My interest in photography began when I was about nine years old. My grandparents or my mother (I'm kinda fuzzy on which) gave me a very old, very small compact point-and-shoot camera with no zoom and a loud manual advance, the kind with a film cartridge that had a reel on each end of a stick, working much like a cassette tape. It was probably already fifteen or twenty years old. There was some very old film in the camera, which I used up (plus another one purchased by my mother) on shooting The Snowbirds at our local airshow.
To say I was disappointed in the photos I got back doesn't begin to cover it. However, there was still something very thrilling about being able to capture images on film that I had chosen myself, and keeping them forever.
When I was slightly older, I bought another camera with my own money. Although it was still VERY low-tech (no on/off here, just a manual advance, aim, and shoot), and digital cameras had not been invented yet, this one had a mechanical lens cover I could close with the touch of a button, and was actually 35mm. My next camera was another step up--an electronic 35mm with a digital display to show where I was in the film, and a lens cover that would snap closed and open when I turned the camera on and off--very high-tech! It could also rewind the film automatically, even if the cartridge was not used up. (But really, with the price of film, why would I not use it up? On SOMETHING? Seriously.)
That one broke when my first child was around eight months old. My mother then gave me my first digital camera for my birthday. (I'm certain a good chunk of the reason why was so she would miss out on less of her first grandson's precious moments, since she lived at such a distance from him. ;-D) It was a Kodak Easyshare, with a whopping 3.1 megapixels and a ZOOM! And snapping photographs was suddenly so much more fun.
Over time, as I became a better photographer (and a much more avid scrapbooker), I started to feel confined by the limitations of the camera I had. And then it died. I went without for several months, as a new camera was not really in our budget at the time--and my mom surprised me with another photo-taking birthday gift of a Sony point-and-shoot. Technology had advanced so far in the seven years since I had gotten the Kodak that although they were in the same purchasing price range, this one had a myriad of wonderful features that made taking great photos even easier, not to mention 10 megapixels of detail-catching goodness.
Sad to say, I rarely took it out of the "Intelligent Auto" mode, because it did such a great job, for one, and because I really didn't understand how exactly all the parts of my camera worked together to take a well-exposed photo, for two. Despite this, I continued to become a better photographer, and began trying to capture images of things like the moon, and noctilucent clouds, and stuff I made--and did okay, but knew that I had the ability to take a better photograph than my camera was allowing me to, at times. (At least, I think I do.)
One week ago, I got my first dSLR camera, a Nikon D5200.Although it is a business bonus (and writeoff--thanks to the aforementioned stuff I make :-D), I have been spending the majority of the time that I have devoted in learning how to use it in the last week to photographing my animals and my baby, none of which ever get camera-shy or try to pose in weird, goofy ways. (Don't worry, I've taken plenty of shots of boys in weird, goofy poses, too!) Here are a few of the results of my experiments: