My serious interest in photography began a couple of years ago during a trip ‘home’ to South Africa. I had always taken photos, mostly with assorted ‘point and shoot’ cameras, the easiest option when travelling and exploring with young kids in tow, but was often disappointed with the lack of control over the end results. This time round I was able to borrow a DSLR and had some time to play and practise. The photography bug bit hard and soon I was the proud owner of a shiny new Nikon camera and a couple of kit lenses.
Since then, I have been learning and practising as much as possible. I have also acquired more gear but I do try to avoid GAS (Gear Acquisition Syndrome) as much as possible. For those who care, I still shoot with Nikon cameras (D7000 and D7200) and a mixed bag of lenses. I love my beast of a Sigma 150-600 Sport for birding, even if it is a bit heavy. Another favourite is my Nikon 105 mm Macro, although sometimes I prefer the older Nikon 60 mm I bought second hand. For landscapes I like the Sigma 10-20 wide-angle but I also use a Tamron 24-135 mm when I need more range.
I’ve been encouraged along the way by positive feedback, from friends and family, and from online forums. I have had some success in competitions, both at my camera club and more open competitions. The critique and feedback from the judges at club competition nights is an invaluable tool for improvement; I would encourage any aspiring photographer to join their local club.