Time to learn about my camera – 815 days to go

Red Nikon Camera resting on a table

With schools shutdown here in Toronto, I get to spend the majority of my day with my two daughters in tow. Throughout the day I find myself reaching for my phone to take candid photos of them playing around the house. Today I handed the phone to Isabella so she could review the pictures and somehow she ended up changing the settings on my android phone. I have had that phone for over 2 years and I realized I have only ever clicked on the “take picture” button with the camera.

When I went on my first backpacking trip I had a 35mm point and click camera that ran on two double AA batteries. It had had two buttons, a built in flash and it came with a lanyard and a cheap carrying case. I can say with confidence I got to know that camera well. I knew it could take a physical beating so I left it at the bottom of my pack. I also knew there was no point shooting at night so I never brought it with me when I went out after sunset. I believe I got the most out of that camera. Unfortunately I can not say the same about my current modern devices.

I have spent the last 2 days acquainting myself with my family’s Nikon Digital SLR. We have had it for 4 years and it has been on over 10 trips with the family. I am embarrassed to say before this weekend I had never opened the instruction manual. After reading, I think back to some of the shots I have taken over the years that could have been that much better. A schematic on the fifth page of the manual highlighted a switch on the camera that provides vibration reduction. The next page showed me how to remove the eye shield so that I could easily clean the grime that I have been struggling with for years. Turning off the flash no longer needs to be done through the digital screen as there was a button hidden in plain sight that does that as well. For those pictures that I might want to “blow up” on canvas I now know how to change the image quality. Even cleaning the camera is such an easier undertaking now.

Before we depart in 2 years I still want to learn the “art” of taking better photos from framing to lighting. But before I throw money and time at that, a better understanding of our current camera is a good first step. I am pleased with what I have put together the last few days. I still have to “figure” out our Go Pro and our mobile phones but for now, our default camera is in more educated hands.

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