Entry 130 : A Year With My D7100

Hello, there!
Today is a special day.
Today marks the first anniversary of my D7100 and I!


Ever since I bought my Nikon D7100 last year, I have had non-stop fun and joy shooting through my daily life.
I have had ups and downs, confidence and doubts but through every event, every moment and every memory, my D7100 has been by my side.

Below is an extremely brief (not really) sum of my year with my D7100, summed into non-other than 10 carefully selected photos.
Some you have seen before and some are about to be revealed for the first time.
I have had such a wonderful time with my D7100 and though I constantly venture to try new cameras, lenses, brands and bodies, I have never been let down by it.
Do enjoy these photos.

The beginning.
This was the very first shot I took with my D7100. It was frightening and exciting at the same time. I hadn't been very good at committing to anything before. Little did I know that this would change how I lived my life.

The naivety.
How I wish I could go back to being naive. When I first started out, I couldn't care less about settings, lenses and jobs. All I wanted was to walk around with my camera in-hand and shoot the Hell out of stuff. It takes a lot to go back to this carefree mindset. Although I consider myself more knowledgeable now, I would love to go back to shooting naively.

The experiment.
I remember this night. I had heard about a meteor shower that was supposed to happen some time around midnight. I remember calling my friends out to accompany me while I waited for the trails in the night sky. While waiting, I tested out long exposure photography. I didn't know what to expect, but I ended up taking this calm night scene. We never saw the meteor shower, though.

The streets.
This is a photo I cherish so much. I started a project called A PHOTO A DAY and its objective was to sort of "force" me into consistently shooting with my new camera. This photo was the third of the series and it depicts the sheer dynamism of street photography, a genre of photography I simply adore. The frozen car just seems like it wants to jump out of the photo and speed off, with the black and white giving the extra vintage look. I didn't convert this into black and white in post-processing. I shot it in Monochrome on my D7100, after swiftly changing the settings using the 'i' button on the back of the camera.

The eye.
I admit. I feel really lucky (or better yet, blessed) to have captured this photo. I was bent on pursuing street photography and so I always had my D7100 in my grip. During the time I shot this, I still didn't know special techniques in photography like framing, composition and perspective but I guess all the years I spent drawing and appreciating art actually trained my eye to seeing things that aren't that obvious to other people. Till today I am still amazed whenever I look at this photo. I sometimes can't believe that I took it and that makes me want to work harder for even better photos. This photo was one of the first photos I shot in RAW and has gained me a spot on the Nikon Annual Photo Contest 2014 short list.

The havoc.
I don't think anybody out there has this shot. This was shot at the very first music event that I brought my D7100 to. I didn't anticipate this moment, I didn't know the lyrics to this song (this was its debut) and I certainly never saw Joe Flizzow, Altimet and SonaOne perform before. But I think my intuition took over and in the midst of such a chaotic crowd, I managed to capture this epic moment. The spotlights, the hand gestures, the lighting and the blurry heads all come together to make a wonderful photo. This event was also the start of my coverage of future events with my own photos.

The job.
I had only been shooting serious photography since August 2013 when I bought my D7100, went to a few events and did coverage on them, documenting them in both writing and photography. My brother and I then officially started to shoot as QZ Photography in January 2014, where we would take up jobs. I've always been going to concerts prior to photography, so it was only natural that I have an affinity to shooting live events. My blog has evolved from everyday journals to a hub for music lovers and concert goers. I now post information on upcoming concerts and write concert reviews.

I worked hard into looking for ways to gain media access to events and then one day, I got an e-mail reply that asked me to call Yusoff. And when I called him, he asked if I could come down to KL to shoot for Live@Work at the Twin Towers Alive Press Conference as a test run to see whether I could shoot for Twin Towers Alive. At first I declined because it was on a Thursday, but then I followed my gut, cut class and went on to shooting the PC as the OFFICIAL PHOTOGRAPHER! I got ALL ACCESS, where I got to meet Altimet and Ila Damiaa in person and for sound check. I got to shoot from in front of the stage and they knew who I was. Ila Damiaa has also used this photo for her Instagram TWICE! What's more, at the end of the day, I was paid for my service and I would then go on to shoot for Live@Work for the rest of the TTA events. Unfortunately, the concert was cancelled due to the MH370 tragedy.

May God bless their souls.

The travels.
I was always a proponent of travelling. Ever since I was a child I have been travelling, seeing new places and breathing different airs. Now that I had a DSLR, my travels would be with more purpose; to not only experience different worlds but to also capture different elements of life. Of course, street photography was my main agenda and the photo above is currently the pinnacle of my street photography. The photo still sends chills down my back. I remember the moment, the hustle, the heat and the mindset. At first I didn't want to wander around Ben Thanh Market in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam that night but as always, my gut told me to just take a look. And what do you know, I shot one of my best photos yet.

The reviews.
Writing reviews of gear was inevitable. I have been into writing since when I was 14 (I'm turning 22 this October 4th. Remember!) and I haven't stopped writing since. I wrote poems, short stories, essays, blog posts and bulletins. But then came photography and I had a whole new subject to write about. I have written quite a number of reviews so far, mostly for Nikon gear but I'm working to write reviews for other cameras, as well. I love writing reviews because it lets me share my thoughts, suggestions and also gives me a chance to try out a lot of options. Maybe I won't be looking to buy all the things I review, but I also aim to help my readers (like you) in making decisions or to just have a discussion about products.

The moments.
As much as I love gear reviews, street photography and covering live events, the thing that matters the most and the thing I always want to shoot are moments like this. Candid moments, romantic moments, sad moments and hilarious moments. A photograph is the only record of a moment that had happened in a fraction of a second. Only through photography does a piece of your life live on throughout the ages. Photography is a tool many want to use as a means to make a living, for self purpose and some for just showing off. But I find photography the most rewarding in capturing moments. Although capturing moments is not exclusively only for a D7100, if it wasn't for my camera, I wouldn't have been able to capture all the precious moments that I've experienced throughout the whole year it has been with me.

"Feel this moment"