So this is it - my first blog post... and someone (you) is reading it. This is great - a place to jot notes, show off my photos, and share some tips, tricks, and techniques I've picked up over the years.
And now where to start ...
I guess I'll start by telling you all a little about me.
First and foremost I'm a husband and father of 2. You'll probably be seeing photos of my kids in this blog since they tend to be my practice subjects.
My chosen profession is in Information Technology. I'm a network and system technician for a small managed IT firm.
Photography is my outlet - it's what I do to relax and have fun. I've never made it my profession because I don't want to rely on it as my sole source of income. Nothing ruins a great hobby like relying on it to pay your bills.. This site and blog have been set up so I can showcase my photos and maybe make a few extra dollars on the side.
And that brings up the first tip of my blog:
If you make any money with your camera gear, get an insurance policy for it. I'm not an insurance expert, but I've seen things go awry for photographer friends of mine. If you're shooting for fun - however good it may be - and you're not making any money on your photos, your camera gear is likely covered under your homeowner's/renters policy. If you've got more than a few thousand dollars worth of equipment, you'll likely need a special rider for it. However, once you start using your gear to make money, your homeowners will likely NOT cover your gear. Insurance on your gear isn't too expensive and if something happens to it (like it gets dropped into a brook, river, or pond) the insurance deductible will surely beat the cost of a new body and lens.
(End tip - more about me.)
I've been shooting since the film days - my first experience with an SLR was with a Canon AE-1. The first camera I owned was a Pentax point and shoot (film) that maybe cost $35. The first SLR I bought with my own hard earned money was a Nikon N65 that I bought with a 24-70mm kit lens to start taking "serious" photos. At that time I fancied myself a future wedding and event photographer...then I realized how much work each wedding was and how much serious photography gear cost. It took me a few years dabbling in becoming a full time pro (weddings, portraits, sports, landscapes) to realize I just wasn't cut out for it.
Since that Nikon N65, I've maintained my loyalty to Nikon. My first DSLR was a Nikon D70s...that camera made me a digital photographer for life - I rarely went back to film after that purchase and I rarely shoot other manufacturers. That's not to say I look down on other brands - there are several great manufacturers out there - Canon, Sony, Leica, Hasselblad, to name a few. They all make great cameras and they all make great glass. I may reference Nikon products in this blog more than other manufacturers, but that's simply because I choose to shoot Nikon. In a future post I'll go over some tips on picking a DSLR camera system.
Which Brings me to Tip#2:
When you buy your first DSLR, remember that you aren't simply buying a camera, you're buying into a camera system. That goes for compact systems with interchangeable lenses as well - you're buying into a system, not simply a camera. If you're happy with the photos you make from your first DSLR and the kit lens that came with it (I've made many great photos with kit lenses myself - and some of them are quite nice) they whole "buying into a system" may not apply to you. But once you plunk down $1200+ on a single lens, you realize that you're not likely going to change camera manufacturers again. Make sure you are comfortable with your camera and they system you are buying into before you start buying "serious" lenses (and bodies).
(enough on that - more about me)
Since the D70s, I've shot nearly every Nikon camera made at one point or another. I haven't owned every one - I rent the "Pro" bodies for the most part, but I've owned my fair share of DSLR bodies as well. Currently I shoot a Nikon D810 and a Nikon D700, but the D700 has been relegated to backup duty and duty when I'm shooting and NEED two cameras. Keep in mind when buying into a camera system that you will likely go through far more camera bodies than camera lenses, (unless you only ever shoot with the lenses that come with the camera... they are generally made of plastic and are meant to last about as long as the camera body.) Expensive glass is meant to last years - even decades... which is one of the reasons good glass it is so expensive. You don't need the "best" glass that each manufacturer makes, but the better build quality lenses will last you the lifetime of several DSLR bodies. (That would be tip # 3)
Enough about me... I'm ready to get this blog going.
So get out there, start shooting, and make great photos!