I'm new here although I have been dipping into PhotographyLife for many years. I thought maybe I could kickstart some discussion around photographic journeys? Anyone interested?
I recently began to write a photobook of my life journey as documented through the lens. The book has maybe 370 photos, quite a few stories, and I have named every photo, provided the camera model and lens used to capture it, as well as where I took the photo, which country it was in, the month and year. For the book, my first photos are from 2004 (no pre-digital).
Basically, the book is a summary of what I have documented through the lens to this point in time. I have divided it into chapters that reflect how I see the world. Through this process I have cast my memories back to where my journey began, what equipment I used, and what it has all meant to me. For the moment, I will print the book for close family and friends only.
So, what I am asking of people here, and perhaps Nasim will also join in, is to provide a short summary of your journey through life, as undertaken through the lens. I would really be interested to read your stories (for those willing to share).
1. First photographic experiences (when, why, how etc).
2. What camera systems you have used over the years and your thoughts about them (and changes in technology).
3. How your photographic tastes and interests have changed over time (or maybe have not).
4. Any particular images, or types of images have had an impact on your life.
5. If you could be remembered for a photo, what would it be of?
I'll go first. I really hope some others join in!
I started my photographic journey in the 1990's in my early 20s. I was never interested in photography, but then I reread some of my mum's old photo collector magazines (the ones where you buy an issue each week, and they eventually go into big folder volumes) and it kickstarted a need to explore the world and my own creativity a bit.
I bought a Canon EOS 300 and a Canon 28-75 mm USM lens I think it was. I took some classes with a local photographer. Mostly I did landscapes and some experimental stuff. Ultimately I gave up because the whole time-frame between taking a photo and seeing the end result was too long for my impatient younger self.
* ~1999 - Canon EOS 300 film camera: was a good basic machine. I didn't enjoy film much. The lack of flexibility to me was frustrating. It was not very flexible.
* ~2004 - 6.62 MP Fujifilm S7000 all in one digital camera: Although a pretty basic machine by today's standards, the flexibility it provided over film really turned me into an avid photographer. That said, if it was outside of daytime, this camera was completely limited to a tripod unless I used the flash. That was a major frustration. It took some interesting photos.
* ~2005 - 8.2 MP Canon 20D DSLR: this camera really opened up the world to me. I used it to travel through India in 2005 for two months, and later I used 2 of them through Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand and Hong Kong. Main lenses I used were the Tamron 28-75 f2.8 and canon 135 mm f2 (I only used the Tamron through India). I had others, mostly didn't use them much. This system took me into my weddings phase and models on the beach phase as well. I loved the dial on the back of the 20D and the build quality. Also, first camera I could shoot natural light at night with a bit of innovative stabilisation like a lamp post, squatting and careful breathing or wall.
* ~2012 - 12.1 MP Nikon D700 DSLR: I worked at an electronics retailer for a few years selling cameras, ending somewhere around 2013. I was originally a Canon fanboy, but if anything, working and seeing all the camera brands, models and gear, I woke up and saw the good everywhere. Ultimately, I landed on the D700 (although I was really anti-Nikon for a long time). I ran that with a Nikkor 24-70 f2.8 and Nikkor 80-200 f2.8 for some years. This camera was amazing. It really had the best interface of any camera I've owned.
* ~2012 Sony Nex-5N: I got this cheap through work. I sold a lot and they were a great APS-C camera with a tiny body size. My first encounter with Sony's great sensor technology. I kept this for trips I didn't plan to take any serious photos on, eventually selling it to my niece very cheap some years ago.
* The D700 didn't really get used well until 2017, when I moved to New Zealand (from
Australia) and back again all in one year. It started my interest in birds and macro when I purchased the Tamron 150-600 mm G2 and the Sigma Macro 150 mm f2.8. I also started my migration across to primes, buying the Voigtlander 58 mm f1.4 and selling the 24-70 f2.8. I broke the 80-200 f2.8 doing a friend's wedding a year or two earlier.
* ~2018 - 45.7 MP Nikon D850: In 2018 I purchased the D850 as well as the Nikkor 24 mm f1.8 and Sigma Art 85 mm f1.4. Pretty much from this point onward I have used primes (24 mm, 58 mm, 85 mm, 150 mm) and the Tamron superzoom. The D850 has really opened up photography for me. I can shoot pretty much any discipline with a pretty high level of capability. I am really pleased with my current setup and find I have a lens for nearly any situation I want to shoot. There are more that I want, but I still have many years yet to live.
I started photography with landscape, then hated it. After doing journalism at university, I was really into people photography (esp. doco) for many years. I did weddings and model portfolio stuff as well for a while. I even bought Elinchrom studio lights. I live in a small city in northern Australia and there is really nowhere to go with photography work.
Over the last few years, my interests have broadened to include macro, wildlife, nature, landscapes, astro etc. I think this is in part having really competent equipment, and growing more calm and interested in ALL of the world as time passes on. Really, the only stuff I don't do now is model / wedding. Really very little interest in those. I find them meaningless.
4. I always find my doco / street photos the most impactful, closely followed by macro/nature/wildlife. In particular, I have photos in the Thar desert in Rajasthan India that now looking back I find deeply affecting, as well as those living in and around the Tonle Sap in Cambodia. Some of the places I visited, were in effect, the same as hundreds of years ago. Surely now, they have some form of mobile reception and internet and are quickly changing. Looking back, the 20D got me some great photos, although the lack of dynamic range is now very noticeable.
5. If I could be remembered for any photo, it would be one that reminds everyone that were are one people, and that the distance between wealthy and poor across this planet is widening (and our ability to relate to one another). I know this sounds a bit naive, but through the lens, doing street and doco, I feel more at one than when I pay attention to politics, money or work.
Anyhow, that's my story. Hope someone posts and shares their story below :)
I've attached a few pics below. 1st from my Fujilfilm s7000, 2nd from the Canon 20D and 3rd from my D850.