My Love Affair With The Camera

A Sampling Of Photos I've Taken In The Past Few Years

A Sampling Of Photos I’ve Taken In The Past Few Years

Long Before The First Digital Camera

I started my on-and-off-again love affair with photography in high school, when I took my first photography class.

My desire to work behind the camera never waned, to tell the truth, but my resources were often too thin.

Until the last decade or so, the serious photographer–hobbyist or professional–not only invested a lot of money into equipment, but into supplies and processing as well.

And maintaining your own darkroom, to develop and print your own photos, wasn’t much more than a pipe dream for many photography enthusiasts.

After Years Of Playing Around

With First One Instant Camera After Another

© 2004 Marty Pierson, Kalispell MT

© 2004 Marty Pierson, Kalispell MT

I finally I decided to make a commitment, to stop playing at being a photographer.

So I bought my first SLR camera, a Canon Elan IIe that used 35mm film, and invested in $300 worth of professional grade color slide film. I purchased in bulk from a dealer in California, and saved close to half over what I would have paid locally buying a few rolls at a time.

I set up an account with a local outfit that would developed the slides and print my company name on each slide cover. Even so, I still had to be selective about what I took photos of, and how often. It cost $6.50 a roll for development. Until it went up.

That was in 2000, (coincidentally, the same year I married the other love of my life.)

That’s me in the blue hat, taking photos at Schreiner’s Iris Gardens back in 2004. My friend Marty Pierson was along, and she took a couple of photos of me when I wasn’t looking. Be sure to check out The Elegant Tall Bearded Iris for a look at my Iris photos.

Moving From Film To Digital

Change Isn’t Always Easy

The Classic Red Rose

The Classic Red Rose

In 2004, I bought my first digital camera, a Sony Cybershot DSC-f717. I was doing quite a lot of product photography for internet clients, and needed the digital output; Starting with digital saved a lot of time and money.

The Sony wasn’t a dSLR, but the 5 megapixel images, and the built in Carl Zeiss zoom lens made it perfect for what I needed. And, as it turned out, a very nice camera for floral photography, too.

I never intended to use this camera for anything other than product photography. But I was putting up free computer wallpapers and screensavers on my photography site, so I started using it for that as well.

Then I had an ad agency contact me about licensing the original of one of my rose wallpapers for use in a project they were doing for one of their clients. I said yes, of course, and quoted $65. They contacted the client and agreed to everything but the price.

In spite of the fact it was ‘only’ a 5MP image, they insisted that the fair market value was $150 and insisted on paying me the higher amount. I’m no fool. I took the money!

And I started using the little Sony for images I planned on selling.

By the way, the red rose photo above is the image the ad agency licensed.

If you like roses, be sure to check out my rose photo galleries, One Dozen Roses, Another Dozen Roses and Roses, Roses, And More Roses. The first gallery is of some of my favorite early rose photos take on slide film. The second and third galleries are of later photos taken with the Sony digital camera.

White Rooster At The County Fair, Shot With The Rebel XTi

White Rooster At The County Fair, Shot With The Rebel XTi

You Win Some And You Lose Some

I Hadn’t Planned On Replacing the Sony

Then in 2007, I bought a Canon Rebel XTi digital SLR. With 10.1 megapixels, the images were even larger than many of the top-of-the-line dSLR cameras of only a year or two earlier.

Two things happened shortly after I got the Rebel: 1) Canon released the the 12.2 megapixel XSi and 2) my little Sony stopped working.

I couldn’t really complain about the release of the XSi, as the XTi was on sale at a very nice discount. That was a pretty good indicator that a new release was imminent.

But I could and did complain about the Sony. I expected to continue to use it for macro photography. But the cost of repairing such ‘old’ technology wasn’t worth it.

I’ve had the Rebel for more than five years now, and it has never let me down. I’d love to get a newer Canon, with the capability of taking HD video, but a better investment would be in a new zoom lens.

New Toys To Enhance The Relationship

Moving Outside The Comfort Zone

The lens I use with my camera most of the time is one I purchased separately. It is a nice general purpose lens rated at 28-80mm f/3.5-5.6 with the very quiet Ultrasonic motor. However, it was never intended for use with the APS-C sensor of my dSLR, so the focal lengths are off.

