How to learn photography on your own
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About Five years ago, I made my initial foray into the world of photography. When I first started the hobby, I had no idea how seriously I would pursue it later on. I am a digital artist and I thought leaning Photography which is also an art can kelp me in my digital art.
Therefore, when I initially started getting my feet wet, I went on Amazon and purchased a DSLR camera set for beginners ( I still have this camera Nikon D7500 with me) so that I wouldn’t have to worry about spending too much of my savings. We live in Melbourne Australia and Melbourne is a place where getting many scenic views is not hard…
I purchased the camera so that I could take pictures of the scenery, mountains, snow mountains( Yes, Melbourne mountains gets snow during winter) & Beaches around Melbourne .
Slowly but surely, I shifted the focus of my trips away from simply seeing and enjoying the location I was travelling to and more towards bringing back a decent collection of photographs.
However, despite the fact that it was becoming increasingly obvious that my interest in photography had developed into a very serious pursuit, there was a great deal that I did not know about photography back then that I know about it now.
My education in photography consisted of self-study because I did not have access to any real instructors or Gurus; as a result, my learning curve was fairly slow and winding.
There are a lot of things that I look back on and wish I had learned earlier, a few things that I look back on and wish I had done differently, and a lot of beliefs and opinions that I had back then that have entirely changed.
For those of you who are just getting started in photography, take comfort in the fact that your photographic expertise will, sooner or later, mature into something substantial, even if it hasn’t done so already. On the other hand, that seemingly solid block of knowledge almost certainly contains some gaps.
Invest in Education Before You Invest in Any Additional Gears
I made this mistake and I don’t want my readers make this mistake.
The term “Gear Acquisition Syndrome” is more than simply a make-believe medical condition with a cool-sounding name.
It is a technique for many people to get incredibly proficient at draining the money from their bank account without necessarily enhancing their photography skills.
There is unquestionably a need for high-quality equipment.
Spending a few hundred dollars on education, on the other hand, is likely to have a significantly more obvious influence on improving your photography than spending that same amount of money on gear.
This is especially true if your objective is to become more skilled at photography.
Ask yourself why you need a new piece of equipment and how it will make your photographs better if you find yourself tempted to buy it. If you don’t give an honest response to that question, you’re not going to be doing yourself or anyone else any favours.
When I initially started learning about photography, if I had been ready to spend money on educational tutorials or on in-person training, I would have been able to advance much more quickly in my study than I did.
Do you know about Gear Acquisition Syndrome?, Gear Acquisition Syndrome usually referred to as GAS, is a condition that is commonly understood to refer to the uncontrollable drive that musicians have to purchase and acquire instruments and equipment in the hopes that it will serve as a source of creative energy and a source of happiness.
It forces many musicians into the inevitable position of having to spend money they do not have on equipment that they may or may not even require.
The conviction that learning to play on other instruments will improve one’s playing ability is at the root of this compulsion( Source)
Experiment with Several Distinct Types of Photography
A disproportionate number of photographers choose to concentrate in a particular field too early on in their education, such as portraiture or landscape photography.
Permit me to be clear: there is absolutely nothing wrong with being an expert in a certain field.
However, the more you put on blinders and learn about only one type of photography, the more opportunities you are missing out on to:
1) determine whether there is another genre of photography that you may also enjoy, or enjoy more; and
2) cross-train in other genres of photography and learn skills that you could later creatively incorporate into the type of photography you focus in.
When it comes to my compositions and my overall inventiveness, I often feel that concentrating solely on landscape photography might cause me to get into a routine at times.
The more I think about it, the more I realise that if I had attempted other genres, I would probably have a different perspective on how scenes are composed, I would have more knowledge about the many kinds of light, and I might see in more creative ways than I do right now.
It is wonderful to have a high level of expertise in what you do, but it is also important to have a broad education so that you can reap the rewards of that expertise.
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Master the correct way to hold your camera.
This may sound like a basic point, but many people who are just starting out in photography don’t hold their camera properly, which results in blurry photographs and camera shake.
