Please, have fun with your camera

I still remember talking with my good old friend Joaquin whether I should spend all my money buying a 1000€ Nikon DSLR. He already had one, so I approached him looking for advice. He asked me:

— Do you like taking pictures?
— I do absolutely love it.
So just buy it, mate, you will not regret it!

And I’ve never taken a better decision (money talking!). Numbers say 23866 pictures taken during six years, but experience tells about people, friends, smiles, difficult moments in my life, towns, cities, countries, trips, new jobs, conferences, skills, new family members, finding the most awesome girl in the world, photowalks, so many more. And having fun. Lots of fun.

So recently a couple of friends also decided to jump into DSLR world, and I was quite surprised to hear from them that they only shoot in fully Manual Mode — this was interesting, because them both don’t know each other, and their backgrounds are very different. I was shocked, as I barely shoot in M (only very specific scenarios like long exposure pictures) and I usually take photos in Aperture Priority Mode (A/Av) or Shutter Priority Mode (S/Tv).

It feels wrong to me trying to learn a new skill set and making the learning curve as steep as you can. But also, it feels inappropiate to me because:

  • Your new camera is an incredible accurate beast metering light, distance, white balance and many more parameters, probably one hundred million times better than you.
  • You can achieve almost any picture you have in mind with A/Av or S/Tv modes — much easier to get exactly what you want.
  • Shooting in Manual is hard, with lots of trial and error, not rewarding at all, and not recommended in situations involving a model — you don’t want to lose the best picture because your aperture/shutter combination was not perfect.
  • Nowadays there are awesome processing tools — as long as you are shooting in RAW mode, options are endless, really easy to use and will give you a more precise control.

You cannot go wrong choosing having fun — don’t forget it!

And yes, this is my very personal point of view but I’m quite open to hear other opinions — How is your shooting approach?

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This is the personal blog of Ignacio Palomo Duarte, a User experience consultant. If you're looking for portfolio and more information just have a look at the homepage, and if you like this article maybe you can consider sharing it on twitter, facebook or Google+.