Photography: the beginning

It’s now more than two years that I have purchased my first reflex camera. A Canon EOS 1300D, which I bring along almost everywhere. There was a good deal on a website, so I told myself: ”Give it a try!”. I have started like you with the 18-55mm lens from the kit. During the first year, I have made my first tests and experiences, using Auto mode most of the time, or pre-defined modes. This way I could take my first landmarks for composition and light.

C’est une des premières photos que j’ai prise avec l’appareil photo. Comme vous pouvez le voir, je n’étais pas très bonne en composition... Le tétéphérique s’est retrouvé coupé, j’aurai pu faire un focus sur la vallée. En réalité, la seule chose qui m’importait était les montagnes derrière.

This is one of the first shot I took with the camera. I was not that good in composition. I presumably had the best spot to take a picture of the valley with the mountain in the background. But I cut the cable car by half... Actually, the mountains were the only thing I had in mind. I completely missed that photography was also storytelling.

Then, I have started to look here and there, what’s done on social media. During a walk in Romandie, I came accross the book from Nicolas Croce: J’apprends la photographie - 25 exercices pour progresser et réussir ses photos. Unfortunately in French for my dear English speaking readers 😪, the titile is: “I learn photography, 25 exercices to improve and succeed with photography.

With its 25 exercices, you can even learn the “photographer yoga”. 🤗

These readings and practising exercices made a lot in understanding aperture, ISO and shutter speed, often known as triangle exposure. All of this to be able to play with light.

In the beginning, I just wanted to know my camera, how it’s working to start using the manual or semi-manual modes. My favorite being the AP (Aperture priority) mode, it’s presumably the most useful when you want to shoot landscapes. After a course with the Swiss School of Photography in Zürich, I have learnt the long exposure techniques to shoot the Fraumunster. It’s amazing what you can learn with 2 hours of course and practice. Below is the outcome of this class, it’s been like something clicked...

After this class, I have purchased my first wide angle lens: Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 and of course a tripod (Rollei).

Few months later, I have subscribed to Lightroom, as you quickly come to the fact that almost every picture is post-processed. I will talk about this in a next article.

Lately, I also wished to replace the lens from the kit to improve the picture quality and to create further. The wide-angle from Tokina has its limits in terms of zooming. I have chosen a second-hand lens the Sigma 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3, it’s less bright than the Tokina, but pictures are amazing. I also purchased it for its low price (below 100 CHF, this was a great deal!) in the boutique Photo Vision in Lausanne.

Since then, I take more time for photography. I’m trying to shoot at least once a week (it’s my hobby), and I am willing to share here or via social media (Instagram) the emotions I have shot in a picture frame.

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