. I’ve compared pictures that I’ve taken to pictures that others have taken and I can see the different. I’ve even come across some pictures where other photographers have capture it in a different way and made it look a lot better. Just the manner in which a photograph is taken can change the outcome.

Digital images and printed photographs appears slight different when viewed. Depending on the medium in which they are display, the level of detail can change. Most of my pictures are viewed on and LCD monitor. I decided to print some out last week to see how they would turn up on print. What developed caught me by surprise. The pictures came out sharper and more vivid than its digital counterpart. Some of my coworkers were amazed with them and even asked to have a few. Other coworkers, who are also photographer, became instant fans.

When I look at all of my pictures, the trend that I saw was that I took a lot of pictures that were outdoors, pictures of objects and animal. I haven’t had time to take pictures of people. I would like to one day but usually when I see people that I want to take pictures of, I feel like I’m intruding on their privacy. But I know better enough that once they’re on public property, it’s free game. Maybe in the near future, I’ll learn to take pictures without feeling like I’m intruding.

I believe that I still have a long way to go before I can perfect any of these techniques. There’s so much to learn when it comes to photography and I do not think that I’ve learned enough yet. I’ve been at it, on and off for three years and I don’t think that I have it down right. For me, photography started out as an investment but it has now turned into a hobby. And it’s slowly turning into an expensive one as I start to upgrade my gear. Piece by piece my equipment is being upgrade and I’m buying more lens. Before, I would buy a piece of equipment because I thought I needed but now I tend to do my research first before making any type of purchase. Photography equipment can get pretty expensive as you upgrade but right now, I don’t need to spend a whole lot of money for a certain item. I don’t mind buying something used so long as I can make the most of it. Once I become better with photography, I can justify buying the equipment brand new but right now, I’m still an amateur so my current gear will do just fine.