The Trials and Tribulations of an Amateur Photographer: How it all began (part 1) - those first faltering steps
A series of articles on my introduction to modern digital cameras
I have always been sort of interested in photography. In my younger days I was a keen hillwalker and camper and used to wander far and wide over the hills of my native Scotland and photographing the spectacular scenery was a natural adjunct to this. I used to use one of those cheap disposable cameras (which can actually give a surprisingly good image) because, well, I wasn't that into photography so didn't feel the need to buy myself a decent camera - although I did like to turn out a good photograph.
The problem with that was, of course, that those disposable cameras aren't digital and that meant that I had to be judicious with the images I took because there were only a maximum of 27 exposures in the cameras I used and taking more than one camera put the cost of developing the film too high for my budget. For several years I was content with that situation - buying a disposable camera for each hillwalking trip; choosing carefully which scene to record; paying for the film to be developed, and placing the images in a photo-album. All well and good. And then I discovered digital cameras and computers!
OK, as what could fairly be described as 'an old fogie' I didn't really discover computers (and the wider digital world) all by myself. It was more or less forced upon me by children - particularly my eldest son ( Wingman ) who used to go hillwalking with me. As I recall the initial conversation took place near the summit of Ladhar Bheinn and went something like this:
Him - (as I was lining up a particularly good scenic shot) 'Dad, isn't it time you bought yourself a digital camera?'
Me - 'A what?'
Him - (with an exasperated sigh) 'A digital camera - you know, those modern cameras which don't use old-fashioned film.'
Actually, I didn't know - but I was about to find out!
He then proceeded to inform me (in what amounted to a 15-minute lecture on the modern world!) of all the benefits which computers and digital technology would bring to my life. I should explain that this happened a few years ago as computers were really getting into their stride and showing the benefits they could bring to modern life but back then I had little experience of modern technology - I didn't have a computer, I didn't have a mobile phone and I certainly didn't have a digital camera.
Suffice to say that by the time we had returned home (having had my ears assaulted all the way on the benefits of modern technology) I was sufficiently interested to do some research of my own the upshot of which was the purchase of modern digital camera - a Canon SX 500is. Not a full DSLR but a reasonably capable and reasonably priced digital camera of a type I now know to be described as a 'bridge camera' presumably because it bridges the gap between a basic digital camera and a full-on DSLR. Armed with my new purchase and not limited by the 27-exposure disposable camera - I proceeded to take numerous photographs on our next hillwalking trip.
This was great! I no longer had to worry about how many images I took since the camera seemed to have a bottomless pit of storage (I didn't know then about SD cards, I had simply accepted the one which the salesman had suggested when I bought the camera). I even took some videos. This was a vast improvement over a disposable camera!
However, I had overlooked an important detail (not really my fault since I had no experience of digital technology). What could I do with the photographs I had taken? They were in digital form on the camera but how could I view them? Sure, I could keep them on the camera and view them on the built-in digital screen, but that simply wasn't satisfactory. I needed a way to take them off the camera and make them easily available for my viewing pleasure.
And that opened up a whole new can of worms.
. . . to be continued!
Image Credit » Kasman