The Photo That Got You Started

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Think back to the time in your life when photography was still a mystery to you. For some, that was quite some time ago. For others, it was fairly recently. Now recall that one moment, and that one photograph, that sparked your interest to explore photography more deeply.

For me, this is that photograph:

This is my stepson. My husband took this photo with his old Canon film camera, one lazy day when they were just hanging out. Pawing through the box of family photos, I came across this one and asked my husband, “How did you do that? How did you make him in focus but the background all blurry?”

I wonder how many folks got into photography by asking that exact question?

He responded, of course, that he used a large aperture. He launched into an explanation of f-stops and I got utterly stuck on why f/2.8 is larger than f/16. That was the very conversation that made me determined to really understand photography. So I bought a Canon Digital Rebel and messed around with it until the concept FINALLY clicked in my head.

This is the first photo that I took when I finally got the camera off of Program mode and used aperture priority mode to achieve the depth of field I wanted:

I was extremely proud, altogether out of proportion to the actual achievement. I mean, sure it’s a pretty picture. But I made the background blurry! And the foreground in focus! And I knew why, and how! Mystery solved!

Two seemingly inconsequential photographs that formed the foundation of the photographic skills that I have today. When I need a reminder of why I love photography (because let’s face it, we all have those moments sometimes when we need to be reminded) I recall those two photos and how I felt when I had that “lightbulb” moment.

I would love to hear your own stories and see the photographs that sparked your interest in photography! Please let us know in the comments, or drop us a line on our Facebook Page.

And don’t forget about the contest still going on! Entries will be accepted all the way up to midnight Pacific time on Sunday October 21st. You can enter as many photos as you’d like.

Have a great weekend!

Photos copyright Tiffany Joyce.

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  • Rich

    This is my photo. I was learning about shutter speed. It was one of the first photos I felt was good enough to share with the wider world. So I created a flickr account and started to explore photography.

  • Jordan

    This is spot on, the first thing that sparked my interest in photography was DOF and to this day I can not get enough of it! I don’t know why I am just very attracted to it.

  • Susan C. Zsoka

    I was 16 and my sister was 14 and we were both bored and my mom’s new boyfrien put a 35 mm camera in my had and said, “Have at it.” My sister and I went to a local park and I had my very first experience with a camera. The pictures turned our wonderfully and I caught the bug. I don’t have copies of those photo’s. My sister might. I’ll have to ask. Even as inexperienced as I was I love taking photos.
    Susan Zsoka

  • Auckland Event Photographer

    I worked at the school paper as a writer. The photographer broke his leg on route to the assignment. Borrowed the school camera… and never look back.

  • Virginia Beach Builders

    Simply amazing photo. I’ll upload mine after I find it. What type of camera did you use for these photos?