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  • Jaspal Kahlon

Why did I not grow as a photographer?


You pick up hobbies to add purpose to your life, something you love doing, and not think about making money from it.


Living a monotonous work life, I decided to buy a camera hoping that photography would be a positive distraction to weekends otherwise spent idling. In early 2014, I purchased an entry-level DSLR camera.


Post some 2000 odd pics that I clicked- a flower, a beetle on a leaf, birds, doors, shadows, open landscape, sunsets, sunrises, etc. All were bad.


I lost interest in photography. But enrolling in a photography course helped me save a newly acquired hobby. I learned:


a. Manual settings to operate a DSLR

b. Exposure meter

c. Rule of thirds- so obvious but never practiced

d. Depth of field

, e. Laws of light- I heard about soft and hard light for the first time.

f. Framing - foreground, middle, and background

g. Click images with humans included in the frame, best when facing the camera

h. How to approach your subject?

i. Avoid staging to take a pic.

j. Photography is writing with light.

k. Golden hours for photography

l. Different genres of photography

m. Photography is an art of seeing

n. I Learned about Henri Cartier Bresson, Alex Webber, and Raghu Rai.


Post completing the course in 2014, I had a good time on weekends and carried my camera for long walks and holiday trips. Post owning the first DSLR for just over one year, I bought a full-frame entry-level DSLR.


After completing the course, I believe that a sub-optimal camera is limiting. So no change to believing in having a decent camera as a pre-requisite.


Today, I am very selective about using my camera. I need to see a frame with perfect light to click. This is good practice, but I still need to spend enough time using the camera.

In my case, the time spent declined every year post completing the course in 2014. The DSLR was heavy and intimidating for people on the streets. Fearing to offend them, I did not click and lost the opportunity to shoot a perfect frame.


I found a solution when I preferred using my smartphone to click, but the image resolution was low. I still missed the functionalities of a DSLR but have yet to stick to my preference for street photography. So I bought a mirrorless compact camera with an interchangeable lens.


And now, I miss the image stabilization feature from my previous camera. The current one does not have it. And then I need a zoom lens, too, since I am uncomfortable getting too close to the subject with a prime lens.


And, I need a perfect day and time to shoot. It's too hot in summers and foggy in winters. Daylight is harsh, and golden hours are limited since I have some other engagements too.


When I reread this blog post in the future, I may have an answer to why I did not grow as a photographer. :)

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