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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Coming into focus

Photo by Patrick Hall

Former Texas A&M Photography Club president Patrick Hall has taken an interest in nature photography. Instagram @bigpicenergy. 


On National Camera Day, June 29, members of the Texas A&M Photography Club share their thoughts on cameras and why photography is important to them.  

Founded in 2011, the A&M Photography Club welcomes creative minds. The club has no requirements on what cameras must be used, and holds weekly meetings to discuss various topics of photography and how to execute techniques. For members of the club, photography is an important form of artistic expression. 

As his creative outlet, former president Patrick Hall, Class of 2021, said he enjoys nature and astrophotography because of the unique pictures he takes of what others might not see on a day-to-day basis. 

“I like capturing the moment,” Hall said. “It gives you perspective on the world, and you get to see what all is really out there.” 
Equipment wise, Hall said he prefers the Nikon D750 paired with a Sigma 35mm Art lens because it can thoroughly cover many different types of photography. 

“I can do really good portraiture…tighter wide angles, landscape… and astrophotography,” Hall said. 

After receiving his first hand-me-down camera, a Nikon D40X from his father, Hall said he dove right into photography. In Summer 2019, Hall said he and a friend hiked Steamboat Springs, CO on a mission to take the perfect shot, but none of them turned out as expected. As he was leaving Denver, Hall said he stopped at a town park along the way and took one of his all-time favorite shots. 

“It came out perfect for the moment,” Hall said. “It was the one shot that I look back on the trip and think that it was not a complete failure.” 
When it comes to starting photography, Hall said he recommends a used Nikon or Canon because they are widely used, simple to understand and reasonably priced. 

“Typically, your first camera is not going to be the best thing,” Hall said. “It’s just going to be something to get you started.” 

There are three pieces of advice when it comes to any type of camera, Hall said. 

“Always make sure your exposure is correct before you take the shot,” Hall said. “Secondly, make sure you understand what your focal length is. The last thing, make sure you have an SD card.” 

Biomedical sciences sophomore Taylor Lencioni said she uses a Canon Rebel because it was what was available to her at the time. Nature, specifically horses, is what Lencioni said she enjoys taking pictures of the most. 

“Sometimes those shots that weren’t necessarily planned end up better than the ones that were planned,” Lencioni said. “I like more of the candid stuff that you can’t really plan as much, because you can’t tell an animal to stand still and smile.” 

As a gift, Lencioni’s boyfriend’s mom gave her their family camera, but at a price: Lencioni had to take her boyfriend’s senior photos. 

“Cameras are expensive,” Lencioni said. “It was nice not to have to pay the money for it.” 

Disposable cameras and Polaroid’s physical copy style appeals to Lencioni because of the suspense. 
“I enjoy that aspect of [it],” Lencioni said. “You don’t get to see the picture right away.”

Computer engineering senior Andrew Fennell said he hasn’t personally used a disposable camera or Polaroid, but likes the physical aspect they both bring. 

“I think Polaroids are really special because you can snap a picture and have something physical immediately,” Fennell said. 

On the other hand, Fennell said his professional camera of choice would be the Sony A7III. After borrowing his sister’s Canon, Fennell said he started to take photography more seriously. In Fall 2020, Fennell attended the A&M Photography Club’s Astro excursion, which was in the middle of nowhere with no light pollution, and immediately clicked with astrophotography. 

“It was just a bunch of us hanging out with cameras,” Fennell said. “I like space. I think it’s really cool because you can’t see it with your eyes, only the camera can see it.” 

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