Tag Archives: Learning

Fifty tips to set photography starters on their feet

There are some great things to learn.

When you are starting out and need to learn some things fast, it helps to have some guidance. Here are a few things photographers need to know to get started. And some things I wish I had known when starting photography…

Roller coasters ‘R’ us – Photo-learning list…
  1. If you want to learn fast take lots of pictures.
  2. If your pictures aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough.
  3. Spend more time reviewing your pictures than it took to make them.
  4. There are billions of types of light. Learn to see 10 types to start.
  5. Get obsessed with the quality of light and its properties.
  6. Work on image composition at least as hard as your technical skills.
  7. Use natural light as much as possible. Learn its variations.
  8. Don’t use on-board flash. It will ruin your shots.
  9. Make people a central study of your photography.
  10. Count 1000, 2000 slowly then take your camera from your face.
  11. Think carefully about how to do it well. Then follow a process.
  12. Clean your kit before you go out and when you’re back. Cameras hate dust.
  13. “Learners don’t need a tripod”. My biggest learning mistake.
  14. Sharpness is a habit – work hard to get it right from the start.
  15. Think “Why am I taking this picture?” for every shot you take.
  16. Add another lens to your “kit lens” as soon as you can.
  17. Great lenses are more use than an expensive camera. Spend more on them.
  18. Don’t cheap out on a tripod. Cheap ones will not do the job.
  19. Use your tripod.
  20. Own more than one memory card AND more than one battery.
  21. Learn the meaning of RAW and then shoot with it.
  22. “Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst.” ― H. Cartier-Bresson
  23. A keen digital photog can clear 10,000 shots in 14 days – shoot more.
  24. Make some photography gear. You’ll understand your needs.
  25. Gear lust replaces your photographic vision with a hole in your pocket.

More after this…

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  1. Carry your camera with you everywhere.
  2. Look at 50 pictures by other people every day.
  3. Take a clichéd shot – satisfy your curiosity. Store it in a secret place!
  4. The “Rule of thirds” works nearly all the time. Learn it early.
  5. Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” Leonardo da Vinci
  6. Read your camera manual. Try something. Read that bit again. Repeat.
  7. Have a go at every setting on your camera lots of times.
  8. A proper stance will provide a steady hand-held camera position.
  9. Amateurs often do better pictures than professionals.
  10. And, Professionals do more good pictures, more often.
  11. If your photos look tired and drab – go manual – learn control.
  12. For every shot you do, look at 50 similar ones. How does yours look?
  13. Don’t panic. Usually there is no problem.
  14. No photo, however good, replicates reality. Cameras distort – get over it.
  15. If you see it one way, most people will see it a different way.
  16. Check all gear before you go. Have a list of what you need.
  17. Know why you are going to a location and plan shots in advance.
  18. Back up your files. If your hard drive crashes you will lose the lot.
  19. Wear the right clothes. You cannot do good photography if you are cold.
  20. Help someone else to learn. You will learn too, and make a friend.
  21. Learn the meaning of “exposure” – practice using manual settings.
  22. Learn “Depth of Field” and practice it with each of your lenses.
  23. Post processing is an art and part of photography. Learn it.
  24. Join a club or class – you learn fast with other photogs.
  25. Use Google Images to research every shot you take.
And one for luck!

Photography is fun. Make sure you go with that!

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By Damon Guy (author and Photokonnexion editor)

Damon Guy - Netkonnexion

Damon Guy (Netkonnexion)

Damon is a writer-photog and editor of this site. He has run some major websites, a computing department and a digital image library. He started out as a trained teacher and now runs training for digital photographers.
See also: Editors ‘Bio’.
See also: Profile on Google+.

Zen in the art of photography archery

Combination of mind and camera can create more than a picture.
“Zen in the art of archery” is not about photography. But it has such strong parallels to the learning of photography that its meaning is unmistakable. Professor Eugen Herrigel explains how he took the path to Zen (a balance between the body and the mind) through the medium of traditional Japanese archery. His beautifully written book explains his personal journey, in a very-easy-to-read way.

In Zen in the Art of Archery: Training the Mind and Body to Become One (Arkana) the professor simply explains his experiences and the physical and spiritual lessons that he learned. His vision is clear and his insight instructive. The reader learns that the way of Zen is not learned through archery and the book is not a guide to learning the art. Instead his book shows us that the journey to Zen is about enlightenment, inner selflessness and clarity of thought.

For photographers the book shows us that there is more to taking a picture than the physics of holding the camera, pointing and pushing the button. Technique and thought become one and the art in the moment becomes a part of the of the shot. For beginners that may seem bizarre. For the experienced photographer it is a self evident truth.

The mere picture is the result of a harsh capture of the scene using point-and-shoot technique.

The making of an image is more than that. Creating an image in the viewers mind is the essence of communication. It flows from the photographers interpretation of the scene through the photographic process to the published medium. In its pictorial form it serves to conjure in the mind of the viewer an image that inflames feelings and passions, creating a lasting mental experience. A great image flows from interpretation, capture and creation through a work flow that is a smooth and practised extension of the photographers commitment to the communication. The creation of a great image in the viewers mind is as final and precise as the arrow hitting the dead centre of the target.

“Zen in the Art of Archery” shows us that in the physical process there is something deeper than is visible. Something that is a selfless act of complete focus. It is an act that is both totally committing and yet subconscious.

