My Photography Journey

This week, Lens-artists host Amy invites us to share our photography journey.

In an old post I described that I wanted to be a painter but couldn’t draw straight lines, so I decided photography was better for me. Of course I learned that it’s not easy either.

This photo I took with a point-and-shoot won in a photo contest. Maybe it was beginner’s luck but it encouraged me to pursue my interest in photography.

My first “serious” camera was a Minolta XG-1 that I bought from a friend for a song. It became my companion for years, documenting life as I raised a family, travelled, and explored photography as a hobby. It got pretty banged up, but I captured so many memories with it.

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It had Aperture Priority, which was good enough for me, but no auto-focus. Manual focus made hyperfocal distance my default to get as much of the photo in focus and “not waste film.” When funds allowed, I got a Canon EOS 30, which had eye-controlled focus. It was a great camera but soon had to give way to digital.

It started with a mobile phone camera. I quickly discovered the convenence of having it always with me, but also how limiting its low resolution was. Still it enabled me to capture some moments.

It was the Canon G2 that really got me into digital photography, with its then hefty 4MP and flexible LCD. More importantly, the instant feedback of digital shortened my learning curve.

This is where I will change direction from talking about gear to learning. I had an abundance of raw enthusiasm. I read magazines and books. I studied the rules of composition, applied them and broke them. I also took lessons. I realized it was a tough subject.

But I was having fun. I teamed up with a few friends and we put up our own photo studio. Though I was earning enough from my day job, I did a few gigs just for the experience. Some of my friends went on to become highly accomplished wedding and fashion photographers. I learned a lot from them, but realized that turning professional takes a lot of commitment and is a business by itself. I decided I would rather stay as an amateur hobbyist. 

Despite having a couple of DSLRs, I went back to film for a while using vintage rangefinders. Maybe there was something about shooting with old technology that was part of the experience. 

Eventually I went all digital with the full frame Canon 6D. Then got into mirrorless with the EOSM6 which is so much lighter when travelling. It also allowed me to adapt my vintage lenses into the digital age, so I have come full circle!

Mobile phones have come a long way, too, and many of the photos on this blog were taken with them. I believe they will only get better and computational photography will soon become mainstream. But there’s also a counter-trend back to film, making classic film cameras highly sought after; so that has come full circle too.

I guess the journey never ends. One thing I learned is that equipment helps but it’s still the one holding the camera that makes the photo. Another thing I learned is that, for me at least, life comes first and photography complements it, so it has to be fun.

I still can’t draw straight lines and I’m still learning how to make photographs. But I sure am having fun.


  1. You might still be learning – I know this process never stops – but you have plenty under your belt already. I always looks at your posts with pleasure, knowing that, at the very least, there will be an image to enjoy and explore.

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  2. Enjoy reading your journey! Your beautiful selections tell stories and the progress you have made, these are very special. I agree, the journey never ends. Thank you for sharing what you have learned through your photography journey. Well said.

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  3. It is a neverending journey – yes! And you’ve had great fun as well – well done. I am a happy amateur as well, who wanted to be a painter or a writer…but ended up having all of this, including photography, as hobbies.Thank you for sharing a beautiful journey! I understand very well why your fuirst image won the photo contest. It is enigmatic.

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    • Thank you, Ann-Christine! Indeed I can see and appreciate your many creative pursuits, including your photos and blog. Thanks for shedding light on that first image, I captured it without thinking just feeling, perhaps it’s better done that way.


  4. I feel exactly as you do Nes. It’s been a wonderful journey and I’ve had so much fun with it on the way, but I’ve never wanted it to be a job which would completely change my feelings about it. I feel terrible for the pros who have had such a difficult time this past year. I also agree there is SO much to it and studying and practice are both really important. Loved your story and your images this week, thanks so much for joining us.

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    • Yes, Tina, exactly, I didn’t want it to be a job.
      It’s my pleasure to join the challenges. I enjoy looking at the responses and I learn so much from the posts of others, including your excellent images.
      I can see how I need to get better in some areas, and your challenges provide that gentle push for collective learning.
      Thank you for dropping by!

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  5. I am enjoying reading about how others got into photography.
    That hope photo is lovely! And I am appreciating black and white more and more. I love that bottom left photo! But yes, it has to remain FUN! 😊

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    • Yes, Teresa, we all have our own “passions” which can cost a tidy sum over the years. 🙂
      Having said that, I have seen excellent photography over the years using inexpensive cameras or mobile phones — some from my friends and also from blogs that I follow. I tell myself it’s an opportunity to learn from the superior talents of others.
      Learning is actually my first passion, and that’s probably why I enjoy photography because with it one never stops learning.

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