Now & Then-Photography
Thursday 25th February 2021
I woke at 4 a.m today. On checking my Facebook, I saw two comments-first from Mujahed Amram that I am a good landscape photographer. Second from Tajuddin Haron who loved my photo composition of Taman Saujana Hijau I took on 24th October 2010. Almost daily, I post my photos on my Facebook and almost daily I get comments from my friends and readers. Photography is my hobby.
My first DSLR camera was a Canon 400D bought in December 2006. It costs me RM3600. As a newbie in Photography, it was a big investment for me. And that reminds me of my first Nikon F3 film camera I bought way back in 1998. It costs me RM 2500. It was meant to take my family photos for my family holidays in London. After using it less than five times, I kept it in the cupboard and forgot about it. During that era, we didn’t take photos every day as we do with our smart camera. We took photos only on special occasions like weddings, holiday trips etc. One year later, when I wanted to use it, the camera went kaput due to rusting inside the camera. I forgot to remove the battery. Leaking from an ageing battery caused bad rusting all inside my camera. On checking with Nikon, the camera was beyond economic repairs. It was a great lesson for me and it was a very expensive one. Now, I take good care of my two cameras-Fujifilm XT1 and XT20.
Coming back to my Canon 400D, again I used it for special occasions. Honestly, I did not know how to make full use of it. And worse, I did not bother to learn. What a great waste of equipment and time. Most of the time, I prefer to use my compact camera Lumix LX5. When I went out on Photowalk with my photography buddies, I only used my DSLR in Auto Mode. One fine day in 2011, I met Amir Nor Shah during our Photowalk to shoot Hot Air Balloons in Putrajaya. Amir noticed that always shoots in auto mode and later taught me to shoot in manual mode. Later I learned more about shooting in aperture priority mode. My real learning in photography began in 2012 when I set up Putrajaya Photowalk. I use this online group on my Facebook to share photos and organise photo walks so that I can learn from others and my other friends can also learn from one another. Now, we have 335 members and we share photos every day. Each week, I select a topic for sharing. On average, we share 20 photos every day. In the last year 2020 we could not go out due to MCO, so we did a few ZOOM meetings online to discuss a few photography topics and share experiences.
In 2014, after eight years of usage, my old Canon grew old and died. My friend Sabri Ya gave me a special gift-a a Fujifilm X-T1 camera! After going through lessons from bad habits and bad attitudes, I decided to make a real change in my photography. The new camera really inspired and motivated me to shoot more and I keep shooting. I even attended a few photography free courses to improve my photography.
Last year, in 2020, I bought a new Fujifilm XT-20. My old Fujifilm X-T1 is my spare and I use it to go cycling. My next gear is to get a Lumix LX 100 for my travel, cycling and street photography. Now, I am saving money to buy a Fujifilm X100V.
Most of my photos are in digital format. I have kept them on my Flickr account since 2005. Now, it stores more than 93,000 photos. Flickr is where I started archiving my photos in 2005 . It was free back then but now I have to pay about RM300 per year.
A few years ago, I got a call from an advertising agency wanting to buy my photos for her client to put advertisements to sell properties in Putrajaya. That was the first time I managed to sell my photo and the advertisement was printed in three national newspapers! What a lovely surprise for an amateur photographer like me. For sale and international exposure, I posted my good photos for sale at EyeEm.com. So far, I have yet to earn RM1000 but I am happy and proud that two of my photos were sold at Getty Image!
In the last year 2020, I did a few photo books so that I could have a collection of a few printed photos. I learnt the hard way that photography is not completed until it is printed. Better still it gets framed and displayed in the right place. Last December, I printed 40 copies of my good photos of the Putrajaya landscape in 6”x4” size and gave them away to my friends. It was my way to learn about photo prints and get feedback from my potential clients. At the same time, I also use Instagram to promote my photos for sale as prints. So far, no sale to date. I must keep trying.