Tuesday, May 01, 2012

How Google+ got me into photography

This blog first came to light in October 2004. While I've toyed with the idea of abandoning it in favor of more profitable ventures, I never really could. There's just too much personal history involved. This blog has seen me through adventures, relationships, hobbies, career changes, travels, advocacies, and other topics too widely spread out to properly categorize. And so I just keep posting.

Of late, I've been posting more and more pictures. Somehow I've transitioned into photography as a new interest. Pictures have always been an integral part of this blog, but I've been posting them willy nilly; they've either been taken from a point-and-shoot (a Canon Powershot A540, if you want to be specific) or more commonly camera phones (various Nokias, the last being the N79), with no regard for composition or exposure. Since then, a number of things came together within the past year:

1) Sometime after I got married, my Dad made a present to me of his Nikon D60 with a 18mm-55mm kit lens. What a difference a camera does make! Up until I really used it, I'd always looked askance at people toting their DSLRs like bling. But equipment does matter, and before long, I had gotten the hang of the technical stuff.

2) Fr. Denny, my co-teacher, is very much into photography. His enthusiasm rubbed off on me, and I've been getting some very useful tips from him.

3) Google+. Let the pundits say what they will about active users and such, but Google+ is a haven for photographers. Google+ was my link back to my old friend from Digital Equipment Corporation days, Francis Gorrez. Francis has become quite the artist with the camera, and through his circles, I saw a much wider world of beautiful photography.

Google+ was really quite instrumental into my entry into this new hobby. Up until then, all the photography I ever saw around me were either food or fashion, two topics that never really interested me. I always felt there was a certain degree of affectation in the work around that. But at Google+, I saw all sorts: street, black-and-white, abstract, macro, nature.... (Interestingly, I hardly ever see fashion or food photography in Google+).

I'm still learning the ropes and getting new equipment slowly. My first purchase was a 35mm prime lens, a decision cemented after reading Thomas Leuthard's free ebooks on street photography (recommended by Francis, by the way). The 35mm has been my primary lens ever since, and my wife has taken a shine to it as well, preferring it over telephoto lenses. And just recently, I got some close-up filters which resulted in the photo above.

Photography has made me see things in new ways. I'm more aware of colors and shadows and shapes, and I'm always on the lookout for opportunities to shoot. This is a hobby I hope to grow in over a long time.