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Photography Journey
March 5, 2017

Photography Journey
I’ve been having a blast with my Nikon D5500 ever since I bought it last August. Before the DSLR came into my life, I’ve been taking pictures with my iPhone. Apple does a pretty good job with the lens they implemented into their phones but it wasn’t enough for me. I wanted more control and better quality. There was a time when I wanted to go cheap and buy an $80 point and shoot camera from Amazon. Good thing I didn’t! A DSLR can be pretty pricey and it’s worth my money so far. Cat is one of the legit photographers I admire 😄.

I love my camera. I try to take it with me whenever I go sightseeing or want to practice taking proper pictures. My set includes a Nikon D5500, Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G (main), and Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G (kit). Both lenses are equipped with their own B+W clear UV haze lens filter. I’m pretty happy with what I have at the moment. Maybe I will have an itch for more lens later on…

I’m not a legit photographer by any means. This is a great learning experience and I enjoy having better quality pictures on my blog.

Public Consciousness
At first, I was self-conscious about using my DSLR in the public because of people staring. Haters gonna hate. I try not to be distracting when I’m taking pictures in the public. It’s only a few pictures and worth the timeless memories that are created.

My 35mm wide angle lens is perfect for bokeh shots. Bokeh is the nice out-of-focus blur that is created in the background. I can see the appeal of blurring out the background and keeping what matters focused.

Weight and Size
My camera is fairly sized and doesn’t feel like I’m lifting heavy weights. I’ve carried a full-frame DSLR with a 70-200mm zoom lens and it was heavy! I usually carry around a small camera bag so I feel comfort knowing my camera is safe. The camera fits in one of my Coach bags but I’m not too keen on the lack of padding.

Learning the Mechanics
When I first got the camera, the M/A/S/P modes were completely foreign to me. I legit thought S was for Sports mode when it’s really shutter priority. However, S mode would be ideal for sporting events so I suppose that would be a good analogy? It took me a while to understand the mechanics behind each setting and I’m still learning.

I’ll openly admit that I struggle with taking good pictures from time to time. Google is my best friend whenever I decide to channel my energy to find a solution.

Favorite Shots
I have a bunch of favorite shots and one that my boyfriend took with my camera. A couple might be familiar from previous posts and the rest are completely new.

Photography Journey
Photography Journey
Photography Journey
Photography Journey
Photography Journey

15 Responses

  1. Becca ☆ March 6, 2017 at 5:10 am

    I still have my old point-and-shoot camera that I had from back in high school! XD I don’t use it anymore, and instead just opt for convenience and use my iPhone (which do take surprisingly good pictures most of the time!). When I was eyeing some cameras last year, the one that I was heavily looking into was the Nikon D3300, which I think is pretty similar to what you have! I didn’t end up buying it because I was trying to save money, but I know eventually I’m going to want to upgrade.

    I love that picture of you throwing the snow! You can really tell how much you’ve improved even in the last several months. It shows through all of your pictures! I can’t wait to see you keep getting better and better until you’re a “legit” photographer. 🙂

  2. Claudine ☆ March 6, 2017 at 6:16 am

    These are great photos! I particularly love the ones with the snow and the cat photo – you’ve definitely learned a lot and I’m looking forward to more photos! 🙂

    I don’t know much about photography and the proper settings so I don’t see a need to buy a DSLR just yet, though I have a Samsung NX Mini, which is a mirrorless camera. I bought it just because it was small and light (it looks just like a point-and-shoot) and can transfer photos to my phone wirelessly. At first I didn’t even know I could shoot manual with it! XD

  3. Kimmy ☆ March 6, 2017 at 1:52 pm

    I’ve been wanting to invest in a good camera. However, I keep putting it off. I’m not exactly sure where to begin and I’ve gotten a bit overwhelmed by it. I have a list of things I’ve been wanting to save up for, and a camera is definitely on it. I want to learn more about photography even if it’s little by little.

    What made you choose your brand and model?

    • nancy ☆ March 12, 2017 at 4:16 pm

      I’ve seen people in my family using Nikon so I kind of followed suit. The model was recommended to me by my mentor :). I didn’t know anything when it came to models and just took his word for it. I have no regrets!

