The very first time i put my hands on a reflex camera, i was around 10 years old. All i wanted was to understand how this was possible, how after pressing a button and after that magical noise, suddenly something inside worked and worked well, and you got a picture taken. it was a mystery to me how after a couple of days we got photos from this fascinating machine.
So i broke it apart...
I broke every single little part of it, i had to see what type of crazy weird technology was controlling this futuristic piece of machinery, which was well known to steal souls in the stories i was being told by the books i read and the movies i watched.
Obviously it was a waste of my time and my mom's camera. Lucky for me, my mother had not clue how to operate it and never used it, and so she didn't find out about what i had done but many years after when i needed a reflex camera for the photography classes i took in college.
I blamed it on my sister…
During my first year in college I started to learn the basics of photography, I finally figured out where that magical noise came from, and I was able to actually operate a reflex camera. It wasn't until a few years after when I actually understood the full meaning of photography, not only how a camera works, or the popular concept of "capturing the moment", but actually understood that our brain reads images in a certain way beyond our conscious mind, and so every single element is important. I began to understand that there is a language involved, a very particular one, which uses shapes, shadows, color, or the absent of it, a language in which every single element is important and should be taken into consideration.
There is no doubt that besides all the technical details, as a photographer, you need to have that romantic feel towards a photo. After a while your hands just move and your finger will touch what needs to be touch to get your camera in the place you want it. Getting to know how to operate a reflex camera is just a matter of time, from there everything depends on your objective, it depends on what you want to capture, what is the message behind the photo that you wish to convey.
Making the decision of what should be in the photo, and more importantly: why should that be in the frame, are some of the questions I ask myself with every shot. Choosing where to focus and what components to leave out are probably the most important questions, because you are who decides what is not going to be a part of your picture, always knowing it could have been.