Thank You Sony…

Disclaimer: This may come off sounding like a paid post, but it’s not. I don’t have nearly enough influence anywhere to get paid for that sort of thing. I may include affiliate links when linking to some things in this blog, but it’s not a blog I’m doing for money. I include the affiliate links only to prove to everyone how strongly I feel about this. I rarely recommend something just to make money. I’m the person that runs a small business that will help you find service with a trusted competitor should I not be able to help you the way you need to be helped.

Thank You Sony! Thank you for helping make me the photographer I am. For giving the world (and me) access to the Sony a3000 (ILCE-3000). It is rated as an entry level mirror-less (some call them DSLM) camera, that looks and feels like a DSLR so that I didn’t get laughed at when I took out my entry level camera in a professional space.  Sure it had it’s issues with the lower-quality viewfinder screen, and not as much customization as your higher end cameras. But the truth be told this camera set my passion aflame.

When I was wanting a new camera, I went looking for a nice super-zoom/bridge camera, and suddenly the market was devoid of everything. Everything I looked at (that I could find in local stores) was either too pricey for what it was, or they lacked one or more critical features that I just “knew” I absolutely needed to go any further with my photography. So with that in mind I started a journey of research with a friend. While we both ended up on different base lines (they landed on Panasonic and Micro Four Thirds while I landed with Sony E-Mount) we both ended up taking the jump from super-zoom/bridge cameras to mirror-less.

We had both been resistant to DSLR (them because of weight issues when traveling and myself because, I didn’t think I was “ready” for that kind of camera) and I think we both were amazed by what we found when we started shooting mirror-less.

I found a world of wonder and amazement as I started having doors open up for me. I became so neurotic about my wonderful camera that I started taking it everywhere. I started just taking pictures of my son (the NinjaBaby, I have thousands of those), and everything was good. I started to learn how to use different modes, how to take a good picture of the NinjaBaby. I learned that I could use it for more than that and started thinking about photos of other things. I wanted to do sunsets since we live near the shore, I wanted to go to the beach and get that classic “we are at the beach” scene. I wanted my colors to pop, and I wanted to show off all these ideas I had in my head.

And you know what I learned? That I didn’t really know what I was doing. But that’s not a bad thing at all.

So I started taking more photos, and reading. I read many blogs online about how to do this, that and the other in Photoshop or Lightroom. I started using PlayMemories to catalog my photos.

And the longer I went, the more I researched, the more I realized that I really enjoyed this, and loved it and wanted to know and do more.

Then one day, a friend of mine invited me to a soccer game. So I sat in the stands with my camera, and my SEL55210 and took some pictures. You see she wrote for a sports blog (Once a Metro) that is part of SBNation (Vox media). I showed her the pictures I took that day, and she wrote her blog for that day, and sent the pictures to her editor.

A few days later I was notified that there would be a press pass waiting for me at the box office if I so chose. I did so choose.

I went down a brief, but exciting rabbit hole of sports photography. I suddenly again, thought I knew everything I could possibly know. I mean if I didn’t, why was I offered a press pass? I started taking many many pictures. Sure I got lucky and some were good, but honestly I did not know what in the hell I was even doing. I didn’t know what a shot list was or why I needed one. I knew that all these other photographers had camera lenses that cost more than my car, and bodies that were worth the same, but I didn’t really understand WHY they needed them. But I did learn this.

My short excursion down the sports photography rabbit hole got me from taking pictures on the sidelines of Yurcack Field shooting SkyBlue FC games, all the way to sitting in the end-zone of RedBull Arena, shooting the USWNT while fighting off hypothermia (more on that here).

While my excursion with sports photography is over for now, I hope it’s not over forever. I am learning more, soaking up everything I can, and I miss it greatly. I’m saving up to buy new gear. I’m learning how to properly use the gear I have, and I’m not being a snob at what was, what is, and what could be.

For our wedding, my wonderful bride (now wife) bought me a wonderful gift. She took me to a local camera store, and let me pick out a beautifully used Sony a6000 (ILCE-6000). A few days later, I gifted her with a store-display Sony a5000. Some will ask why I didn’t give her the a3000, and my answer was that I wasn’t ready. It’s still “my camera”. I still take it out on occasion to take pictures like I used to. I still love it like any nostalgic techno geek loves their “first” things.

Picture of NinjaBaby taking pictures with my Sony A3000

I recently lent that Sony a3000 to my 4 year old to use. I’m not a parent that feels that he is too immature to touch things and too ignorant to know how to use them. I try and teach him (as much as he will let me) how to use items, and let him explore things. He knows he needs to ask first, and usually does, but he is really curious right now about my cameras. And whenever I go out to “take pictures” he want’s to “take pictures too!”.

That picture at the top of this blog? That was taken by him at 4 years old.

I think he might just be the person who gets that a3000, when he’s I’m ready.

As a side note/PS…. I recently added a DSLR to my lineup also. A gently used, Sony a390. I also have the LA-EA2 so I can really play.

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