  4. Cassidy ☆ March 7, 2017 at 4:57 pm

    I love your pictures! 😍

    I’ve wanted a DSLR for a long time but I haven’t been able to afford one. I love my iPhone but you’re right when you say that something is definitely missing from the pictures I take. Plus I’m running out of storage to take pictures.

    I’ve been meaning to try and find my small Samsung digital camera, mainly so I won’t have to worry about storage on my iPhone and maybe my photos will be better in quality.

    Maybe I’ll invest in a nice DSLR when I graduate

  5. Teesh ☆ March 9, 2017 at 12:53 am

    Beautiful photos! Unfortunately I only use my iphone to take photos even when traveling because I own 90% small bags and a DSLR just won’t fit lol

  6. Elisa ☆ March 9, 2017 at 6:59 am

    35mm f/1.8 prime lens is my dream lens. i have a 50mm f/1.8 but i still want a 35mm one because well, 50mm can be really difficult if i want to get close to my object without having to walk closer, ya know? Lol. i’m just glad the sony dslr has this zoom button where regardless of your lens, you can zoom to the object and your image will still be crisp and clear. i’m not sure if other dslrs have this feature too (i don’t think canon has it but idk about nikon) so yeah, sometimes i’m glad i chose sony even though i have lots of people bashing me because they believe canon and nikon are the only good brands. *rolls eyes*

    my favorite setting is the A-setting because i’m all about the aperture. i love defocused background; i feel like one way to make photos look dreamy and beautifully eye-catchy is the defocus background. this is just my assumption but most people who don’t understand technicalities of a dslr camera tend to think images with blurry / soft background as good pics, lol so it’s really a basic trick to capture their attention, ya know? *winkwink*

    sometimes i refuse to call bokeh as ‘bokeh’ and call it with a proper more tech-term instead (read: defocus) because a lot of people — and by a lot, i mean “fake” photographers, you know who i’m referring to — tend to be like “omg i have a nikon / canon huurrr hurrr i’m so fancaaay y’all look at ma bulky camera n i like bokeh too aaay~” and i’m like *rolls eyes again* 😛

    speaking of defocus, i miss my old 50mm f/1.4 lens. it was softer than f/1.8 one but i lost it (alongside my first dslr, the sony alpha 65) during my trip to china years ago. i was so sad and bummed bout it, lol. (i now have the sony alpha a77 though and when i wanted the f/1.4 lens, they only had f/1.8 in stock)

    p.s: i love the last pic the most! i personally would increase its exposure level (both during photoshoot or in post-process) to make it look brighter though but that’s just my opinion. i feel like if it’s brighter, it’s gonna make the cat and the overall image feels a lot softer, creamier and more eye-catching but that’s just me. i’m not trying to sound like a know-it all. i hope i didn’t sound like a snob.

  7. Rezina ☆ March 9, 2017 at 12:59 pm

    Cat is an awesome photographer! It’s great that you’re able to document your photography journey via your blog posts. And I totally get it when you say you wanted better control and quality.

    I’m also still learning the mechanics behind my film camera and it’s pretty cool how different settings on your camera can affect the quality of your pictures.

    I love the snow picture because I can almost imagine the action itself and I really like the color tones in your cat picture!

  8. Cat ☆ March 9, 2017 at 8:40 pm

    Aww, thanks for the mention, Nancy! 😀 That’s great that you’re enjoying your DSLR! When I first got mine, I didn’t really know what I was doing, but I definitely felt that the purchase was worth it. They’re a lot of fun to learn!

    As for the public consciousness thing, I’ve found that most people don’t really pay attention or care. Also, if you are confident and just totally own it, some people mistake you for a pro, haha. (I once got handed a press pass when I totally wasn’t one.)

    When I was on a crop sensor DSLR, a 35mm was my favorite! On a crop sensor, it’s actually not wide angle (it’s about the equivalent of a 50mm on a full frame), so it’s a comfortable focal length. I agree that a 70-200mm is really heavy! I’ve used it for event photography, and omg it killed my arm.

