Day 5- First photos as a DSLR user 😅

I mentioned in my “Day 3 Post” that I was learning photography using the internet and whatever other tutorials I could get my hands on. Today, I had some free time to delve into it and had some fun! Aaaand, I am terrible, but the beginning is a good place to start.

I found some great YouTube videos again and was surprised at the level of detail some of the tutorials provided. I will post some of these in my next photography post. Most of the videos I found were so helpful and helped to make the topics I explored 2 days ago much easier to digest. I still kept my focus on the 3 basics: aperture, shutter speed, and ISO.

After watching a video or two, I felt confident enough to give it a try with the DSLR, taking pictures within the apartment. This was much harder than I expected or hoped! Immediately upon turning on the camera, I forgot everything I had just learned. F-stop appeared as a foreign concept taunting me and ISO? What’s ISO? My mind went blank. Then, I reminded myself that this is normal. Application and conceptual learning are often very different processes. They are friends and, with hope, chat every now and agin about the topic at hand, but they are not the same. They shouldn’t be treated as such. Coming to terms with this reality, at least in regards to my own learning patterns, will make learning photography much less tumultuous.

In the videos, I learned again to keep the ISO as low as possible and that AV was the automated setting for a focus on the f-stop. Along with some painful time on “M” mode, I practiced today mostly using AV and adjusting the aperture to get a better feel for it and for how to adjust the depth of field. It was a challenge, but a fun one! I felt excited when I finally focused on a coffee mug while leaving the background blurry. It took me about 20 attempts, but I did it, damn it! There will be a lot of practice in my future, in AV mode and beyond. As a positive note, it was helpful for me to isolate the concepts and focus on f-stop while the shutter speed and ISO levels were automatic. I felt overwhelmed at the poor quality of my photos using the manual setting and trying to figure out what was making a photo blurry, or too dark, or too light. Perhaps the AV and TV modes (using a Canon) might get me through the awkward initial phase of knowing absolutely nothing!

Learning how to properly use a DSLR camera is proving to be a worthy challenge. I am excited for the challenge and for the opportunity to grow in knowledge, skill, and confidence. I think that many of us, speaking for myself, have a tendency to dream of doing without planning to do, and especially without the doing part. There is no time like the present, and I already wish I would have sat down to learn sooner.

Which brings me to my preacher/teacher moment of the evening. FRIENDS- no one is going to come into your life and care or know more about your happiness than you do. You need to prioritize your goals, personal accomplishments, and dreams before anyone else can. You need to believe in yourself, even if you are convinced no one else does. I am writing this to myself more than anyone else, but if it resonates, awesome. One foot in front of the other. Go on now, go!

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