In case you are interested...
There is more of my general photography (and experiments) at my website
I keep only modest Camera Equipment as I have to work on a tight budget at the moment. It is only relatively recently I started taking photography seriously as a hobby, so for a time I considered myself very much a beginner, though I have always enjoyed taking photos.
I have a Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS14 Compact Camera for my pocket and a Sony Alpha 35 Digital SLR. A lot of my older shots will have been taken with my Panasonic Compact Camera.
I like to shoot Scenery and Wild Flowers mostly, perhaps the odd insect that stays put long enough. Nowadays I am branching out into other subjects gradually as I find something of interest.
Some examples of some of my photography here (click "My Photos" at the top of the screen, or the link at the bottom for more examples as there are several pages now).
I would like to shoot some other wildlife, such as the local Otters, Badgers, Foxes, etc. Herons are a constant tease to me as I think they are beautiful birds, but they are very shy. I have seen some great photos of Herons, but mine have never come out that well. I am not fanatic enough to rise at dawn to sit in a hide wearing camo gear and getting eaten alive by midges and those damnable cleggs while I wait for a classic shot, but I rely on being opportunistic and have been told I have a good "eye" for a shot, so I am content with that.
As for photographing plants, I like to get right into the flower and show as much fine detail as possible. I just can't get close enough! I have been trying to educate myself about "Macro" photography - and am trying to get into photomicroscopy so I can photograph pollen. I have been getting some fair but blurry shots of pollen and slime moulds using a cheap microscope and my Lumix, but I still want to get closer and closer. I won't be happy till I get a scanning electron microscope and can see the actual atoms, but I do what I can with the kit I can afford. I am fascinated by microscopic shots of pollen, it is a study in itself.
Click here for some example images of pollen. (no, I didn't take them)
Panoramics (link here to some examples of my attempts so far)
When photographing Scenery I am just as obsessive, I can't get in enough detail, so I like to try taking Panoramic shots. I break all the rules, and put the Camera on its side, which, I am told is all wrong, but then I get more sky in the picture.
I have a Panoramic feature on my DSLR, so I now bend the rules with that and take vertical slices of the scene and try to stitch them together to get in a whole 360 x 360 "sphere" painted with the scenery as I saw it. I am still crazy enough to then try to zoom in more to get even more detail and end up with so much data it gets a bit mad, but my favourite programme Microsoft ICE (Image Composite Editor) is very kind to me and I have produced some fairly acceptable Panoramics that I post on the PhotoSynth website, where you can mouse around and zoom too, so that works well as a showcase for scenic shots. I am still pushing the envelope and getting the hang of it, but still keen to improve as some of the other examples on the site are truly remarkable.
My favourite Camera is my Compact Lumix, it is very forgiving and much more intelligent than I am, so I have been very lucky to take some surprisingly good shots for such a little machine. I love it for getting in close to flowers. Most Compact Cameras are good for these "macro" shots or close ups. It is also convenient to pop in a pocket, so I like to have it with me most of the time.
My latest purchase was a Sony Alpha Digital SLR camera. A very respectable bit of kit for an intermediate photographer, although I admit it was both challenging and a steep learning curve. Half way through my second year of ownership I think I can say I have finally mastered the beast and I believe my photography has improved dramatically.
I have only three actual lenses at the moment;
A Wide angle 18-55 mm which gets a fair amount of use as I can leave that attached when the Camera is in my carry case, so that is usually to hand and for me makes a useful general purpose lens and achieves reasonable close ups.
Another lens that came with the Camera is the 55-200 lens, which, frankly doesn't get much use. I was told it should do pretty good close ups, but I have not managed to work that out yet, so I am a bit disappointed.
It is (to me) a mid range thing that is too narrow for close up work, and not powerful enough for distant objects, so it is just something else to carry.
I recently purchased a second hand Tamron dual purpose Tele/Macro lens, and I quite like that. It fits in my bum bag, and can sometimes get a decent close up if I set up a tripod. It is a little bit heavy for my tripod, but I have had some reasonable shots using it, so it is a welcome addition to my equipment without having to invest in two lenses, and I like that. It was also quite reasonably priced, so I was delighted to come across it by chance.
I have purchased some bits that help me to do macro-photography on a budget, and these include a set of spacers, a reversing ring and a doubling lens. Now there are so many combinations it still baffles me sometimes, but I have had some pleasing results. At the end of the day the little Lumix still takes superb close ups and more often I have had better shots from that than the SLR, but that is probably my skill level. Actually you can now get tiny little macro lenses for mobile phones and they are surprisingly good!