As you may have guessed from this blog, I love photography, particularly of places, people and scenery in new countries.
I've always loved photography, building up a reasonably solid Pentax SLR kit in my early twenties, and spending a fortune developing pictures of pasta shells and tinted cars (Cokin filters were all the rage!).
My next camera was one of the early Canon mini-point and shoot models - the predecessor to the Canon Ixus.
It took me ages to get into the digital camera age - I'd spent a fortune on the Pentax kit, and I loved the panorama shots the Canon compact could take. But it was just before a trip to New Zealand in 2000, that I bought the Canon Ixus. In the last seven years, I've thrashed that trusty little camera, easily taking over 15,000 photos. Thank god storage is getting cheaper!
Over the years, I watched as the digital SLR cameras improved in functionality and came down in price. The more photography I did with the compact camera, the more I began to miss the additional functionality that SLR's provide - mainly more flexible zoom options.
After my trip to Morocco earlier this year, I finally took the digital SLR plunge and bought a Canon EOS400D. It seems to be one of the most popular and well-reviewed cameras on the market, and seemed to be a formidable competitor to Nikon's D-range of cameras. I don't think I really could have gone wrong by choosing either brand, but after much reading, researching and speaking with Camera shop assistants, I went for the Canon.
I could have gone for the higher end camera bodies such as the 1D, 4D or 5D, but I figured that I'd re-familiarise myself with SLR photography and functionality before committing to a more expensive model. And for the same reason, I chose the standard kit lens - an 18-55mm lens, which so far, has been a great walk-about lens.
I have always been fascinated by zoom lenses, and decided pretty quickly that I wanted a bigger zoom lens. I was keen to get one of the new Canon ES image stablised zoom lenses, and again, after more researching and playing, decided on the Canon EF-S 55-250mm IS lens.
This lens is equivalent to a 88-400mm focal length in non-digital/film cameras, which I reckoned was big enough to practice with while I got used to shooting with the longer lens. It's also one of the first EF-S lenses built for the digital camera bodies.
I've had this lens for about a month now, and have taken nearly 1,000 shots, in Singapore, London and Bratislava. It definitely takes some getting used to - as far as keeping the camera still, but I've been pretty happy with some of the shots I've taken so far, all of which I've done without a tripod. With any of this stuff, it's a matter of practice, practice, practice!
When I go to Turkey in two weeks, I'll take the camera and both lenses, a couple of batteries and a couple of memory cards - a slightly bigger kit bag than I'm used to, but hey! I know I'll need both the short and longer focal length lens. I can't wait to snap my way through Turkey - the images I've seen of the place are stunning, and I'm hoping I can come back with a few amazing pics of my own. :-).