For some time now I have been using my trusty Nikon D5300, it has served me well and has been at my side day in and day out though after 10 000 plus photos what have I learned and what will be changing
my love for my Nikon system started back in January, picked up the lovely D5300, it is by no means a professional grade camera though for the deal they had running it not only suited my budget but it also suited my needs perfectly, and now with well over 10 000 photos taken I feel that I should share some of the more interesting stories that I have come across since using this camera.
The first few hundred photos where all part of getting to know the camera and playing around with settings, from shots of my feet to some early flower type photos all in an effort to learn the controls of the new system all in all everything was going really good

Some of the first photos I took that where worth sharing with others where all taken in my mother garden, with many awesome flowers growing it provided some of the more interesting photos I have taken so far, and one of my most favorite photos still to this day is this one

This shot was the first proper photo that I took with the new system and the best part of this photo is that this how how it came out from the camera itself nice vibrant and mostly in focus
Moving on from this photo I decided to focus more on macro photography, the only form of photography that allows you to enter a entirely new world showing detail on a scale that most will never even see, hell just have a look at most of the photos I share on Facebook most of them are macro photos of insects or other random interesting things I find while running around

Though while busy hunting bugs at the George Botanical Gardens, one Saturday I was suddenly surrounded by so many people, I would alter find out that these people where part of the park run which takes place every Saturday, was an experience and a half darting between the well over 500 people to catch shots of the small bugs or flowers that I found though with all the runners it did make things a little bit more complicated, though from that day I made contact with the park runs organizers and opted in for the volunteering part which allowed me to get a bit more experience on the sports photography department which was a win win for them as well as myself, they get some decent photos to use on there Facebook page and I get something interesting to do on Saturdays, to date I have done well over 6000 photos for them, though not only that but being out there so early I had some great access to hunting bugs and interesting critters super early in the mornings not only that but knowing which routes the runners take helped me to plan my early morning bug hunting much better as well

at the park runs I have had the opportunity to meet some interesting people ranging from scientists to just normal people out for the morning having a good time, and there dogs some really fun ones always show up as well, just love it and I would recommend the park run as a fun Saturday morning event for anyone who enjoys the outside a bit

apart from the park runs I have also shot some events as well had the opportunity to work with some models, all of this was interesting as can be seeing as I never planned to take photos of people as well insects being my main focus it was an adjustment that turned out really good in the end

with all the new found photography subjects I have learned a few interesting things, for one you do much better when you specialize into one field of photography for me this has always been macro photography since well insects and really small subject are easy to work with, you simply need to catch them when the weather is cold then they move slow and they become extremely easy to photograph, though with all the new experiences that I have had over the last few months I find myself moving more and more away from insects towards people as well people not only seem to turn out more interesting on photos but the communication and working with them and helping them capture the special moments of portraits that seems to be a much more interesting thing to do, so I have slowly started doing less and less macro photography and focusing more on portraits and working with people on events, this has been the start of me moving from the hobbyist level to professional photographer
This change has also made me look more in detail into the gear that I use and I have since added proper lighting to my inventory allowing me to take some really great photos as with portraits and with any other photos that are of people the light plays a much more important role in the quality of the photo itself a good example of this as an example is this photo which was taken at the most resent park run using natural lighting to get a good effect

now compared to a photo taken using my 90x90cm lighting system you will notice a difference in not only quality but in clarity as well

lights do make a definite change in how photos look both where taken with the same camera and same lens as well, not only lights but the mood itself is also important when taking photos of people they way they feel and there mood changes small details on how there expressions turn out on photos, unlike my beloved insects which all sit still sleeping most times

So from the first 10 000 photos taken I have learned more then what I had thought was possible in the relatively short amount of time, on average I take around 700 photos a week those 700 photos normally range mostly from bugs and flowers and other small items with the rest being divided between events and the park run photos, though looking forward and moving towards the more professional market I will be changing things around a bit taking much less macro photos and focusing more on developing my style for portraits and event photography, this has also lead me to look more closely at my needs and what will work better for moving into the professional market

My current Nikon D5300 is great it covers my current work really well as well , though Nikon support is horrible as well from working this long with this camera I have noticed that I am missing easy shots due to the auto focus on the camera being off slightly most time I take a fast burst of about 5 photos so that I am guaranteed having one that is in perfect focus or rather so that I know I will definitely have one in focus, from what I have found out the auto focusing system inside my camera is better suited for nature style photography and not so well suited for more professional work

From looking around a bit I have decided to swap to a camera brand that specializes not only in the sensor type they use but also in the lenses they make for that system
Fujifilm makes a interesting camera which is more suited for the professional market not only that but it allows for some extreme customization which means it can be adjusted for every event and every type of photos that would be needed, not only that they only specialize in making APS-C style cameras and lenses meaning that there range of cameras are class leading, with software updates that fix things and auto focusing systems that not only work perfectly they also work better at a reduced cost, value for money comes to mind when looking at there systems

There for I will be retiring my Nikon camera gear by slowly selling what I do not use and moving over to the Fujifilm x t30, the Fujifilm camera system combined with there well made lenses will allow me to move into the professional photography world not only due to there outstanding support in South Africa but due to there cameras having such a extreme custom settings range means that it will always be able to do any form of work that is thrown at it, bu all means not the best camera system on the market though the flexibility it offers out weighs just about anything else on the market not only that but the value for money and world leading support for there clients makes it a no brainier as a good and solid investment

So moving forward my next 10 000 plus photos will be aimed at a more professional market, though my first 10 000 will always hold a special place in my heart as being the building stones to a long and successful photography career

Thank you one and all for being part of my tiny Facebook page, your support has been part of my driving force and I look forward to sharing many more interesting photos with you all

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