It goes without saying that using a tripod is the most effective approach to stop camera shake. However, given that you won’t be using a tripod until you’re taking pictures in conditions with very low light, it’s crucial to learn how to hold your camera correctly to prevent any unwanted movement.
Even though you’ll eventually figure out a technique to handle the camera that’s unique to you, it’s important to remember to keep both hands on it at all times.
Your left hand should be placed behind the lens, and your right hand should be used to grasp the right side of the camera. This will help you hold the weight of the camera.
You’ll be able to hold the camera more steadily if you move it in closer to your body and keep it there.
If you need more support, you can brace yourself against a wall by leaning against it or crouching down on your knees. If there is nothing to brace yourself against, adopting a broader stance can also be helpful.
The Photography Industry Stats:
The photography services sector is on the road to recovery. Individual photographers, partnerships, studios, and even major corporations like Adobe stock appear more vibrant in 2022.
According to the current Photographic Services Global Market Report, the market has reached around $36.42 billion in 2021… This is largely due to the Covid-19 rebound, which halted our industry.
Intriguingly, the projection for 2025 is $44.07 billion at a CAGR of 5%.
I am not quite as optimistic, given that several of the “big companies” they name, such as Portrait Innovations, are closing studios across the nation. Another “big corporation,” Adobe stock Images, is arguably the most prominent stock picture agency. More and more websites are using high-quality, free stock photographs from websites such as Freepix.com
Comprehend the concept of the exposure triangle.
The exposure triangle simply refers to the three most crucial aspects of exposure, which are ISO, aperture, and shutter speed, despite the fact that at first glance it may appear to be somewhat intimidating.
If you want to take photographs that are clear and have adequate lighting, you will need to be able to strike a balance between the aperture, the shutter speed, and the ISO.
ISO is the setting that determines how sensitive the camera is to light.
If you use a lower ISO level, the camera will be less sensitive to light, whereas if you use a higher ISO setting, the camera will be more sensitive to light.
When shooting photographs outside during the day, an ISO setting of 100 to 200 is typically considered to be optimal; but, when photographing in low light conditions, such as when shooting indoors or at night, a higher ISO setting of 400 to 800 or more may be required.
Aperture: The aperture is the opening in your lens, and it determines the amount of light that is allowed to pass through to the sensor in your camera.
When the aperture is wide open (represented by a lower f-number), more light is allowed to pass through, but when the aperture is narrow (shown by a higher f-number), less light is allowed to pass through. You should use a narrow aperture when you want the entire scene to be in focus, such as when you are taking a picture of a group of people.
A wide aperture is perfect for when you want to isolate your subject from the rest of the scene.
When you snap a photo, the amount of time that the shutter remains open is controlled by something called the “shutter speed.” When the shutter is left open for a longer period of time, more light is allowed to reach the sensor inside the camera.
Freezing activity requires a shutter speed that is quite quick, whereas blurring motion requires a slower shutter speed.
Landscape photography calls for a more narrow aperture.
Taking images of landscapes calls for a unique strategy due to the fact that the entire scene, from the rocks in the foreground to the mountains in the background, needs to be sharply focused.
Therefore, whenever you are photographing a situation in which you want everything to be fully in focus, you should choose a narrow aperture rather than a wide one as your aperture setting.
Because a larger f/ number indicates a narrower aperture, you should try to shoot at f/22 or higher, depending on the capabilities of your lens. Again, switching to the Aperture Priority Mode (Av or A) will make it possible for you to explore with a variety of apertures without requiring you to manually adjust the shutter speed each time.
Acquire the practise of monitoring the ISO before you start taking pictures.
It is quite upsetting to find out that you have photographed a whole series of images at ISO 800 on a bright sunny day.
This is especially true if the photographs were taken to capture a special occasion like as a birthday, anniversary, or other event that cannot be replicated.
It is an easy enough error to make, however, so in order to avoid this unwelcome surprise, make it a practise to check and reset your ISO settings before you start shooting anything. This will help you avoid the unpleasant surprise.
Alternately, make it a routine to reset this whenever you are getting ready to put your camera back in its bag.
Do not be scared to use a higher ISO setting.
