What iOS did you use?...
I can remember the photo that started my photo obsession. It was kind of a funny experience. The thought was planted one day while a friend who did some photography was looking through my photos on my phone. They came across a photo that really stuck out. They started saying words that sounded a bit like Latin to me. "Oh this is a great pic!" " What kind of lens did you use? Was this in auto? What aperture setting was this? What ISO did you use?" ... "Excuse me?... aperture... ISO..." It was clear that we had not been on the same page. So I looked at the picture wondering if he had seen some background I had downloaded or something like that.
What I saw was a picture that I can clearly remember taking. It was a beautiful May afternoon in Chicago. I was there with a few seniors from our youth group. Being a youth pastor, I often take students on college visits. We were visiting Moody Bible College that day. We ducked out of an afternoon seminar to go get some famous deep dish pizza. As we walked through the buildings I looked up. What I saw was this beautiful contrast of shadow and light. The sun beaming off of the windows and the geometry of a carefully planned building. It was breath taking. I whipped out my iPhone and took a snap shot to share with my friends on FaceBook. From that moment I really put little to no thought into that picture. It just so happens, that was the image this fella was looking at.
My reply was quick and sarcastic once I saw the image. "ISO...try iOS!" My friend could barely believe that the image captured was taken with an iPhone. I assured him it was true. That afternoon I was encouraged to get some "real camera gear" and learn how to take my own photos. It was something that I thought about for several weeks. It made since.. I often work with photographers to take pictures that I use in my design work. I could potentially cut out the middle man. So I did just that.
The first few months were rough going. I had determined early on to get out of manual. I remember taking one really nice picture. Duplicating the results took three months of learning about all these foreign sounding terms my friend had used. After a ton of disappointing photo shoots, one day it happened. It all clicked... pun intended... I rapidly progressed and used my artistic eye to get some really fun shots. I quickly learned that my Nikon D3100 and run of the mill lenses would not get me the results I wanted to see.
Gear is soooo important. Now let me say this though... Gear doesn't get the shot, you do... it only helps you capture what you see. My 3100 was not giving me all that I was seeing. I knew the kit lenses where not great so I had spent some money on some cheap middle of the road lenses. Little better than the kits. They were not fast enough and lacked the rich color I was desiring. So an upgrade came!
I am now shooting with a pretty good kit. I still want to jump to FX soon but the D7100 is doing great. I sold off ALL I had and got some decent Sigma lenses. So as I look at this iOS picture (that still makes it into my portfolio) I sit back and laugh about the image that started this obsession of capturing the moment.