Wednesday, May 2, 2012

How to Educate Yourself about Photography

Technicolor filmPhotography is a very enjoyable and rewarding activity.

You can capture a moment in time and share it with others.
You can use your creative energy to produce something of emotion, beauty and inspiration. You can bring out the detail in subjects and events that you might not otherwise notice in real time.

Many people think that taking photographs is just a simple procedure of point and click. While this is obviously part of the process, it takes a lot more to take a quality photograph that is both moving and memorable.

Below are some guidelines for educating yourself about photography. If you are interested in pursuing a career in photography, find out more information on photography degree programs here.

Guidelines

  • Learn Basic Visual Composition – For learning visual composition, this involves such principles as the "rule of thirds," using leading lines and simplicity. These techniques help improve the quality of your photo. It is important to not to just point and click at scenes of interest, but also take the time to look through the viewfinder in the camera and assess the scene. Put in the time and practice taking hundreds of photos using the basic visual techniques and compare the differences in the photos.
  • Learn Camera Settings and Functions – As you are learning to take photographs, it is crucial to become familiar with all of the buttons and controls of a single-lens reflex (SLR) camera. A SLR camera is preferable to an automatic camera as it will enable you learn photography more quickly and it gives you much more control in taking a shot. The controls on the camera that are especially important to know pertain to exposure. This includes shutter speed, aperture, and ISO (International Organization of Standardization). These controls affect how much light is let into the camera. Incorrect use of these features lead to overexposed or underexposed shots. Once you become more proficient with these controls, you can be more creative with your photography.
  • Look at Professional Photographs – Closely observe the features in these photographs and compare them with your own. There are also many how "how-to" photography books that show examples of photographs and the techniques used to take them.
  • Formal Education – While not all professional photographers are formally educated, it would be helpful to enroll in a photography degree program or take classes at an art school.

Sources

PhotoTechniques (2012)
Benjam (2012)

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