I am taking a course in Photography with the Open University in the UK. It is something I have been promising myself I would do for years and now that I am finally studying the subject I am having great fun and learning a lot into the bargain.
I love taking photos! Ever since I was a small child with my first 110 mm camera (remember those?) that just needed the cartridge film inserted and the camera back closed to be able to start using it, I have been hooked. Over time, I have had 135mm cameras, a step up from the 110, ‘instant’ cameras which spewed forth an instant print which developed in my hand as I waited – magic I thought as a child – and then graduated to 35mm and now to digital Compact and DSLR cameras.
At present I have several compacts. They are all Panasonic apart from a first generation Canon. This was state of the art when I bought it as my first digital camera six years ago. 2 mega pixels and a range of different automatic shooting facilities, I thought I was the bee’s knees when I used it! Now I look at it and know it to be the dinosaur it is.
My current favourite compact is the Panasonic DMC-TZ1. Smallish and reasonably light weight, it offers excellent sensitivity, a reasonable zoom lens and good picture quality. I have taken it diving with me recently and have been very pleased with the results in both picture and video modes. I know that now this has become history as the new version of this model was launched this year, but for now at least, I am going to stick with this little gem.
I received a Canon 350D for my birthday in January. I love this camera. It is continually surprising me with its versatility. I am increasingly called upon to supply good quality images to go with articles and this gives excellent results. My husband has not made the leap into digital photography yet and so still uses his Canon EOS66 35mm camera, which gives excellent pictures I must say, and we share the lenses, which is useful.
The OU course centres on using Photoshop Elements to enhance the pictures taken with the digital cameras. What do readers think of Elements? It has much of the professional version but less of the jargon I am told. The digital darkroom is something I am very much a novice at using, so it is a challenge for me to learn and grow with my photography using Elements.
The course runs until just before Christmas, by which time my fellow students and I will have climbed a steep learning curve!