One of the things I’ve really enjoyed since moving to NYC has been the incentive to take more photos. I’ve always liked photography but used to be terrible at actually remembering to take my camera anywhere, whereas these days our little point-and-shoot tends to live in my handbag to be ready for every opportunity.
However, I recently decided that a slightly better camera would be in order – a combination of thinking it would be nice to have a bit more control over my photographic efforts and the fact that it’s been a while since I bought a new gadget. After much deliberation I settled on a ‘bridge’ camera, which means that it has much of the SLR functionality (controlling the shutter speed, aperture etc.) but without the option to change the lens. A friend owns the same model and she takes great pictures, which was enough to convince me that I might at least stand a chance with it!
Before the camera even arrived I was busy ploughing through all the library books on teach-yourself DSLR photography that I could get my hands on, with the result that I am now totally confused about ISO settings, f-stops and a whole range of other impenetrable terminology. Probably the most sensible advice I’ve received from the books so far is to find the auto setting and take loads of pictures with that before even trying to get to grips with the technical stuff – I rather wish I’d read that one first.
This afternoon I finally had time to head out with the camera and see how it performs in the wild, and I was pleased to discover that it takes very nice pictures with virtually no input from me, and it has a great zoom lens too. I particularly enjoyed playing with the ‘scene’ mode, which allows you to select all kinds of different effects – old hat I know, my other camera has this and of course all the smartphone camera apps do too – but this isn’t something I’ve ever spent much time experimenting with, and it’s rather good fun.
As the light faded my faithful assistant decreed it was time to find some dinner, which of course provided the perfect opportunity to play with a few other settings (and discover that my model lacks the stamina necessary for photo-shoots of any duration).
Walking home allowed for some final experimentation with night picture mode, and I also fiddled with the shutter settings to see what happened. Technically-speaking of course these were a bit of a disaster, but I’m rather taken with some of my results nevertheless!
So, all very much a work in progress. As predicted Tom is not tremendously keen, which is a shame since he’s clearly got a much better head for understanding all the numbers than I do. Maybe if I take enough pictures of him he’ll get fed up and start helping behind the lens instead…! Whatever happens, hopefully these pages will start to show the fruit of my efforts sooner rather than later – watch this space!