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My Journey As A Novice Photographer: A Beginner But A Learner

At the beginning of quarantine, I knew I’d be trying out new hobbies, but I never thought that photography would be one of them. I felt like because it's such a vast field with so many different programs and devices to use that I’d get lost as a beginner. Yet, I’m currently that lost beginner right now. I can say that my top reason for wanting to try out photography is to make my dull photos more bright and vibrant to showcase the exact moment at which the picture is taken. Usually when I take photos, I only have my phone to work with, and if they turn out bad, then I leave them as that. However, as a novice photographer, I’ve learned that perhaps just adding a bit of color to my pictures will make the moments a bit more vibrant in looking back upon my memories. 

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I first tried to learn more about photography by searching up tips and programs online, but there were so many websites and links that I couldn’t absorb the information that was given to me. So, I went to the next best resource: my friend. Being involved in photography for approximately seven years, she understood my feelings of being lost as a beginner. Although this may seem very basic, I’m only starting out with photograph editing apps on my phone, such as VSCO and Adobe Photoshop Express Photo Editor. Honestly, just getting used to navigating these apps on my phone has taken much time in trying to understand the little widgets and operations. However, despite having little knowledge of the technicalities of photography, these apps have helped me better understand common terms used, such as aspect ratio, exposure, contrast, etc. Although I’m clearly a novice, I hope to be able to edit on more advanced programs and take more pictures on an actual camera rather than just my phone in the future. 

[bf_image id="5rcn4bbrnnmfwkfqsb7g8h8"] Though I do mostly use my phone for taking pictures, I’ve also been able to borrow my friend’s digital camera to take pictures whenever I have the chance. I enjoy the feeling of holding the camera and capturing a moment because it gives me a feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment knowing that the memory will be saved somewhere for me to look back upon. Another reason why I became so interested in photography is due to the beauty I found in capturing an exact moment in time. Whenever I have a memorable experience, I always want to document it somewhere so that I can always recall it from my memory. For instance, taking pictures of food is something I like to do because it documents when I ate it and the people I shared it with. Or, something as simple as going to the beach and taking pictures of the rocks is also something I enjoy. Thus, photography is the perfect choice to mark a memory by taking a quick picture of the moment. Whether it be a blurry candid photograph or a directed pose photograph, that image will always be available to me in the future. 

[bf_image id="ftvks4hqpjtsbb5n45pks3f"] As a novice in the large field of photography, I often am mesmerized by the pictures that experienced photographers take. Not only do they show the subject of the photo but also the beauty in the background. I always appreciate the blend of colors that nature has to offer, the regions of light and shadow to highlight the subject, and the overall photograph itself. As I continue to learn more in photography, my goal is to advance to the point that I can take and edit pictures to make it appear as if the colors of the photo are jumping right at me. In other words, I want the two-dimensional photograph to appear three-dimensional as if I can physically see the entire setting of that picture. Just like any other creator, a photographer is able to create something tangible and beautiful from a camera and some programs. Though my current source of this tangible creation is with my phone and editing apps, starting from somewhere will lead me to the point I want to reach in becoming an advanced photographer one day.

Jamie Vu

UCLA '23

Jamie is a second year student at UCLA. She loves to listen to music and enjoys going to concerts and listening to artists live. During her free time, she likes to go out and explore.
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