Zen in the Art of Archery: Training the Mind and Body to Become One (Arkana) is a short, beautifully written book. Its beauty lies in its simplicity.

Details:

Title: Zen in the Art of Archery: Training the Mind and Body to Become One (Arkana)
Available: Amazon
Paperback: 112 pages; Publisher: Penguin; Language: English;

By Damon Guy (author and Photokonnexion editor)

Damon Guy - Netkonnexion

Damon Guy (Netkonnexion)

Damon is a writer-photog and editor of this site. He has run some major websites, a computing department and a digital image library. He started out as a trained teacher and now runs training for digital photographers.
See also: Editors ‘Bio’.
See also: Profile on Google+.

What It Takes To Be A Great Photographer

Thoughts on photographic aspirations

It takes a lot of bad pictures to make a few good ones… Not every photo is good, fewer are great. To get some great photographs you need take many, many more mediocre ones.

Doing photography takes time… If you want to succeed, you are going to have to work at it. You will lose some sleep. You will have some heart-ache. If you want to do it be prepared to spend a lot of time practicing.

The best photographs are fashioned from a quest for perfection… It is only through constantly working to improve and to being being aware of improvement will you know what perfection can be. Then you need to go for it!

An honest appraisal is worth a thousand weasel words… Only your real friends will help you to look critically and constructively at your photographs. This is precious knowledge and precious friendship.

Photography is about the struggle to know what to photograph and how to photograph it… You face constant frustration and perpetual personal turmoil. This is the difficulty and the fun of photography.

One thought on outcomes

Overcoming obstacles that stand in the way of a great photograph is what makes achieving it worth while. Never compromise in the pursuit of perfection. Let your passion out.

By Damon Guy (author and Photokonnexion editor)

Damon Guy - Netkonnexion

Damon Guy (Netkonnexion)

Damon is a writer-photog and editor of this site. He has run some major websites, a computing department and a digital image library. He started out as a trained teacher and now runs training for digital photographers.
See also: Editors ‘Bio’.
See also: Profile on Google+.

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Quotes Starter Photographers Should know

Only a few photographers stand out in the crowd by what they say, as well as by what they photograph.

Only a few photographers stand out in the crowd by what they
say, as well as by what they photograph.

Learn from the words of great photographers

While these photographers inspire by the power of imagery, they also capture the essence of photography in their words. Here are lessons from the great with updated ideas for aspiring digital photographers.

Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst.

Henri Cartier-Bresson
Digital photography makes it easy to take pictures. Cartier-Bresson was talking ten thousand photographs in the days when one hundred shots was a major shoot using film. Today we might shoot off a thousand photographs in a day. I bet we don’t have as many quality keepers in that 1000 as he did with his 100!

Think about shooting off 50,000 digital shots and aim for 50 quality images in your portfolio. That may seem a hard target. Yet, if you are thinking, reviewing, reading, experimenting and photographing you will need that time to develop your skills. Good photographs develop from quality reviews of your work, interaction with other artists and critics, learning new techniques and practice, practice, practice. There is a whole lot more to photography than simply shooting lots of photos.

You don’t take a photograph, you make it.

Ansel Adams
How many happy snappers do you know? For the great majority of ‘photographers’ Ansel Adams words are NOT true today. Most people take photographs. Only an experienced and committed photographer makes photos. What Adams says is true IF you have committed yourself. To truly make a photograph you have to be immersed in it, be a part of it, when you press the release button.

If your photos aren’t good enough, then you’re not close enough.

Robert Capa
Great photographers fill the frame with the great things they see. It is a wonderful thing to capture just what is needed to make a great photograph. It is even better to show it bold and big. This is as true today as when Capa spoke the words. However, today it is too easy to crop the shot to suit the frame. Work with your subject to fill the frame in-camera so you don’t have to crop in post-processing. That way your shots will be better composed and the quality of the image will not be degraded by a low resolution crop.

It is more important to click with people than to click the shutter.

Alfred Eisenstaedt
It is a mistake to think that looking through the viewfinder is everything. Good photographers communicate with the people they photograph. If you want your subject to relax, pose naturally, smile and be themselves – work with them. A bad-tempered photographer is no photographer at all! Your passion may be photography, but your connection must be with the people in front of your lens.

Skill in photography is acquired by practice and not by purchase.

Percy W. Harris
Most photographers today are guilty of attempting improvement-by-purchase at some time. The consumer photography market is seductive and fast moving. Resist the temptation to buy your next piece of camera equipment until you know your existing equipment absolutely inside-out. Modern DSLRs, even entry-level ones, are sophisticated enough to take years to learn. Ironically, it is pretty certain many of today’s iconic photographs will be taken on point-and-shoot cameras. Great photographs are not created just because you have a great camera. In 20 years time nobody will ask what camera a shot was taken on. It will be the shot that counts.

By Damon Guy (author and Photokonnexion editor)

Damon Guy - Netkonnexion

Damon Guy (Netkonnexion)

Damon is a writer-photog and editor of this site. He has run some major websites, a computing department and a digital image library. He started out as a trained teacher and now runs training for digital photographers.
See also: Editors ‘Bio’.
See also: Profile on Google+.

Can you write? Of course you can!
Write for Photokonnexion...

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Find out more…
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