As I may recall now, I felt my passion for photography first time around 2009 – 2010. It was the period when I was studying first year of my bachelor degree in Azerbaijan, Baku. Being passionate about this idea, as a matter of fact, I bought Nikon Coolpix camera which neither had interchangeable lenses and nor belong to DSLR cameras.
Taken from http://www.e-katalog.ru
I started to capture the moments first indoors, when I realized that the photos which I take, do not respond to the quality that I would like to have. Obviously, I did not know which element is missing in my pictures, but had that feeling that there is a room to improve my techniques.
It was summer period when I took my Nikon camera to our garden house in Novxanı with myself. During every summer, we would move there for the holidays, as Caspian Sea was in five minutes away from our house. Here I could have an access to the nature since in Baku, you would not or could not hike somewhere.
Good point of this camera was the fact that it did not need film to capture the moment. Thus, I started to take a photo of everything that I found interesting without having any expense limitations. I think, that was where my strongest character was hiding, in daring. Frankly speaking it did not bother me to try and fail. In fact, I knew that every education, every invention has gone through this phase. No one was born with an ability to know everything.
However, my first deep “wow” or to say impression which I made to myself was with a photo when I saw a ladybug on a grass and tried to capture that moment while having colourful dress of my mother who was busy with gardening and created a wonderful background.
As I was quite impressed, I showed this photo to everyone and received fine compliments for that. I must note that during that time I had neither an idea about different post-production softwares nor did I know any photography techniques.
Impressed by that very moment, I started to try even more. During one of these days, my cousin Sənan and I decided to wake up early and visit Caspian Sea in morning even before The Sun would have risen. Our aim, as you may suspect, was to capture The Sunrise. It is fair to note that I was never present in the sea shore of Caspian Sea in early morning and was slightly surprised and scared of dogs that were barking in the dark. You may well know that dogs are especially aggressive during that period of day. Nevertheless, together we stepped over this issue which was concerning us and decided to proceed. There was a strong wind coming from the North. In Baku, local people are used to call this wind Xəzri / Khazri, which is crossing over North Caucasus mountains and carries the cold of Great Caucasus. This matter created for us a problem of sharpness which was difficult to achieve during lack of light. Nevertheless, our passion of capturing something forced us to think about possible solutions that one could find in this cold, dark, dogs barking morning. Therefore, we found a piece of wood and put our camera on it, making sure that it is fixed at least for a while. When I recall this action nowadays, I do understand that we in fact made a one leg tripod. By slightly changing the aperture of the camera, I decreased the light which was hitting the matrix and managed to capture the moment in the following way:
You may of course ask why I paid so much attention to this very matter, but I must assure you that there is a reason behind it. As a matter of fact, on that day, I understood that photography needs proper timing and you have to be on the right place in the right time to create something dramatic. Even more, on some occasions, this might be quite uncomfortable experience, such as forcing yourself to wake up very early and get out of your warm peaceful bed to the shore of the sea where cold wind finds you while barking dogs makes you to feel scared. Moreover, I also understood that for creating a quality product, you need to have some tools such as tripod.
With all its growing strength, my passion on photography was supposed to come to an end due to the fact the matrix of my camera got a black line which was completely ruining my pictures. Since I was coming from middle class family of Azerbaijan, I could not afford myself to buy another Nikon camera. I also understood that photography, seemed to be quite expensive hobby since you have to travel and possess proper tools for capturing moments. Instead, I decided to focus on my education which I hoped to continue in Germany.
In 2012, I got admission from the University of Jena in Germany. This meant that my dreams came true and I am going to study my master degree abroad. Of course, as a student I had quite many issues on my mind, therefore, did not think about any of my hobbies until the date when I started to pursue my first paid internship at Daimler. Once of these days, coming back from work, I decided to check the price of cameras in local stores. It was surely luck that I saw on that day a DSLR Nikon being in discount with a final price of 299 euros. Although the price was still feasible for an average student pursuing internship, on that very date I got my spark inside setting fire to my passion of photography. I bought Nikon D3200 and had an upcoming travel to Rome. However, I also understood importance of having a knowledge about your device, therefore, I started to watch Youtube tutorials and read about basic photography techniques.
At the end of our trip to Rome, I recognized significant difference between my past and present pictures. Doubtlessly, a DSLR camera where I could control the variables such as aperture or shutter speed as well as the books that significantly improved my knowledge on photography techniques contributed to the quality.
I continued to capture the photos of different moments while attending a particular place or travelling to another country keeping my education of photography techniques from different sources.
I must say that from all notes that I have mentioned above I learned few secrets of success:
All these secrets that I mentioned above, brought me to the following photos where I could clearly note the difference between Farhan 2010 and Farhan 2018.