I’ve always been fond of cameras since childhood, my first camera was a cheap one that you had to wind up, I had a lot of fun with it but film was hard to get since I only had my allowance to buy it with. Not to mention I could only ever afford the ones with the least amount of shots, and developing? Forget about it. Later on, when digital cameras became popular, my father bought one for the family, since I was only one interested in photography I was the one who was in charge of it. I loved how you could instantly see the results on tiny screen when you take a picture, and back then the resolution was something outstanding, but looking back at the photos that I took it was a pretty bad camera. Finally I was in my late teens when I was finally able to afford a DSLR for myself. I remember it was the Nikon D40x, which at that time, was an incredible camera for those who were just getting into seriously pursuing photography.
I loved that camera, I took it with me everywhere I go, to the point that my friends and family asked why bring it with you all the time, to which I answer “If there is a moment to capture and I did not have my camera, what’s the use of owning one”. I studied everything there was about the camera, searched for photography books in the bookstore sale bin, and looked for any tips online, and what videos was available that time I watched it, which back then wasn’t much of it or at least good ones that is.
I got to use the camera and what I learned when we visited New Zealand that year, I had wanted to go and take landscape photos, but unfortunately I was the family’s designated photographer for the whole trip, so all I got was a lot of vacation photos, most of which were at cafes and inside the cities and towns we visited, which were quite beautiful so I didn’t mind. Luckily I got a lot of good shots of nature during our trip to Milford Sound, the glaciers, waterfalls and scenery were wonderful. Back then I thought the photos I took were expertly done, looking at it now I see how much of an amateur I was, unfocused and overexposed.
When we got back home I caught wind of a photo contest in our town, I registered believing how good of a photographer I was, and confident of my top of the line camera. But during the week of the contest, I came across fellow photographers who were also participating in the contest, I saw their equipment and understood that they were at a whole other level. They weren’t mean or anything though, quite the contrary, as they gave me tips and even helped me during the contest. Obviously I didn’t win, I didn’t place in the top ten, but I had a lot of fun.
Just like any firsts, your first camera and contest is one you will never forget. Today I am a bit more skilled and have a few good cameras at my disposal, but had I not invested in my first camera and courageously registered for that first camera contest I wouldn’t be where I am now.