I am Paridhi Gupta, a 22 year old woman, based in New Delhi, India. I am studying engineering but have been pursuing photography since I was 15. It all started with a Sony digital camera that my family used to carry around when we went on holiday. I started snapping pictures on holiday and eventually started to take photographs everyday. I loved to post my pictures on facebook, but my school peers would sometimes put me down for doing so. It was hard and peer pressure would sometimes get the better of me, but I never stopped. With encouraging friends by my side, I continued to pursue photography and became one of the founding members of the photography society at my school.
At the age of 18, I got my first DSLR; a Nikon d5100 with a kit lens: 18-55mm. Personally, I would say this is the best lens for a photographer who is just starting out. It lets you do a bit of everything! This lens will give you the ability to play around with close up macro shots, capture stunning portraits and utilize bokeh to help create fantastic imagery. For any photographer just starting out with their first DSLR, explore this lens, it is one that I still use and is a must have!
With time, I graduated to a prime 50mm lens and telephoto 55-200mm lens. I would recommend grabbing a D-type NIKKOR lens instead of a G-type NIKKOR lens. The D-type lenses are significantly cheaper and produce similar results that are stunning nonetheless. The main difference between these lens types is that a D-type lens will not have an auto-focus motor. They instead have a manual aperture control ring and focus. This will help you practice your manual camera functions while still maintaining wonderful results. Prime lenses also allow you to snap beautiful bokehs; the subject can be a person or something as minimal as a drinking glass! I recommend using an f2.4 for a hexagonal bokeh.
The idea of photography for me is to express yourself through your images and not to show something just for the sake of it. For this reason, I do not overly process my images in post production. While I do use photoshop and lightroom for basic adjustments such as brightness, shadows and cropping, I try to keep it to a minimal. I would highly recommend it for amateurs, as they are important photography tools to learn how to use.
The most important thing I learned from photography was patience; being patient enough to wait for the perfect sunrises and sunsets or the perfect moment to click down on the shutter.
There will be some days when you feel like giving up, but if you have that fire in you, do not let it burn out! I encourage all photographers, especially women photographers, to continue pursing photography and to not give up. Photography is not necessarily about having a good camera, it is about having a good vision and perspective and staying true to that.
I love shooting the nightsky, bokeh and still life, if you want to see more of my work you can find me on instagram: @thetinyelements.