Sunday, November 1, 2009
How To Learn Digital Photography
I often get asked what's the best way to learn or improve digital photography. My answer is to develop your photography skills the best way is to get out there and do it! I see there are two parts to learning digital photography. The first is learn how to use your camera - you need it to be second nature so you're not having to think about what mode to shoot in or how to access menus. The second part is the photography itself. This is all about composition, exposure, how to capture mood and 'the moment.'
There are many great online digital photography courses and of course books available on Amazon and other sites. Amazon has some fantastic books to teach you photography as well as being a great place to buy cameras online. An online photography course will usually come in modules to teach you specific skills. I like this way of learning photography since it encourages you to get out there and experiment. The theory is of course essential but too many people get hung up in it! Just get out there with your camera and take some shots and you will learn along the way.
When I started out I didn't have a fantastic digital SLR and had a manual camera with 35mm film. That meant costs were high and I couldn't just snap away as we can with a digital camera and delete shots we don't like. For me it was a great way to learn since the camera needed manual setting and as each photgraph was expensive I had to really think about composition etc.
An online digital photography course is a great way to learn but only if you are prepared to get out there and apply your knowledge and skills. Take every opportunity to develop your photography skills by using your camera! If you go out for a walk with the family, if it's someone's birthday or even if you just have an hour to go to a local beauty spot or event.
Even experts need to refer to their camera manuals every so often so don't worry if you need to. All of this will build your experience and familiarity. Some cameras like the Nikon D3000 will actually guide you to which mode and settings to use. Who ever would have dreamed that your camera can actually teach you photography!
Don't just stick to obvious routes like online photograpny courses when learning the art. Look at pictures as often as you can - paintings, drawings, artwork in adverts - all will help you develop an eye for a great image.
Joining a camera or photography club is another great way to learn. Here you can meet like minded enthusiasts and share ideas etc. A good club will organise trips and days out and may organise competitions and exhibitions, all of which will encourage you to learn and develop.
So my advice is to combine learning resources for photography like online courses and books with actually getting out there and using your camera! This will develop your photography skills at a fantastic rate and you will soon be producing images you and others will admire.