You must learn basic photography. If you want to make successful photographs, that's where it all starts.
As Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla states, you can't skip the fundamentals!
If you're unwilling to invest the time and energy into learning the basics, you're doomed to failure, and at best, you stay mediocre. Who wants to be ho-hum? Not me and not you, I'm guessing.
Whatever you decide to do, you'll do it all they way. You're committed to never-ending improvement (Kaizan).
I can give you the information but you have to do the work to learn basic photography skills... then practice, practice, and practice.
You do know (don't you?)...
Mastering anything takes at least10,000 hours? Start now...
You don't have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great ~Zig Zigler
We have the most miraculous "cameras" built right in. Our eyes! This is where the photography begins... with seeing the world in a way the average person doesn't.
Our eyes and our camera lenses both have the same role... to see a scene.
But there's an huge difference in how the camera's sensor and the brain interprets the information.
No matter if your camera is digital or film - learn basic photography theory because it applies to both.
Granted, some cameras have more bells and whistles than others! But if you learn your basic photography skills, you'll be able to handle film or digital, and a simple or more complex camera. And just keep in mind that...
Skill in photography is acquired by practice and not by purchase.
- Percy W. Harris
An excellent photographer will make amazing photographs with a simple, inexpensive camera. But an incompetent photographer will always produce mediocre pictures no matter how how much she dropped on her camera equipment.
One of the most powerful photos of the Vietnam War was a child running down the road after being burned with Napalm. This was the photo that played a major role in ending that war.
It was taken by Nick Ut in 1972. Remember when Facebook removed it for nudity just awhile ago? It was very quickly reinstated ... it's an historic photo revealing the atrocities of war.
Okay, so most of us won't stop a war with our photography.
We still must have emotion in all our images. Most of the time, we plan it out. Sometimes, we get super-lucky and an opportunity explodes right in front of our eyes. If you don't learn basic photography and can't react quickly, you'll let that one slip right by. And, from my experience, it'll make you want to cry.
Beauty can be seen in all things. Seeing and composing the beauty is what separates the snapshot from the photograph. ~ Matt Hardy
One of the best ways to learn photographic composition is to study some of Monet or Van Gogh's pieces. They're treasure troves of ideas.
They applied all of these tools to paint their magnificent canvasses. Use them, and your photos could be works of art, too!
My advice - start at #1. Spend a few days learning about Fibonacci and his Golden Ratio and then practice and play with it.
lots of photos, get them up on your computer monitor and study them. I'm surprised when what I thought would be my brag-able photo turns out to be so disappointing and I trash it. Don't rely on your camera LCD to give you honest feedback.
Join an online group where you can post your photos so other photographers can comment on them. Use their suggestions to improve your photos and always thank people whether you agree with their comments or not.
What do you do with your images? I hope you don't just store them up there in the cloud!
Right now I'm planning 12 images for my next calendar. I published the new year's calendar back in September.
I love seeing my favorite photos on my wall every day! From experience, I know family and friends appreciate personal gifts like that.
Last New Year's, I gave out a dozen desk calendars to my family and friends, Every so often, during the year, I get a thank you when they flip to the next month and get a pretty new picture to look at for the next 4 weeks. I'm thrilled that my photos brighten their days.
Exposure is how much light falls on the film or the digital sensor. Just like Goldilocks and the three bears, it has to be "just right"!
Most of the time, your camera's light meter is pretty well on target. It's pretty smart about how much light is right.
learn basic photography, exposure is critical. You have to know how to
"take over the reins" because in some scenes the light
can fool your meter. If you want to get
creative, you can't leave your exposure on auto.
Controlling exposure is absolutely critical to creating great photographs, so spend time getting a handle on it.
These are the Big Three, and they always work in sync to give you just the amount of light you need on your film or your sensor.
And when you learn basic photography, there's one VIC (very important concept) to understand that will help you achieve the best exposure for your photograph:
What are all these different camera modes? They're a bit confusing, especially when you first learn basic photography principles.
Want your camera to run the whole show? Dial AUTO. But I want you to get beyond that!
Program mode gives you a more control... but when you want to get more creative, switch to shutter or aperture priority!
Then there's manual where you're in total control.
Get out your camera and dust off your manual. Let's look at the different camera modes and why you'd choose one over another...
Professional photographers don't always shoot on Manual.
To learn basic photography you need to know when to use the different camera modes and how to switch quickly between them.
Learn how to master the Semi-Auto Camera Modes here and download a summary PDF (no strings attached). No charge, no email required.
Make a commitment to learn basic photography because you can't skip the essentials. Start with one topic and master it. I suggest exposure because it's the most critical concept to master and put into practice. And, yes...practice a lot!
And, carry your camera manual with you. I know how boring you find that book! But how can you master your camera if you know almost nothing about it?
Start to learn basic photography composition with the Golden Ratio. Work your way down the list. Move on to the next only when you've completely got it.
Last, but definitely not least, get to know your camera like the back of your hand so you never miss that serendipitous shot.
And develop a Photography Workflow. You'll find mine here. It'll surprise you how much a consistent workflow will improve your photography.
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