Up to this point, my blog has been a bit random. I admit that is because I have had a lack of focus on what I want to concentrate on here. My interests vary widely, and I post about one topic and then wildly swing to another, who could possibly be interested in that? The result is that I just do not post at all.
Recently, I decided to pick a passion (photography) and try to stick with it. I want to start a series on photography that can hopefully help anyone, at just about any level take better photographs with the equipment that they currently have.
Why would you want to learn photography here, you might ask. My answer is that because learning opportunities are probably fairly limited. If you are studying photography at a university for it to become your full time profession, you pretty much have things covered. But, the photography bug can bite anyone from just about any walk of life with varying amounts of free time. More than likely, pursuing a degree in photography is out of the realm of possibilities for the average reader here. That does not mean that you want to get better, and that is where I hope to step in.
In order explain how I think I can help, I want to discuss what I think the current avenues for learning currently are and how I hope to improve on what is currently available.
Pay for it
There are certainly places out there that you can pay to learn. On-line schools, fee based websites, pay for learning materials, etc. I personally think the financial barrier for this method is probably a bit to high for many people who just want to improve upon there own skills. I hope to helpful content for free based on my own love for photography.
What about magazines? There are tons of good tips, tutorials and lessons in the photography magazines out there, right? To that, I say yes and know. There are some good articles out there in magazines, but no matter what hobby I explore, once you get to a certain level of experience, I stop paying attention to them. Why?
Magazines have their own agendas. They have editors looking for specific content, they have advertisers wanting their product showcased and highlighted. The fundamentals of photography have been around a long time and for magazines to keep things fresh, the are generally talking about new gear.
It is very hard to read a photography magazine and feel like you have to run out and buy something to get to the next level. That is certainly not the case. I want to focus on using what you have currently, and getting better with that, as opposed to using equipment as an excuse to get to the next level. Whether you have a phone camera, a point and shoot, or the latest and greatest computer camera with professional lenses, the topics I plan to cover will be relevant.
Some of the examples I will show have been done on a point and shoot camera, and a lot of my work is done on a film camera. Don’t let the equipment race get in the way of your progress.
Finally, people that write for magazines are writers. Not necessarily photographers. I know because I was a writing for various magazines for a period of time. It is hard to get to know the photographic personality of the author, and to know whether or not their method or style is one that you want to emulate. If their work doesn’t inspire you, then why would you want to take their advice? It can just be hard to keep track and know all the writers out there to know if their advice is worth following.
What about forums? There are a lot of good people out there on the forums and lots of good advice. There is also lots of bad advice. How do you know the difference? If you hang out there long enough, and find someone who’s work you really enjoy you can definitely get some help. But, it can be hard to find their specific post on a specific topic you are interested in to be able to get the results you want. It can all be very time consuming.
Another generalization that I see in forums is that professionals do not regularly hang out in forums. They are too busy taking photographs, creating, and improving to hang out and chat in forums. You are more likely to get interaction with arm chair types than the real deal types.
With that in mind, I hope to use this blog to put together some resources that can save time, effort and money.
What makes me an expert? Absolutely nothing. If you think the examples justify what I say takes to get there, then use it. If not, you don’t have much invested 🙂
I am currently working on putting together a series of posts, with examples to support this goal. It is possible that I still may want to post on something that is not exactly related to this series. In order to keep everything easy to find, I will post everything in this series under the category “Photography Lessons.” Look for that category on the sidebar to weed out everything else.by