I have always enjoyed photography. I guess I picked it up from my father, who transformed my room into a darkroom very so often. A darkroom I was not allowed to enter under any circumstances. Unfortunately, he never really shared his hobby with me and it wasn't one that he kept up with anyway. Still, it must have made an impression on me. As a teenager, I began taking pictures with a cheap compact camera. Die images were terrible. No one ever taught me about photography or maybe gave me a book about it. I simply shot what I saw. An intuitive process which is still the way I take pictures today, despite my knowledge and experience.
Let's jump forward into my early 20s, when in 2003 I bought my first digital camera. In 2003 those devices became affordable for consumers. So I bought the Sony DSC-P52 for €350. It was a "cheap" compact camera that as a student I could afford. I never considered using film because I was fascinated by digital technology and I'd rather not pay for development. Also, I wanted to put my photos on some sort of website.
This camera had an incredible 3(!) megapixel, with a very inconvenient zoom range between 41 mm and 82 mm. The bundled memory card, which was of course proprietary, could hold 20 images. So I went out, made 20 photos and went back home. I eventually bought a second "Memory Stick" or just brought my laptop along. It's unfathomable today. Despite being a consumer compact, the image quality wasn't all that bad for 2003. With good light, careful expose and not too much contrast the camera made good pictures. The images were all JPEGs with almost no editing done. But why, WHY, did I think to burn the date into the images? I am puzzled by my own decision.
I did not use the Sony DSC-P52 for long, because I actually liked digital photography a lot. This compact camera was simply no longer enough. I needed something with more flexibility, something more professional. The Sony was more of a snapshot camera for people on holiday. But it is the camera that started everything.
I used this camera in 2003 and took (or rather kept) at least 393 photos.