I started my photographic journey with a ‘bridge camera’, a camera that sits between a point-and-shoot and a DSLR camera. I was absolutely new to photography as a discipline, as an art form. (All I knew about it was there is a camera, which has a lens on it, and when you press a button (shutter release), you capture a photo.) I had used a point-and-shoot camera before, but had never used a bridge camera or a DSLR. It was logical for me to not invest heavily in camera gear to begin with as I did not even know whether I had it in me to be a photographer. But, at the same I didn’t want to start from level zero, hence the choice to invest in Fujifilm FinePix S3300. I had a pleasant experience of using my brother’s Fujifilm Finepix camera earlier, so it was natural for me to buy this one.
Using this bridge camera helped me to:
- Pick up from my experience of using a point-and-shoot camera, which gave me the confidence that I was not starting from scratch
- Understand the basics of photography – aperture, ISO, shutter speed or exposure triangle; focal length; white balance; shutter speed
- While the camera had operations quite similar to that of a DSLR, it did not require too much technical know-how of operating a DSLR – quite a bit of those functions were sort of ‘ready-to-use’
- Have the freedom to explore different genres of photography without having to worry about the technicalities – something I needed to discover the photographer within
- Work on my overall knowledge of photography and craft
Another thing that I learnt using a bridge camera was how its capabilities were limited in comparison to a DSLR. For an instance, I realized that the camera could not take exposure longer than 8 seconds. Discovering such kind of shortcomings in features further helped in understanding techniques of taking different kind of photographs, as well as realizing my creative inclinations towards various genres of photography.
I continued using the Fujifilm camera for about 6 months before reaching the conclusion that I must graduate to using a DSLR and actually get to making the kind of photographs I wanted to make. This exploratory process also brought clarity in terms of which genre of photography I wanted to pursue more, and what specific features to look for when I decided to buy a DSLR. I really enjoyed using my bridge camera, for it helped me discover the potential photographer in me without feeling overwhelmed with complex concepts and techniques. It helped me cross the bridge to the unexplored world of photography that I could call home for the creative in me.