Talking Digital Photography

Sitting on a bench on a hot morning, changing the battery on an old Nikon infrared camera. If only I could charge my batteries so easily!

It’s all about you!

Everybody’s a photographer now – the mobile phone has put a camera in everyone’s hand! The world is full of photographs – the internet is like a vast ocean full of instant snaps. So where could you fit in? What could you add? Hasn’t it all been ‘said’ already? Well, you’re wrong! There IS something unique and different that hasn’t been seen before – and that is YOU.

The camera is just a piece of kit – an object that is waiting to come to life – when it meets you. It is your thoughts and ideas, your eye, your loves and hates that will make that magic happen. Your camera can become like a writer’s pen or an artist’s brush – it can let you communicate your unique way of seeing the world that we all live in. You’ll find that your camera becomes your constant companion, and it will teach you, if you let it!
It’s about 10 years since I began my journey from snapping to taking photography seriously, and I am still learning, I can still be surprised by my camera. You can’t say quite where your journey will take you, but once you take the first steps it can change your life, or more precisely how you ‘see’ yourself and the world around you.

Although I keep using the phrase ‘taking it seriously‘, what I’m really taking about in these pages is having fun! It’s moving one step beyond holiday snaps, seeking something more than incidental phone snaps. It is more engaging, takes more thought, but is infinitely more fun! I almost always think of my own photography as ‘playing’, as I mess about like a child in a sandbox; bucket and spade have become a camera! But also, a little like the technical use of ‘sandbox’, I can experiment to my heart’s content and learn while I play.

You don’t need a mountain of expensive kit, you don’t have to master a whole lot of technical data, you don’t need to trek to the wilds of Borneo – you need a camera and you are ready to roll.
There’s a whole bewildering world of camera choices out there, and a price range to confuse you too. If you’re new to the idea and experience of ‘serious’ or ‘real’ photography then I’d advise you find an older model as they are cheaper. There’s nothing worse than feeling an expensive new camera weighing you down with a sense of obligation to produce photographic wonders – a cheaper starting point makes for lighter heart. I would certainly advise a camera with interchangeable lenses, and that will mean greater flexibility further down the road. The big names are Canon and Nikon, but my personal choice is Sony. Don’t worry about the pixel count – pixels aren’t everything, indeed almost any camera around today will give you more pixels than you will ever need. A camera with its kit lens is all you need to start your journey.

When I began I bought a Nikon D80, state of the art at that time – and although I learned a lot from it I struggled and never loved it. It was Sony that won me over. First the pocket revolution of the RX100 and then the NEX-6. Small, light, with a crisp EVF (electronic view finder) and an onboard computer that I could understand and use. So buying a cheap starter camera means you can always sell it on eBay and try another make until you find the one that fits you like a glove ;o)

There’s a great appeal to photographers and artists alike, to go back to the beginning and start again. An artist can go back to drawing with pencil or charcoal, to experience the simplicity that gets lost as you build up layers of experience. And photographers can experience the same urge to return to the ‘roots’ and see the world afresh. Annie Leibovitz took a break from commissioned work, set out with a small ‘point-and-shoot’ camera in her pocket to visit places she’d always wanted to see. The result is the book ‘Pilgrimage’. Scraping the canvas back to the beginning can really refresh even the most experienced expert!

In these pages I’ll be writing about my own ‘Adventures in Wonderland’ – the wonderland that is modern digital photography. It’s an adventure that mixes photography with art, poetry and music – explores strange and beautiful lenses – and delves into the world of computer editing too. I’ll mix the longer articles with shorter blog posts, and link through to my Flickr Gallery too. I’ve been active on Flickr since 2012, and there are over 2,500 photos stored and displayed there. Welcome to my world!

Painting with Light is a good place to start, as it looks closely at the importance of LIGHT and how light and shadow are the keystones to all artistic and photographic endeavours.
Ode to Ansel Adams tells you some more about my own beginnings in the Wonderland of photography.

Flickr holds my online Photo Gallery
© 2019 Elisa Liddell