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Thursday, April 8, 2010

Learning After 40 Isn't Like Riding a Bike

photography after 40 - whats after 29?
{ personal best to date }

After borrowing Smart Asses' camera for two years, I've decided to treat myself to one of my own. I wanted something as advanced as possible while still able to fit into my purse or even my back pocket (I have big back pockets).

First off, I'd like to point out that whoever said, "oh don't worry. it's like riding a bike." was seriously delusional. I mean really, who out there hasn't gotten on a bike for the first time in 10-15+ years and plowed into the first tree or sign in sight? It's like a freaking magnet! This is the analogy I've given to my little photography escapade.

In high school I was a pretty good photographer - sporting my super advanced Pentax K1000 (which I still have, btw, somewhere). This chick totally understood aperture, shutter speed, iso, etc. Heck, I even developed my own pictures! Now I just want to turn the dial to "auto" - something the salesguy told me NOT to do - and leave it. Think I need to head to the nearest Barnes & Noble for "Photography for Dummies".

My question to all of the photographic geniuses out there - how long did it take before you hopped back on that bike and made it to your destination without hitting a tree or a fence? Or is the key to NOT abandon the "bike" in the first place - in which case, I'm a lost cause?


Matty said...

There are periods of time I go without riding my bike, but I can't say that I've ever ridden into anything. However, I have taken some nasty spills over the years due to speed or running into another rider. As for the camera, it's full auto for me. I'm just not into learning all the settings.

Jennifer Juniper said...

I hate to say it (it's cheating but so much easier) but I'd say that learning to edit can make up for a lot of photography mistakes. I have an inexpensive point and shoot and have focused most of my energy into editing them to look how I envisioned. (all true photographers are cringing right now. Sorry>)

Lori said...

Jennifer, I think I'm not a true photographer either. My best friend is the edit button. :/

Toni said...

Like you, I used to know all the photography terms and developed my own film some of the time. But cameras have changed a lot since then. The last time I was taking pictures seriously was about 10 years ago. What I recall was that I'd start with the setting on "automatic" but then make manual adjustments (e.g. turn off the flash) based on my understanding of light, speed of the subject, the effect I wanted to get, etc.

My vote: "Photography for Dummies." Just be sure it covers the kind of camera you bought.

Lori said...

Matty, I swear, I'm riding a dadgum magnet when I get on a bike. Look up the Frazer episode where they learn how to ride a bike. That's me.

slow panic said...

i keep meaning to become a photographer. i inherited a beautiful digital camera..... can't wait to see your photos

Nazarina A said...

I love this picture, it is beautifully taken!
Me, on the other hand, still having a love-hate relationship with my camera and wanting to quit everyday when I see images of great beauty like yours!

Sue Jackson said...

The key is to switch it to auto and don't listen to the salesman!!!

Today's digital cameras are designed so well they take great photos on auto. Stop sweatin' it.

Those little manuals they come with, with instructions in 10 languages, are pretty useless. I figured out a couple of key functions - zoom, how to turn the flash on and off, sports mode for action shots, etc. and otherwise keep it in auto.

One other tip - if it has super high resolution (most of them now are 10 megapixel or better), you may want to adjust it down to a lower resolution. The high-res shots take up a HUGE amount of space, as I discovered too late when my ancient laptop quickly filled up with photos. 5 megapixels is still a very high resolution, even for enlargements, and the pics are a more reasonable size.

Good luck...have fun!


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