This weekend Lyndon and I walked around a local college campus while Myla was taking ballet lessons. I read this sign, “Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” Benjamin Franklin. This resonated with me, especially regarding photography. Recently, I have been getting emails asking how do I start learning photography? What should I be doing? Where should I start? I love these questions as I know I had the same ones a few years ago. I hope that I can tell and teach you what I have learned along the way; however you will have to be involved to learn.
Here are a few of my thoughts that I would share. The first thing I would say is learn your camera. There are several ways going about learning and becoming familiar with your camera. I would start with reading your manual. I know this sounds boring, but it is written as a guide to help. It is a great starting point. Read it with your camera in hand and take the time to identify each button and its function. I would sit and read my manual in bed. Keep a notebook close bye and if you want to remember something, write it down or write down your questions. (pen and paper is still the best way I learn). I also went to a local camera (Lee’s Camera Center) store for lessons. The lessons were based on my questions that I wrote down from the previous week.
Second thought would be set specific goals for yourself. The goal of learning photography is quite a large and can be an undefined goal. It can seem overwhelming. Ask yourself what about photography do you want to learn? One of my first goals was to shoot without the flash popping up. You can read this part of my journey here. Again I will help remind you that we already identify your first goal: learn your camera. Know the buttons and the function of each button on your camera and how it will affect your images. Again, only a suggestion, some next goals would be learning what ISO, shutter speed, and aperture are. Because once you begin to understand these three aspects you will begin to understand how your camera functions and how each one affects light in your image. After all, you are learning the art of capturing the light around you. Break down each of these points you want to learn and assign them a day, week or month to learn. Do not rush learning. It takes time. Give yourself time to learn.
And my third suggestion is practice. Pick up your camera and take what you learned (read) and put it into practice. Start with a pumpkin since it is October and practice shooting it. Choose a mode on your camera that you learned from reading your manual. Practice. Indoors. Outdoors. Any angle possible. Shoot different times of day. Change to a different mode. See what you like. Shoot until you get an image you love. Be involved.
I hope this was helpful to someone…if there are more questions you have, please ask.