I got my first camera the Christmas of my 5th grade year. It was a 110 camera, and I mainly used it to take pictures of my family and my pets and other people's pets. I knew nothing about photgraphy. I just wanted to capture moments I wanted to remember. After looking through my old photo album I realize that the main thing I wanted to remember must have been my cats napping!
In Junior High I moved up to taking pictures of my friends and youth group activities. And in high school I got a 35 mm point and shoot camera. I had that camera for several years, and eventually I moved up to an even better 35 mm point and shoot. By this time I think I was either engaged or married. My pictures now were of my husband and our dog.
When Faith came along, of course, our primary subject was our new baby. The camera we had was WAY off center, and finally we got a better one (still a film 35 mm point and shoot). This one still works, and Hope is now using it. That camera captured lots of baby pictures, birthdays, and Christmases.
A few years ago we moved up to a digital point and shoot. It was great We were able to see immediately which pictures were good and which ones we should retake. And no more film to develop or overwhelming numbers of prints to store! Now the pictures just languished in our computer! (But at least they weren't taking up space!)
The only problem with our camera was that by the time the camera was actually ready to take the picture, the moment I wanted to capture was over, never to return again. So I set out to find a faster point and shoot camera. And discovered that it didn't exist. To get a fast camera we would have to get a digital SLR. We made that our Christmas present that year. We even got some books to explain how to use all the complicated functions. I read them, didn't really get them, and used my camera as a very fast point and shoot that took really good pictures!
At the end of last year I did some work for our business in exchange for a zoom lens. My photographer friend suggested getting the 2.8 aperture (which was more expensive). And while I didn't know what aperture was, I trusted her and got the better lens. Which I still used in the automatic setting.
And I discovered Pioneer Woman's photography explanations. I discovered what aperture is! And I learned how to use some of the intermediate settings on my camera. (I also discovered an amazing onion ring recipe) My pictures have already improved! I plan on going back through the camera books I have and hopefully learning about the important but as of yet mysterious white balance. Who knows, shooting in full manual setting may be just around the corner!