Last fall I received an entry level Nikon DSL camera from my husband as a combination birthday and Christmas gift.
I wanted to learn photography. Having been a user of Instagram for years I was aware of many wonderful photographers and their work.
Since I love nature and country scenery, I wanted to try to capture the beauty I see almost daily near my home in Chester County Pennsylvania.
After nine months of practice I have made a bit of progress, but since I am self-taught in every art form I have ever attempted with the exception of writing, the going is slow.
Still, I have learned a few things from reading articles by professionals, watching You Tube videos, and studying the work of talented people.
Here are some of my best photos.
Unfortunately I have had my share of setbacks and unproductive days. For instance, last Saturday the weather was nice, so I decided to go to White Clay Creek Preserve to take some photos of the creek and nature and to get in some walking.
Everything went wrong. First I got a late start. I drove to the parking lot furthest from my home because butterflies usually hang around near the lot, and I wanted to photograph them.
On the way I encountered two road crews cutting tree branches next to the road making the drive 10 minutes longer than usual.
By the time I arrived it was around 10:30 am, when the sun was almost overhead. The ideal time would have been around sunrise and shortly after, but it was Saturday and I slept late.
I only had a short time to get photos, because soon the light would be too harsh since it was sunny with mostly clear skies.
I began walking and saw a butterfly. I stalked it until it landed on a bush, and then took off the lens cap and turned on my camera.
Nothing happened. The camera switch said “on” but the screen was dead. That’s when I remembered that I had charged the battery the night before. I checked inside the camera, and sure enough the battery was not in its compartment.
I was disgusted but determined not to waste the day, so I drove the four miles home and back, again waiting my turn to be waved past the road crews cutting branches.
Needless to say it was too late. I found the same butterfly or its twin brother, but my zoom lens is not of high quality, and the light was so harsh that not one photo was usable.
I walked the trails anyway for at least two hours thinking I’d get some practice even if nothing turned out.
A blue heron lives along the stretch of the creek I was hiking. I saw it across the creek, and tried to get a good photo. I stalked the heron for half a mile, taking a few shots, but again, my crappy zoom lens combined with sunlight from above and no shadows did not produce anything worth even editing.
I vowed right then not to attempt to photograph birds until I upgrade my zoom lens.
So, for every decent photograph there are two dozen that are unusable. But again, I have always taught myself.
I am skilled in many forms of fiber arts such as quilting, knitting, embroidery and sewing garments and household items. I learned to run a sewing machine and knit around age ten, and then just continued learning on my own.
I learned to quilt from magazine subscriptions and art books on color, and I taught myself to spin wool from a book I ordered online.
So even though photography classes would be beneficial, I will continue learning at my own pace by trial and error. I hate classes!
I hope to be a better photographer by next spring.
Here are my favorite photos of flowers and trees.
I do enjoy learning. The above photos can’t hold a candle to those of many hobby photographers or professionals, but I am rather pleased with them.
I had no idea what I was doing when I got the camera, but I was determined to learn to shoot in something other than the automatic setting.
All of the photos in this post were shot in the aperture setting, and special care was taken to adjust the ISO setting which determines the amount of light allowed into the camera.
Below are a few photos of Delaware Bay and the Delaware Beaches, and other favorites.
Despite frustrations and bad photos, I’m enjoying myself. I hope you enjoyed looking at my work, amateurish as it is.