Learning to Shoot - Part One: How I Got Hooked and Decided to Write This Guide


This is a journal of my own journey in learning how to properly shoot masterpiece photos. In this part, we’ll delve on the primary question – how did I find myself in this situation?

Howdy. I’m Omer, nice to meet ya!

About 2 years ago I ran into the all-mighty Diana F+ for the first time, still boxed at my friends’ paramir. As a natural-born consumer I immediately wanted one. Without knowing anything, the package design, the neo-retro, and the funky pictures in the booklet all magnetized my desire to posh my-shelve with one. Well, the Diana never went out of that box during my visit but after I returned back to my hole, I have witnessed paramir’s growing addiction simply by viewing his LomoHome.

Rumors about him standing in the corner offering sex for film turned out to be total bulshit. Well then, a while later I ran into a lomo camera box – the fisheye (1), grabbed it and ran to the cashier while elbowing my way to the shock-faced cashiers. She was even more shocked when she figured I’m actually buying something and told the security guy it’s alright (in French). I began shooting with it right away and loved the results. The camera took me to an “easy and fun” place rather then the photo-artistic attitude I wished to develop.

I bought a real old Diana in a little flea market that turned out to be non-functional – after a week of failure in fixing it I went out and got me a real one and started shooting with it. At this point I became rather disappointed.

It’s just ain’t right.

Over 70% of my frames were under-exposed / over-exposed or as in many cases never-exposed. And discovering that cost me a whole lotta money.

Last August, while visiting my wife’s parents I asked them if they got some cameras they brought from the old country (the USSR’d Ukraine). After a pointless yet long argument, cameras began to pop out just like shrooms under raindeers’ faeces. There was one Smena 8m leatherly covered with the original LOMO logo pressed on the leather! But my eyes were caught by two Zenit Es which I combined into one.

After taking a few clicks for sanity test, surprised by the repulse, I opened the door and found it’s loaded with a god-knows how old Kodak gold 200 film (my guess is early 1990’s). Well, I closed it right away and shot it all the way and later sent it for development just to see if I can get something out of it. The only pictures could be saved were those I took of the house model (my son Itay).

So, there I have a small division of cameras, all manual, capricious and quirky… I suddenly figured I have no idea what to do with them, more to say, how to do with them. As an owner of self-diagnosed dyslexia, I turned to ask for how-to’s from people I know who’s into it (or were) and also those I was great photos of. The answers I got were annoying –most dudes gave me that good-old “just shoot” answer. It reminded me of when I saw a bass guitar workshop with Victor Wooten which in he was talking for hours about how his mom’s sandwiches made him what he is (or something similar) and I said “damn it – show me how to practice and be a better player!”

So, I decided to fight a triple war:

  • One – against my dyslexia,
  • Two – against my lack of knowledge,
  • And three – against those “just shoot” dudes.

So my goal is to write a series of articles with my own learning path, while trying to reveal the secrets behind the art of getting good photos, no, Great photos… sorry, timeless pieces of art photos!

And to conclude, allow me to quote the poet snoop:
Those who don’t like it – eat a d**k,
Those who with me – same o’ dat s***t…

See you (me) soon on the second part which will help me turn all those numbers into tools rather then remind me of high-school math (which i suck’d)

Ta ta!

Credits: kikass

written by kikass on 2010-11-23 #lifestyle #story #learning #article


  1. naqi
    naqi ·

    interesting article, nicely written and lovely photos!!
    can't wait for the second part =)

  2. tallgrrlrocks
    tallgrrlrocks ·

    How lucky! Your folks held on to those treasures and now they make up your funky collection. Now awaiting Part 2

  3. mochilis
    mochilis ·

    Good starting article... and also waiting for part two!

  4. upstart_thunder
    upstart_thunder ·

    part 2 now please! mehehe

  5. dictaphone
    dictaphone ·

    haha geat article, looking forward to part II !

  6. bigbadwolf
    bigbadwolf ·

    I'm totally there man... can't wait for the next part!

  7. peteparker
    peteparker ·

    I like it... let's wait for part 2 :-)

  8. matt-van
    matt-van ·

    hurry up with part 2 man! can't wait!

  9. parktreeone
    parktreeone ·

    Like it, looking forward to part two!

  10. nelsonloh
    nelsonloh ·

    interesting article, lovely pictures! cant wait for the next part!

  11. luna1000d
    luna1000d ·

    I really enjoyed reading, wrote excellent. Waiting for the second part.

  12. taysindev94
    taysindev94 ·

    this article is really inspiring to me i can't wait to read the 2nd part & read those secret to shooting better pictures :D

  13. willyboy
    willyboy ·

    Are you on something?

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