Hey folks. So, I took up photography a year and a half back… Sorry. Bought a DSLR a year and a half back, thanks to recommendations from a host of friends. Must say, it’s been an enlightening journey thus far, and I can today truly be termed as a serious amateur photographer. Umm. yea. No more.
As an amateur with no formal training I have relied as most would on luck and plain instinct. Have seen and read tutorials more than I have practiced the skill, I have always found it difficult to use functions instinctly what I would have read. It is usually a hindsight realisation of what I should have done and therefore, more often than not find myself waiting for a déjà vu moment to perfect my imperfect capture the next time. Luckily I have gotten better with time. Enough to break a few myths and share what would be the 5 most important points for those digital camera users who are planning to take the wonderful leap to an entry level DSLR.
1.Lenses are more important than the DSLR itself
Only a matter of time before we go from your kit lens to a host of lenses.. choose wisely. Do not spend too much time on looking for a DSLR. Spend more time trying to figure what you enjoy shooting and therefore the lenses you will use. Lenses play a far greater role in getting a great pic than your DSLR itself.
2. Party room, landscape, buildings , portraits : Different Lenses
Every different shot will need a different lens. You may need a walk around lens for general use. But, if you want a buying your DSLR to capture pics like in the travel brochure, the answer is different lenses. I have a lot of friends who shift to a DSLR and try their first shots at home in the evening with their family. Their first shots are as hazy with their kit lens as their digi cams and they wonder why their hand shakes so much. Probably the getting used to or the fact that the DSLR is too sensitive. Rubbish. It’s the lens. Shots
Lenses will make all the difference
taken in homes and parties which have dim lighting require a lens with a high aperture value, so that your shutter speed is still high and your photo is crystal clear … Did I just speak Greek ? This brings me to my next point – Learning a new language.
3. Learning starts… again 🙁
Photography speak in the beginning can be quite intimidating. Almost like a new language. However, look around enough and you will realize that help is at an arms length. From free ebooks, to free videos and hacked tutorials to actual classes and workshops. You can take whatever route you want, but basic techniques of exposure involving shutter, aperture and ISO are a must. There is no going to level next and figuring out yourself is going to take a lot of time and tons of missed opportunities. Investment of time In training will be crucial.
4. Oh, and there is the investment of course
Time will not be the only investment you make. Serious photography means you will be buying a heck of a lot of things as your progress. Lenses are expensive, and as the lenses get bulkier and heavier, you will need better tripods , and gimbal heads and sandbags and monopods and camera bags and… Well the list goes on and on. If the idea of buying a DSLR camera was to take it on holidays, there will come a time when you will postpone a holiday because you need to invest in a lens that will help you take relevant pictures in that holiday. Yea. true. Also, a word of advice. DO NOT SHY away from second hand lenses. The world is full of photographers like yourselves and me who keep on moving to level next. Almost every photographer keeps his equipment as spic and span as a Parsi who looks after his car. So, go ahead and pick up second hand lenses without fear… But after duly checking it of course.
5. A weighty issue indeed
My final tip. Get used to carrying a big brick on your back. As you gradually move from being an enthusiast
to a amateur and then a professional, you will need to carry your bag around all the time. The thought of going from using a digital camera that fits into your pocket before taking off on a holiday to having a separate 5 kg bag is unnerving to most. But, one needs to get over the fact quickly. Soon, you will be traversing miles with that load on your back… Trust me, it will only get heavier with time but you will never regret a single moment.
So there it is folks, 5 checks before you take the leap to a DSLR. The golden rule of photography: If you are shifting to a DSLR because you are going for a holiday – Don’t. If your doing it for the sheer love of photography – hit the websites now for research.