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How I Got Started in Photography

  • How I Got Started in Photography

I picked up photography in 2010. I was trying out different things in search for a new hobby, but none of the things I tried really strikes me as the one. I was running out of ideas when a friend of mine invited me to go on a treasure hunt at the local camera store. My friend was looking to add some vintage SLR cameras to his collection, and suggested that I purchase one of the cameras he was looking at. Because of the relative high availability and low demand, these cameras are very affordable to people with limited budgets. Also, a manually operated camera forces its user to be well-versed in the relation between aperture, shutter speed and ISO, which are referred collectively as the Exposure Triangle and are essential in photography. Taking his advise, I purchased my first SLR camera – an Olympus OM-1.

In the first few months, I would go out and take pictures of random stuff without any planning. I was often too excited when holding the camera and would forget to adjust the camera’s settings to compensate for the environment, and I did not get the results I wanted. I ended up with hundred of not-so-interesting photos. There were, however, a few photos that I like and the photo to the right is one of them.

At that point, I realized that I needed to improve my skills and expand my knowledge. I subscribed to a few photography tutorial sites, followed a number of photographers’ blogs and joined several online photographer groups to observe how others approach different subjects and shooting conditions. I learned how to make my photos more interesting with some creative composition, how to use sunlight and artificial light to my advantage and how post-editing could make a photo more attractive. Most importantly, I discovered my interest in shooting long exposure photos.

I bought my first Digital SLR – a Nikon D7000 – in early 2012. Although I was happy with the film based OM-1, I realized that I’ll likely be doing photography for a long time, and getting a DSLR would be a worthy investment. A DSLR gives me more freedom in choosing where, when and how to shoot pictures, and I could instantly see how the pictures turn out and make adjustments immediately. With film cameras, I would have to wait a few days for the photos to be developed.

Aside from the DSLR, I also acquired a small collection of lenses that I use extensively for different types of subjects and settings. There are many kind people online who are willing to share with others their experiences on lenses and accessories, and I have learned a lot from them. I am very grateful for their helps and would like to pay it forward by sharing what I know with others.

That is my story. Now, are you willing to give photography a try? Please tell me what you think by leaving a comment.


  • Craig

    Nice blog, Kevin. Now you have me interested in photography. Love the photos. Looking forward to more information and pictures!

    • Kevin Chan

      Thanks, Craig. I'm glad that you like the photos. More to come so stay tuned!

  • mariamaness

    Love the pics! Have you contemplated the possibility to turn your passion for photography into a revenue generator? Perhaps open your own business. You have talent.

    • Kevin Chan

      Thanks, Maria. Shooting professionally is definitely one of my long-term goals, and I will be working my butt off to get there!

      • mariamaness

        Great! I think you are off to a very good start! You have the passion for photography already! I hope to see you succeed professionally with your passion!

  • Matthew Boyce

    I really like the photos! Your posting made me think about trying out photography. This is a very nice, professional looking blog.

    • Kevin Chan

      Thanks, Matt! It's good to see people becoming interested in photography, and I'll do my best to come up with more photos.

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