For the love of the image
Starting, learning, and progressing in photography
There is an abundance of advice online, and in books on photography.
How to set up the camera, White Ballance, Aperture, Shutter speed, Exposure, depth of field, Filters, Lenses, camera types. the list can be endless and it can be daunting to an amateur or someone starting out in Photography.
My advice, for what it is worth, is to find your passion.
What is it that demands you try to capture the moment? without that Passion for the subject you will never develop that appetite to actually find out about the technical side.
We all look at Landscapes, or seascapes. Those post-processed, filtered, proffesionaly captured images that inspire and daunt us. The admiration has a tinge of 'I will never be able to do that', or How did they do that?
You do not have to, at the start, perhaps one day, with help, and learning you will get there. But it has to be driven by passion.
You do not need an expensive DSLR nowadays to take a good picture, you do to take the most impressive ones, yes, but have a look at those sites that show Phone camera images, there are even competitions online for phone camera images only. Many of them are stunning. A lot of them have had a tweak in post-processing ( adobe photoshop, or lightroom), but you can see what can be done with the simplest of equipment.
So what is it that makes you go click? It could be family snaps. they are good for getting the hang of composition. Critique your own work, compare it to what is out there. Did you take the time to maybe turn the camera on its side to get a wider image, Perhaps you could have got closer, or further away, did you get the main subject in the middle, or of to one side. Does being in the middle make the subject stand out, or would being to one side have worked better. Its composition, rule of thirds,
Is it flowers that inspire, birds, animals, landscapes or buildings, cars, anything?
It is called 'Developing the EYE'. it means that you look at the world through a different filter. Where most will look at the flower, you start to look at how the light can shine through the petals, or how close-up detail reveals a different world. Waterfalls, or rapids, or seashores, you will learn how shutter speed can Freeze the water, or a longer time can make it seem like mist.
Once you have found that passion, that inspiration, and you can see what you want, or where you want to be, then go online and look at the websites that start to explain how some images were made. You may have to invest in some software, such as adobe elements. But if you learn from the start, how to set up your camera for the shot, then you need much less work on the computer.
I had a conversation once with an Artist, we were comparing the way in which we looked at a scene. He and I found that in many ways we looked at similar things, the way the light illuminated the scene or object, the way the colour changed or not. How it enhanced or took away from its surroundings, what angle or viewpoint made the image tell the story we wanted.
In some ways, we had different approaches. Where I was thinking Black and white or colour, HDR or not. He was thinking Oil or watercolour, pen and ink or not. I was thinking of how each method gave differing drama or clarity, he was thinking of impression.
Both of us agreed that we had a different way of looking at the world from most people and that we could see interest where others did not. It is OUR responsibility in our images to capture the attention of others, to draw them the map to see the world a little differently. to show them there is beauty in the smallest thing ( macro), that there is detail in the Large ( HDR) that there is a world we can not see, but influences our lives ( freeze motion, or Long exposure).
Find your passion, develop your eye, see the world as an artist. Then LEARN how to capture the wonder for others to follow your dream.