    The more you use it, the easier it’ll be to use! Keep at it, you’re doing good so far!

  9. Tara ☆ March 10, 2017 at 7:11 pm

    I think it’s great you invested in a DSLR 🙂 Quality is better than cheap! If I were more into photography, I’d invest in one, but for now my phone is good enough. Cat is definitely an inspiration in regards to photography.

    That’s quite a set you have there! I have no clue what those lenses are, but I do know they can be pretty pricey. Still, it’s good to get used to what you have right now and invest in a few more down the road.

    There are so many people here with their DSLR, so I am not sure why anyone would stare. Photography is a hobby and a professional skill. So if I see someone shooting, I am not going to judge! I knew of bokeh, but not knew it was called that. I love it when photos use that effect 😀 M/A/S/P . . . thank you for the heads up on “S”.

    Your photos are beautiful and I’ve seen a huge improvement with them since you bought your DSLR 🙂 It was awesome reading about your experiences!

  10. Mija ☆ March 10, 2017 at 9:09 pm

    Cat is amazing – love her photography!

    I’ve had a DSLR since 2006 and still not totally in tune with it. Seriously, you picked up a lot of amazing tips, your work is awesome!!

  11. Pauline ☆ March 11, 2017 at 9:10 am

    I love your photos, Nancy! Cat has been one of my inspirations for the longest time when it comes to photography. I don’t have DSLR, but own a Mirrorless Camera, which is still pretty good and has been a great investment for me! I love taking photos on it but I don’t like other people taking photos on it for me because they always end up blurry and other people don’t really know how to use it so I usually get them to use my phone (S6) which isn’t as good as the iPhone 😛 I’ve actually been thinking of getting an iPhone recently! 🤔

    I still get self-conscious in public when I take photos but when I get home it’s worth it when ready to post on the gram, ya feel 😂

    I found it interesting reading your photography journey, excited to see how you progress!

  12. Chynna ☆ March 12, 2017 at 3:58 am

    I’ve been discussing this recently about investing in a camera because I want to take better pictures for my blog. I definitely feel it make my blog look better. I still have the iPhone 5S and the camera quality is definitely not great compared to the 6/6S!

    As long as you’re not like those tourists who get all up in other people’s space when they take pictures then you’re good 😛

    Bokeh shots are really good. I love the word bokeh, too.

    How did you go about choosing your camera because I am finding it so difficult to know where to start to look!

    • nancy ☆ March 12, 2017 at 4:15 pm

      My mentor recommended the Nikon D5500 to me after expressing my interest. I just took his word and let the idea ferment for a few days before making the purchase. No regrets! Though, you might want to look at the current deals and see if a new model version is releasing soon. That’s when you’ll get the best deal!

      Haha, I love saying bokeh IRL ;). I try to be out of the way when it comes to taking pictures XD. Nothing worse than being in someone’s way!

  13. Georgie ☆ April 9, 2017 at 4:31 am

    I have a full-frame and I have once tried to shove it into my Fossil handbag – size is no problem, but as you mentioned, lack of padding totally is 😦 Not to mention, wow lol @ my bag strap trying so hard to hold the weight.

    I used to worry about people looking at me taking photos of things. But if I look like I know what I’m doing then it’s usually no problem… you definitely learn to get over it. I have to admit that I haven’t taken my camera with me for a while, though I used to take it with me absolutely everywhere I went. I guess I wanted to absorb what was around me and not get too obsessed with taking photos of everything, but I have to admit that there have been times that I wish I had my DSLR with me but only had my phone to suffice.

    I definitely love the high quality of photos on your blog and I can understand what you mean when you say that you enjoy having those high quality photos on it. I definitely feel the same, though I don’t judge people who don’t have the money to fork out a DSLR.

    When I first learned photography, I was learning it at university. I was really silly and didn’t pay much attention to all the modes. I was pretty naive and just wanted to take photos. I think I’ve come a long way, but I definitely also want to get back into it. I haven’t taken proper photos of anything in a while. 😞

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