Grok Photography

Photos and words by Petter Senften

How Far We’ve Come

It’s pretty amazing how far we’ve come with digital cameras and the associated technology. I bought my first proper digital camera back in 2004. I didn’t have much money, and I bought a cheap compact camera – a Nikon Coolpix 3100 to be precise. It was a 3mpixel camera with virtually no manual settings – for example, ISO sensitivity was always auto. I quickly outgrew it’s very limited capabilities, but it was a start for me. I never got into film-cameras – too much associated labor and too much costs. I can appreciate why a lot of people still do things on film, but for me it just wasn’t the right medium. I was a digital person.

Since that first camera I’ve worked my way through a number of cameras. After the Nikon broke I went without a camera for a while until I became involved with my then-current girlfriend. She bought a Canon Powershot of some model I can’t remember, and even though it was a compact it was still surprisingly capable. After she and I broke up I bought a similar Canon compact, albeit a newer model with slightly more bells and whistles. I learned the ins and outs of it and even though I outgrew it finally, it still was a surprisingly capable camera. I had it right up until January 2012 when I bought my EOS 1100D.

But yeah, it’s cool how far camera-technology has come. Comparing the photos from that first Nikon with my current EOS 600D is a bit like comparing a bumper-car with a Ferrari. I also marvel at how far I’ve come as a photographer myself. I consider myself strictly a happy amateur, but I’ve become quite adept and I’ve learned a lot about composition, lighting and framing the shot. Add to this I realize how much knowledge was given to me by my father, admittedly one of the best photographers I’ve seen.

As a bonus, I give you the very first photo I took with that old Nikon. A quick snapshot out the balcony door of my then-apartment. Enjoy the barrel-distortion!


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