By Lisa Rowley
I got my first proper camera – a Nikon 301 SLR – for my 18th birthday but it was a surprise present that did not get much use. To me f-numbers and exposure was all too complicated, another language, and no-one was really there to explain how it worked.
It was not until nearly 20 years later that that birthday present finally got some use when I enrolled on a GCSE photography course. I had always taken photographs of school trips and holidays with my compact camera but this renewed my love of the hobby. I finally got to use my Nikon camera for a number of projects and learnt what all the settings meant. It all seems so simple now and I wonder what direction I might have taken if all those years ago I had tried to make sense of this film camera.
I’ve still got the Nikon but I’ve expanded my collection to include a Canon digital 600D SLR. It takes a lot less effort to set up and of course, unlike the film camera, you can check what your photos look like before you print them. Things have changed a lot since I was 18 and almost everybody has an almost immediate access to a camera through their phone. In my view it’s changed the opinion of taking photographs and how images are captured. Nowadays everyone is a photographer whether their photographs are good or not. I must admit my most used camera is my iphone. To me the beauty of the camera phone is it’s so quick and easy to use. I don’t have to rummage around in my bag set up the camera and then press the button. In fact, I don’t have to haul around a big bag full of equipment.
When I’m out cycling away from my PR work I can simply get out my phone and take a quick snap of something I find of interest. It’s also come in useful for taking a pic of information I need to remember, such as a poster for an event.
The use of photographs and how the media accesses them has radically changed with the increase in things such as camera phones and social media. Now photographs appear online almost instantly when there’s a breaking story, as well as videos. It’s so much different
For me I will be taking photographs for a long time and building up my portfolio. Although I use digital methods to take my photographs I still have a love of film and developing my own photographs in a darkroom. There’s a sense of excitement when you are developing a picture to see what results you get. I learnt how to develop my photographs at my college course and still love that part of the process.
While I am a fan of film photography I can see the advantages of the move to digital. Of course, I don’t think the camera phone at present can replace the stand-alone digital camera. There’s always a place for a proper camera. But for the budding photographer there’s so much choice of equipment now from the cheap to more expensive. For me there’s never been a better time to take photographs.
J&PR are a Shropshire PR agency covering Shrewsbury, Telford, north Shropshire, south Shropshire and parts of Mid and North Wales. As well as working with businesses, organisations and events across the region on PR campaigns J&PR run regular DIY PR Training Courses and DIY Digital PR Training Courses at venues in the county.