Many photographers make it a point to never shoot at a high ISO because they are scared that doing so will result in ‘noisy’ or otherwise unattractive photographs.
It is true that increasing the ISO setting on a camera might result in a decrease in image quality; nonetheless, there is a time and a place for everything.
It is better to get a sharp photo with a bit of noise than no photo at all, and you will be able to remove a significant amount of noise in post-processing anyway.
If you are unable to lower your shutter speed due to motion blur and a tripod is not an option, it is better to get a photo than not get a photo at all. In addition, camera technology has advanced to such an extent over the past several years that it is now entirely possible to capture wonderful images even while using an ISO setting of 1600, 3200, or 6400 or more.
When shooting at higher ISOs, one strategy for reducing the amount of noise produced is to utilise a larger aperture whenever it is possible. It may also be beneficial to slightly overexpose your photograph.
This is because making light parts darker in post-processing will not increase the amount of noise, whereas making dark areas lighter would undoubtedly do so.
Photograph throughout the wee hours of the morning and the evening.
Lighting is one of the most important aspects of photography, and it is generally agreed that the early morning and late evening are the ideal times of day to take pictures.
The “golden hour” is a term used in photography to describe the hour soon after the sun rises or just before it sets. This is because the sun is lower in the sky during this time, producing lighter and warmer light.
Whether you’re photographing landscapes, portraits, or still life, taking your pictures in the early morning or later in the evening will give them a more peaceful vibe thanks to the warm glow and the lengthy shadows that are formed by the light.
The “golden hour” is not the only time of day when you may take beautiful photographs outside, but it does make the process much simpler.
Be careful with your on-camera flash
If you are not careful, utilising the built-in flash on your camera at night or when there is not a lot of light might result in some unattractive side effects such as red eyes and sharp shadows.
In most cases, increasing the ISO will result in noisier photographs; however, this trade-off is preferable to the alternative of using the built-in flash on the camera, which could result in the loss of the entire shot.
However, there are occasions when there may simply not be enough light, and if you do not have any illumination that is not built into the camera, you will be forced to utilise the flash that is built into the camera itself.
There are a few options available to you in the event that you find yourself in this predicament and are determined to make the most of this opportunity.
To begin, navigate to the flash settings in the menu of your camera and lower the brightness as much as you possibly can.
The second option is to try covering the flash with something in the hopes of making its brightness more diffuse.
Diffusion and softening of the light can be achieved, for instance, by securing a sheet of paper or an opaque strip of scotch tape over the flash. You might also try holding a piece of white cardboard in front of the light source at an angle to cause it to reflect off of the ceiling.
Get familiar with the rule of thirds.
The concept behind the “rule of thirds” is that images that are not centred are typically more intriguing and well-balanced than those that are centred.
This principle underpins the rule of thirds. Imagine that your photographs are covered by a grid that consists of two vertical lines and two horizontal lines that go across the picture and separate it into nine equal halves.
Instead of positioning your subject or the important elements of a scene in the centre of the photo, you would place them along one of the four lines, or at the points where the lines intersect, if you were following the rule of thirds.
This is because the rule of thirds is a compositional technique. Some cameras even include a grid option that you can switch on, which can be helpful if you are still learning how to frame your photographs.
If you are still learning how to construct your images, you should use this option.
It goes without saying that photography is all about originality and personal expression, which is why you could sometimes decide to disregard this guideline and place the areas of interest in other parts of your shot.
This is perfectly OK, but before you start breaking this rule, it’s crucial that you understand it and have gotten into the habit of deliberately thinking about the points of interest and where you want to place them.
This is perfectly acceptable.
Make an investment in some high-quality image editing software.
Once you start shooting in RAW, post processing will become more of a necessity than an afterthought.
Because of this, you will need to make an investment in some photo editing software that will enable you to perform fundamental editing tasks such as cropping, adjusting exposure, white balance, and contrast, removing blemishes, and other editing tasks.
The vast majority of professional photographers work using image editing software such as Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom; but, if you are looking for something that is not quite as expensive to begin with, you can try Photoshop Elements, Picasa, or Paint Shop Pro instead.
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