Outdoor Discoveries

What originally was a news section for the rest of the website soon became a place for me to write about human-powered wanderings in the countryside. Photography inspires me to get out there, mostly on foot these days, though cycling got me started. Musings on the wider context of outdoor activity complete the picture, so I hope that there is something of interest in all that you find here. Thank you for coming!

A Photographic Journey?

9th May 2006

In spite of the idea that your photography should be defined by ability rather than equipment, it still remains that I remember my photographic ventures by the camera that I was using rather than anything else. I suppose that gadgets offer a certain amount of comfort in what is after all a subjective discipline. After various low quality attempts using compacts taking 110 and 126 cartridge film (the latter was a hand-me-down from my brother!), I decided to move into the world of 35 mm with another compact, a fixed lens Ricoh. That accompanied me on various journeys around Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England and contributed photos that are still on my website to this day.

However, I got to realising the limitations of my equipment and started on the SLR trail. I had intended buying an entry level Minolta, I settled on a Canon EOS 300. Now that Minolta has exited the camera business that now seems a sensible move but they were very keen on adding technology to cameras at the time. These days, my main workhorse is an EOS30, bought used, but I have a leg in the digital world with an EOS 10D, bought half-price as run out stock after the launch of the now discontinued 20D.

Having an SLR has allowed me to learn about apertures, shutter speeds, filters and the like: photography magazines and books become more relevant when you can use the features that they discuss. Time was when I was collecting the latter and now I need to keep revisiting some of them for ideas. I stick to three magazines: Outdoor Photography, Practical Photography and Photographic Monthly.

It is all right reading about it but you really need to get out and take some photos. Only that will gain me more practice with important stuff like composition and exposure: computers can only fix so much. I have got myself as far as using a monopod but I really need to get my tripod out and about. So the learning continues and I never want to think too highly of my abilities or I could get a rude awakening!

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