Another issue I discovered, almost immediately, is the attraction dust has for the image sensor when you change lenses! Sometimes, it’s impossible to be careful enough.

Consequently, I’ve been strongly attracted to this 18-200mm lens, as a replacement for my current lens. It wouldn’t negate the need for a good “long lens”, but would be just fine in far more situations than the 28-80mm.

Canon EF-S 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Standard Zoom Lens for Canon DSLR Cameras With The APS-C Sized Sensors. Uses 72mm filters.

Canon EF-S 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Standard Zoom Lens for Canon DSLR CamerasThis lens is designed to work with the APS-C image sensors which are smaller than 35mm film. In spite of the 18-200mm specs, this lens is equivalent to 29-320mm in the 35mm format.Image Stabilization (IS) is a big plus with any lens, but especially a zoom lens, that magnifies any shake in your hands.

price

I am not an affiliate of Amazon. If you make a purchase after following any of these links, I will not make a commission.

There are a few drawbacks to this lens. I have a nice selection of filters that are too small to fit, so I’d have to purchase new filters in the 72mm size.

And it doesn’t have the ultra quiet USM motor. Although lenses that do are a lot more expensive; Relatively speaking, this lens is quite affordable with a $699.99 estimated retail price.

When I get the 18-200mm lens, I’ll need to pick up one each of the next three products to go along with it. The last three items–the backpack, gloves and hiking boots–are on my wishlist regardless.

Essential 72MM Lens Filter Kit for DSLR Cameras CANON (EF 35mm f/1.4L EF 85mm f/1.2L II EF 135mm f/2L) NIKON (85mm f/1.4 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G) Lenses - Includes: Graduated Color Filter Kit (Red Pink Purple Yellow Orange Coffee Green Blue and Gray) + Filter Kit (UV Polarizer Fluorescent) + Neutral Density Filter Set (ND2 ND4 ND8) + Premium MagicFiber Microfiber Cleaning Cloth72MM Lens Filter Kit

72mm Soft Rubber Lens Hood For Canon EF-S 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Standard Zoom Lens + Cap Keeper + MicroFiber Cleaning Cloth + LCD Screen Protectors72mm Rubber Lens Hood

72mm Tulip Lens Hood for Canon 18-200mm IS Lens + 3 Year Celltime Warranty72mm Tulip Lens Hood

Photo Sport 200 All Weather Camera Pack by LoweproPhoto Sport 200 Backpack

Ladies Stretch Gloves - Black LargeLadies Stretch Gloves

Lowa S-Cruise Mesh Hiking Shoe - WomensLowa S-Cruise Hiking Shoe

I am not an affiliate of Amazon. If you make a purchase after following any of these links, I will not make a commission.

No Love Affair Is Perfect

I’ve Made The Occasional Misstep

APX SLR Camera Body & Sigma 100-300mm lens

APX SLR Camera Body & Sigma 100-300mm lens

In my journey from photo hobbyist to professional photographer I’ve made two costly mistakes when buying equipment.

The first was purchasing an APX SLR camera instead of a 35mm camera. When I made the decision to shoot using slide film, I had to replace the APX with a 35mm camera body.

The second was purchasing a Sigma zoom lens for a Canon SLR. That lens has caused me a lot of trouble, as well as one costly repair. When I went digital, I paid to have the lens chip updated to work with the new camera. But it has never worked right with the XTi and consumes way too much battery power. I seldom even attempt to use it now.

My Digital Camera And A Down Economy

The past five or so years have been very hard on all of us and have forced many of us to set aside anything that isn’t essential.

I am so thankful that I had already purchased the XTi, as I would not have been able to afford the cost of film and developing during these trying times. Fortunately, I have everything I need to continue with my photography.

It is now early Spring, and I’m looking forward to taking a few day trips this year to some of my favorite spots, like the display gardens at Schreiner’s. They should be open in a few more weeks.

Writing about my love of photography has made me impatient for the dry days and flowers to be in bloom. It has also reminded me that it has been a very long time since my honey and I spent a weekend camping, and hiking the path less photographed.

I guess I’ll just have to wait and see what the next few months will bring.

About The Author

is a marketing consultant and has been active online since 1995. Offline, Anita is passionate about her family, pets, and photography. She's a big movie buff and an avid reader, with Cozy Mysteries and Epic Fantasy at the top of her reading list.

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