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What are my weapons?

I bought my first camera in 2007, as soon as I saved money from my work money. My dad, a family friend and I went on a field trip to Hidalgo (the famous place in Quiapo where cameras are sold), with 23 thousand pesos in my bag (yes, I brought 20k in Quiapo -- le gasp!), and went home with a Nikon D40 wrapped in newspaper. It was a bold move to have a DSLR as my first camera and I was determined to do things manually.

With the help from friends who were into DSLRs as well (shout out to RJ and Ian!), they taught me the basics of taking photos on the Manual mode. It was a crash course on F-stops, shutter speeds, ISO, light modes, types of lenses, types of DSLRs, and external flashes.

"The first 10,000 photos will be crappy." Now on my 44,000th photo, I'm on a solid relationship with my camera and I think I know the basics. I've created a bucket list for the shots I need to take to practice my photo skeeelz. I still have to capture lightning, a shooting star, a beautiful landscape shot during the sunset, just to name a few.

I'm still experimenting on film photography. My dad owns this Minolta camera. Every setting has to be set manually which is a challenge. You don't get instant results like a digital camera and you can't correct any mistakes. Shooting on film is a leap of faith. I still have to send my film rolls for processing. Let's see if I have a future with an SLR.

I also have another film camera, which is a film camera for dummies. I bought a Holga lomo cam for only 3 thousand pesos at Team Manila. So far, I'm pleased with the results. I've fallen in love with the double exposure shots and light trails and have concluded that I'm forever taking those kinds of shots with my Holga. I chose a Holga because the film is easy to buy (it uses the regular 35mm film which you can buy from any camera shop).

"Photography is a very expensive hobby," said the late National Artist for Literature, Alejandro Roces, to me. I was taking photos of the flowers along the driveway of the hotel that we were staying at, when he approached me and talked to me. I didn't know at that time that he was the famous writer. I saw him as a fellow photo enthusiast who shared the same interest in photography. He told me to never stop taking photos.

I don't plan on stopping. I'm a shutterbug for a reason. I was made to click and click and click that shutter button.


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