The rise and the fall…

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The story continues with my photography journey on Canon PowerShot G1X. When I first got to try on my sister’s Canon EOS 50D, I’m stunned by the difference in terms of image quality (perhaps the depth of field and dynamic range of the sensor) of a APS-C sensor as compared to the 1.5″ sensor on G1X. The slightly larger than compact size sensor on the G1X is all I can rely at the moment as I don’t feel comfortable holding an entry level DSLR (I have big hands) and I don’t have money to buy a mid range DSLR yet. Since then, I started saving money and eyeing on the new released Canon EOS 60D.

Another disaster strikes. During a company event, I get to shoot with a Canon EOS 5D Mk II and I got shocked by, again, the image quality (aka depth of field and dynamic range) of the Full Frame sensor. After that event, I was almost certain that APS-C will not be enough for me, and I really want to get hold of a Full Frame camera, like NOW. And again, I really don’t have the money to do so (thank god) and there I started to save even harder. Along the way came Canon EOS 6D, and I was like “yeah, entry level Full Frame! This is it! My future camera!”

During this period of time, my sister was actually shooting lesser on the 50D, and therefore I get to use it more often. And again, I started buying all sorts of accessories, lenses for the camera (L lens in preparation for my transition to 6D) and so on. But soon, I realized I had virtually come to a dead end.

I’m shooting lesser and lesser on the 50D. Many times I would just want to grab my G1X and head out instead. But I just forced myself to grab the camera, bring all the lenses out and shoot… I realized that photography has no longer become something enjoyable to me. It happens that during this period, I have also decided to resign from my current job and to work oversea in Singapore.

A lot of things happened and just snapped out all of a sudden. When I started packing my stuff to move to Singapore, I look at all the gears, accessories, books and etc I bought throughout the years. This is not right, not at all. Something went wrong. I lost the passion for my hobby, I lost my sense of art, I lost myself… In the end, I sold all my accessories & cameras and officially ended my “affair” with Canon for the past few years.

I’ve realized my mistakes. Well, perhaps it’s not totally correct to name them as “mistakes”, I would say it’s a learning curve, to be exact. And all of a sudden I just get myself passing through the Gear Acquisition Syndrome (G.A.S.) and start breathing new life again. Of course I didn’t gave up on photography yet. And in the next post, I’ll share with you more on how the fire was reignited again in me.

The Transition Period…

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After I bought my very first camera, the Canon PowerShot G12, I started to shoot more and learn more on the technical aspect of photography. I know what the F-stop means and what it does, how to manipulate the settings between ISO, Aperture and Shutter Speed and so on. The initial learning stage is always the stage where people will learn a lot very fast, and get to the first point of saturation quickly.

During this period, my Gear Acquisition Syndrome (G.A.S.) has started. I bought some accessories such as a small flash Canon Speedlite 270EX, Lensmate filter adapter for the G series camera, started to play around with Circular polarizer and UV filter, then bought myself the Cokin graduated ND filter set, getting myself a Jusino tripod, remote shutter release, Raynox wide angle conversion lens, Raynox macro conversion lens and etc. The amount of accessories I bought for a “compact camera” seems a little overwhelm, right? Well, other than getting gears and accessories, I did spent on photography books, for which I think will be a much better investment for years to come.

Soon, I find myself stagnated in a certain skills level. Perhaps I have understand the G12 well enough and realized it’s limitation, perhaps I have grown beyond the camera, or perhaps it was just my G.A.S. that grew beyond me. I decided to upgrade to Canon PowerShot G1X later when it released. In many ways, G1X is a camera similar to G12, but the larger sensor gives better image quality. And this is when I started to sink myself into photo editing (though I was never really good at it) and starts shooting RAW.

Those who used the G1X before will know that there’re a lot of trade off Canon made to the camera in order to get the large sensor tuck in the body, namely poor minimum focus distance, sub-par macro mode & heavy body and lens. Other than that, AF was not at all fascinating, and it’s not really a camera that suits everyone. During this period, micro four third and interchangeable lens camera systems are still rather new in the market, the holy grail still lies in the hand of DSLR. Entry level DSLR are not that popular and cheap like nowadays, that’s part of the reason I bought the G1X rather than, say a Canon EOS 500D or equivalent.

My elder sister has “graduated” from her G10 and moved on to a Canon EOS 50D. I don’t really get to try it out usually, as she has been using it all the time. When I got my hands on it, another round of G.A.S. strikes… I’ll talk more about it in the next post.

This is where it all begins…

Decided to restart my photography by creating a fresh new blog. For the first post, I would like to look into how it all started for me to be into photography.

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How do I get started in photography… looking back the old days, I’d never been through the SLR era, nor have I inherited cameras from my grandfather or father to spark my interest in photography.

Let’s put it this way. I like art. I used to paint a lot when I was young. I don’t get to learn or study further on art as I’m from a rather ordinary and not too rich kind of family. You need a lot of papers, crayons, water colours and etc to continue painting. In the end, I paint less as time goes by. When I was in the secondary school, I started picking up a Kodak film point and shoot camera from my home and start taking pictures of friends in school. There’s virtually zero control over any settings on the camera, but all in all it was a very nice experience that I cherish until today. This was perhaps the very first time I shoot a lot of pictures on film with a camera, though there’s nothing to scream about as there’s virtually zero technical or arty value in those pictures.

Moving into university, this is the era where mobile phone camera starts to bloom, and I used to own a few capable mobile phone camera (well, at least they are considered capable during that period) such as Sony Ericsson’s K770 and W610. I do occasionally shoot with my eldest sister’s Olympus compact camera, but they were just snapshots from trips and daily life. Then came along my elder sister who bought a Canon PowerShot G10 camera.

I can remember the first time I hold on that camera, the feeling is altogether different from holding my K770 or the Olympus compact camera. For the first time I see how things changed on the LCD as I fiddle around with the dials on the camera. It sort of like bringing back my memories on picture painting. I was speechless. How I wished to grab the camera out and start shooting all the way, but since my sister using it, I only get to take it for a quick spin once in awhile.

After I graduated from university and worked for about a year, I got myself the Canon PowerShot G12, which is an obvious choice for me as:

  1. I can’t afford DSLR
  2. This is basically a logical decision based on how much I’m attached to the G10 emotionally
  3. I don’t get a good feeling shooting with ordinary compact camera, so a semi-pro compact camera like this is just right for me

At this moment of time, I’m still consider “new” to photography as I virtually just alter the settings until I saw something I nice on the LCD and snap away. I have almost zero technical knowledge on how each and every setting works. With the arrival of my G12, I started to learn more and get more serious into the technical aspect, composition and etc. Not to mention drowning myself into the G.A.S. (gear acquisition syndrome) and so on. I’ll share more on how things came along in my next post. Till then.