Life’s journey seems to take twists and turns, but it’s been my experience that important happenings come at a right and perfect time. Amy has given us the challenge of describing our photo journey. I started this blog at the very beginning of mine.

For me, photography came as I closed down my part-time speaking and writing business. At age 70, I didn’t know what to do with all the extra time I would have. Friends suggested sewing, quilting and crocheting. No! I’ve sewed and crocheted before, and it wasn’t fulfilling.

After several weeks, I remembered how much I enjoyed the photography class I took at Pierce College when I was a returning student (My youngest was in first grade). All the journalism majors had to take the photo class and the photography students had to take a journalism class. We had to use an all manual camera. Fortunately, Richard brought back a Minolta from his time in Vietnam, and I used that camera. What fun I had developing the film and making prints.

During that time, I was also writing for a newspaper and started taking the pictures for my column. I always wrote tight so the editor wouldn’t cut my articles. The only time he cut one was to run one of my photographs a half page. After graduating and moving, I stopped taking photos except of family with a point and shoot.

Fast forward to my retirement decision to purchase a DSLR. Not sure about the decision to make photography my new passion, I bought an entry level Nikon, the D3100. I didn’t know anything about crop sensor vs full frame or even how to use the camera. And, what was ISO?

From the archives, a picture taken with my D3100 shot on auto because all I could see in the dark was the green “A!” This was taken at one of my first outings with my new camera.

I found that photographers were more than willing to share their expertise, and I wasn’t afraid to ask questions. I found out that ISO was like the film camera’s film speed and much more. I didn’t take a class because I didn’t want assignments and homework. Come on, wasn’t I too old for that?

The more I learned, the more I understood the limitations of my 3100. So, within a year, I bought a Nikon D7100. I could bracket automatically and it had two card slots. I liked that camera and used it until 2020.

Here’s a shot taken with my 7100 in 2014. Now I know how to reduce the white at the bottom.

I was still learning, experimenting and asking questions. In 2015 I did the 365 Challenge, and I’m so glad I did. My photographic ability jumped after that year. That in itself was a journey.

Here’s a picture I took during week 10 with my new/used macro lens.

My passion for photography never waned through the years. The more adept I became, the more I realised my need for a camera that would be better in low-light situations. If I was to get another camera, it would be a mirrorless for the size and weight. Marlene bought a Fujifilm X-T2, and when I saw her pictures, I knew that was the camera I wanted. The color was outstanding and the clarity amazing.

In 2020 I bought a Fuji X-T3. I’ve always bought new cameras, but used lenses. This time I came home with a new camera and three new lenses. I have not regretted that decision. I still use the Nikon for ultra wide and telephoto shots. I’ve sold my wonderful Sigma macro lens since I have one for the Fuji.

Here’s an image taken in 2020 with the Fuji.

So, here we are in the present. I’m still learning and growing in ability. I do need to conquer Photoshop and other plugins. When an outing is sort of blah, I still come home with an image or two that are worthwhile. I now see things differently, and I’m more aware of my surroundings. Most of all I’m having fun. What an amazing journey that’s still twisting and turning while moving forward.

35 thoughts on “Lens Artists Challenge #133: My Photography Journey

  1. Your closing comments tell an important story Anne – the best photographers “see things differently” as you clearly do. Loved your journey, especially the story about journalists needing to study photography and vice versa – what I wonderful idea! Your closing image is astonishingly good, the color is amazing as is the detail. Clearly your new camera and lenses are supporting your creativity and way of “seeing”. Thanks so much for sharing your journey.

    1. Thank you Tina! I’ve loved my journey. And your comments fill my soul. Right now I’m in another learning mode–resizing an image! I’m going to reach out to another photographer. Always, always new challenges.

  2. Wow, Anne. Your last two shots are stunning! I think you’re absolutely right…photography is a way of seeing things differently and having fun at the same time. I love that, too. I have the Fuji X-T2 and love it! I’m still not sure I need to upgrade yet, but I’m tempted! I really enjoyed your journey.

    1. Thank you Patti! My friend Marlene was using the X-T2 and bought the X-T4 when I got my X-T3. The 4 is a little larger and heavier, needing to accomodate a larger battery and in camera stabilization. She’s happy with it. I was actually thinking of buying a used T2 to use as a second camera so I wouldn’t have to change lenses in the field. I have a 2-camera sling. Decisions, decisions. Let me know what you do.

      1. I really do love the T-2. I probably won’t upgrade if the T4 is heavier and larger. I really like the smaller size. Interesting idea…to carry them on a sling. That would work.

  3. I always enjoy your photos and writing, Anne. These set of images tell the stories using different cameras and setting. I love the last two especially.
    Thank you so much for remind me seeing things differently. I, too, have paied more attention to my surroundings.
    You made a correct link. Somehow, I missed seeing your link.

    1. Thanks Amy! Photography helps us open our eyes. I think we have a problem in linking with each other. I knew you were setting the challenge, but didn’t get your link when you posted. I am following you. I got your link through Patti’s post. Now that I understand what the Reader does, I even looked there for your post and didn’t find it.

    1. Thanks Yinglan! Age does matter though. I can’t hike to certain places. When I squat down, it’s hard to get up. I shoot with other seniors because I can’t keep up with younger photogs. I should have started 20 years sooner!

      1. Maybe there are some aspects that can be hindered by age but personally, I have similar troubles sometimes even though I’m half your age.

  4. In Spain we say that “it is never too late, if happiness is good”. I have loved knowing your history with photography.😘

  5. I love your images and really enjoyed reading your photography journey. That flamingo photo is a stunner! I’m interested in what cameras people choose to use, but even more so in what drives and influences their photography, so I was interested to read what a difference you feel the 365 challenge made to your photography 🙂

    1. Thank you Sarah! I do believe every new photographer should do the 365 challenge and follow it through. There were a lot of pictures of my dog (who now leaves the room when I take out the camera). a Denny’s sign, my foot after foot surgery and flowers. For my last photo I was on my way to capture some scene at the right time when I got a flat tire. By the time AAA came, I knew the right light would be gone. I asked the mechanic if I could take his picture. So my last picture for the 365 was of a guy changing my tire! Some ending.

  6. Nice learning about your journey, I didn’t know much about you photography path till now. Your first crop sensor cameras were the same as mine. I loved my 3100! Now my sister has it.

    1. Thanks Alessandra! Yes, the 3100 was a good camera. My husband now has mine. I’m still using the 7100 for ultra wide and telephoto shots. Meaning I don’t shoot those images much and don’t want to invest in two other lenses. It would be fun to shoot together some time. Take care and stay safe.

  7. i like how you started with with twists and turns – that sure is life and glad you found photography to be fulfilling – that is a gift – and it sounds like you have evolved with equipment – enjoyed reading about your journey
    ☀️📷🎥

  8. Great story and photos! Don’t you just love to look back at your photography and see how you have progressed? It’s fun to me to realize I knew what I was doing, but that through practice and learning I continue to improve. Thanks for sharing your story!

  9. Thanks Donna! When I think back with what I know now, I realize that I was lucky to get what I got. I didn’t know anything. I still think doing the 365 is the best a new photographer can do to improve. Your photography is amazing.

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