Before Christmas, I put out a call on Facebook for DSLR recommendations. The response was a little overwhelming, and I unintentionally started a Canon VS Nikon war. I knew nothing about photography; I didn’t even know what DSLR meant. But I realized to be an upstanding travel blogger I would have to expand my skill set. Plus after reviewing the MatadorU Travel Photography Course and following the work of people like Lola Akinmade and Paul Sullivan, I was itching to try it myself.
Thank gawd for Boxing Day Sales, amiright?
So I went with the Canon EOS Digital Rebel XS. I bought the body, standard 55 mm lens, camera bag, and a 75-300 mm zoom lens. And when it showed up on my doorstep, I had no idea what to do with it.
The learning curve is a steep one, and I fear becoming a photography snob since everyone is doin’ it these days. Kickass cameras make it easy. When I first started flipping through user manuals, my head exploded. Wtf does aperture mean? Why is ISO so important? I had an embarrassing moment where I emailed my colleague Dan freaking out about a spot on my camera’s mirror, which actually turned out to be on my viewfinder because it wasn’t showing up in my images. Durrr.
I’m also learning that the hobby ain’t cheap. According to the Photography Gods, I need a wide angle lens. The blocky, massive bag I bought also won’t cut it while travelling, nor will it do anything to limit my douchebag factor. I need to buy a good, discreet bag, clearly.
But I’m having fun. I find myself paying more attention to details I wouldn’t normally observe. What other excuse could I find to drag myself to the eastern tip of North America on a freezing winter day to capture the scariest waves ever?
If you can’t commit to a course, here’s a lovely article from my friend Michael Hodson where he asks top travel photographers, “What makes a good photograph?”
If you’re a seasoned photographer, throw some tips at me. Teach me, wise ones.