Photography has been my longest running hobby, which I interestingly picked up rather late. I only really worked on it in my late 20’s. While some have had opportunities to play around with photos using film cameras, my hobby was more borne of the digital age.
This is a story I’ve prolly told my friends hundreds of times by now — I started with borrowing other folks’ digital cameras, mostly the point and shoot kind, to take photos before I was able to save up for my own. Bought my first camera, a Canon DSLR 400D + 50mm 1.8 prime as my walk-around lens, in 2008. Upgraded it to a Canon 60D in 2011 then invested in a Canon 50mm 1.2 prime L lens in 2014.
Back when I was just starting, I remember sitting in front of my brother’s boxy desktop (yes, it had a CRT monitor!), teaching myself to use Photoshop Essentials to process photos before moving on to later versions of the program. I still have this memory of how much I had been fond of diffusing light on my images using that thing. I’m now using Photoshop CC if I’m not too lazy but, normally, I’d simply use Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5.
I had been big on using photo sites before. I still have my Flickr account but I rarely use it now. It has all my earlier photos, even the ones from using P&S cameras. Now, I realised that I lost the habit of keeping a copy of my photos. I reckon years of stressing over storage space has taken its toll. To date, the number of EHDs I own is comical. Well, at least, to me, haha. I have 2 1TB EHD — an old one that you’d need to plug into an electrical socket, the other is portable — and 2 smaller-sized EHDs, 512GB and 256GB. Should I include the USB thingies? Anyway, I’ve had these things crash on me; requiring me to move files around. I grew tired of doing this so I had developed a system after processing wherein I’d just keep the ones I like on file, or would just upload them in an album on Facebook. Less attachments equal less stress, methinks.
Dreamcatcher – 2014 Bangkok trip, floating market
Although I don’t have too much time to take photos these days, I’d still try to do it once in a while (hopefully, esp when it matters). It’s a given that I’d take photos during some of my travels. But you know how it’s like when you’d be too lazy to lug around a big camera when your smartphone’s cam will do? That’s the case when I went to Phuket, or most of my trips to Yangon and Bangkok. My Instagram is filled with odd shots of things and sceneries that my big cam’s SD card has yet to hold.
Yet some occasions merit the use of the big cam, like my mom’s first trip to Yangon and Bangkok in 2014. I knew it’d be a shame not to. And I certainly was happy with the opportunity to take photos again and having been able to take ones that I would refer to as “money shots.”
Mom, 2014 Yangon-Bangkok trip, floating market
Money shots are the photos that can be considered the best of the lot. Yes, I take several shots of a single concept, or take more shots with multiple, varied concepts. This is why I sometimes dread to upload them for processing. I know it will take hours before I’d end up with a set of 10 decent ones to form a “series,” or, to be a little casual, an album. And out of this stack, you’d have that one favourite and, to me, I call that the money shot.