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…
- If you want to learn fast take lots of pictures.
- If your pictures aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough.
- Spend more time reviewing your pictures than it took to make them.
- There are billions of types of light. Learn to see 10 types to start.
- Get obsessed with the quality of light and its properties.
- Work on image composition at least as hard as your technical skills.
- Use natural light as much as possible. Learn its variations.
- Don’t use on-board flash. It will ruin your shots.
- Make people a central study of your photography.
- Count 1000, 2000 slowly then take your camera from your face.
- Think carefully about how to do it well. Then follow a process.
- Clean your kit before you go out and when you’re back. Cameras hate dust.
- “Learners don’t need a tripod”. My biggest learning mistake.
- Sharpness is a habit – work hard to get it right from the start.
- Think “Why am I taking this picture?” for every shot you take.
- Add another lens to your “kit lens” as soon as you can.
- Great lenses are more use than an expensive camera. Spend more on them.
- Don’t cheap out on a tripod. Cheap ones will not do the job.
- Use your tripod.
- Own more than one memory card AND more than one battery.
- Learn the meaning of RAW and then shoot with it.
- “Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst.” ― H. Cartier-Bresson
- A keen digital photog can clear 10,000 shots in 14 days – shoot more.
- Make some photography gear. You’ll understand your needs.
- Gear lust replaces your photographic vision with a hole in your pocket.
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- Carry your camera with you everywhere.
- Look at 50 pictures by other people every day.
- Take a clichéd shot – satisfy your curiosity. Store it in a secret place!
- The “Rule of thirds” works nearly all the time. Learn it early.
- “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” Leonardo da Vinci
- Read your camera manual. Try something. Read that bit again. Repeat.
- Have a go at every setting on your camera lots of times.
- A proper stance will provide a steady hand-held camera position.
- Amateurs often do better pictures than professionals.
- And, Professionals do more good pictures, more often.
- If your photos look tired and drab – go manual – learn control.
- For every shot you do, look at 50 similar ones. How does yours look?
- Don’t panic. Usually there is no problem.
- No photo, however good, replicates reality. Cameras distort – get over it.
- If you see it one way, most people will see it a different way.
- Check all gear before you go. Have a list of what you need.
- Know why you are going to a location and plan shots in advance.
- Back up your files. If your hard drive crashes you will lose the lot.
- Wear the right clothes. You cannot do good photography if you are cold.
- Help someone else to learn. You will learn too, and make a friend.
- Learn the meaning of “exposure” – practice using manual settings.
- Learn “Depth of Field” and practice it with each of your lenses.
- Post processing is an art and part of photography. Learn it.
- Join a club or class – you learn fast with other photogs.
- 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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Photokonnexion Photographic Glossary – Definitions and articles.
Additional resources for starters…
Light and Lighting – Resource pages on Photokonnexion
Definition: f number
Definition: Shutter Speed
Articles tagged as “Starter school”