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The three things you MUST do in order to become a professional photographer are:

  1. Shop for and buy a decent camera
  2. Study the manual repeatedly from cover to cover. Read online guides as well
  3. Go forth and click as much as you can.

So there I was – a young man fresh out of campus loving my new job and finally having some extra cash to spend. Unfortunately, I’ve never been much of a saver.

Well, technically I tend to think of myself as a saver-investor – I store my money in assets. Which basically means I buy stuff that I think will somehow preserve or otherwise increase it. I digress.

So I ran into a page on Facebook where Expatriates sell their stuff to locals and I ran across the Canon 350D camera in all it’s glory. Manufactured in 2003 it is by all means a dinosaur among the cameras such as the legendary 6D mARK II but who cares?

I forked out $250 for this baby back in 2014 and I couldn’t wait for my career as a professional photographer to take off!

It came with the stock 18-55mm lens, the manual, a battery charger and the seller was kind enough to throw in an extra battery.

Canon 350D

My new camera

Canon 350D

Canon 350D

Ever since I saw my godfather looking so cool with his polaroid when I was a little kid, I always wanted to own one a professional camera. So this was my chance. As you can imagine, I knew almost nothing about manual settings so for the longest time all I could use was the trusty green box (fully automatic mode). I couldnt really do a review because what standards would I be comparing its performance to?

Slowly I read the manual and learned how to operate the non-auto modes –  and more important stuff like the exposure triangle review and what the millions of details on the screen meant.

Truly intriguing stuff whose results  I will share with you soon enough. I have covered a few events professionally but I struggle a bit with low light scenarios (will share all that in a separate post)

But overall I would recommend newbies who are getting into photography to start with a second hand camera. Nothing too beat up but not too fancy with too much automation going on. For example I did not know that this camera (the 350D) could only allow you to focus on your subject by squinting through the viewfinder like our grandparents did! Forget the fancy LCD displays.

I will mention that I did at one point have the chance take photos using a canon 1200D and honestly I felt like an international journalist! I was instinctively able to find my way around the settings an the large LCD screen with live view helped a great deal!

Anyway I didn’t want this to be a long post. I just felt like I needed to share my journey with anyone out there who is thinking of starting out. I will put down some useful links that helped me learn lots of neat tricks that will shorten your time in photography kindergarten!

Nairobi

Kenya

 

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