Learn photography There is nothing. Two words. A whole world. Congratulations, you have embarked on a wonderful and deep ocean. It may seem easy, but it’s just a mirage. I explain. Now cameras do almost everything for you. It seems that you buy a SLR and you can take good pictures. Or is what most people believe. I confess that even I believed it a long time ago. And I took the stumble of the century. That is why I can speak with ownership, from the experience of successes and failures. And that is what I bring you today. So that you do not fall from the same height as the one I fell, or do as I do, that you get up as many times as necessary.
With this article I intend to give you a guide to learn photography without dying in the attempt, or what is the same, without throwing in the towel two days after leaving all your savings in a brand new camera. Because if. There are many who leave it abandoned in a drawer out of desperation or end up shooting in an automatic that is almost worse. I don’t want this to be your case. So here we go. Get comfortable
The first step is to be clear that by having a better camera you will not take better photos. The camera is only a tool at the photographer’s service. First you have to learn photography, from there, you can get the best out of any camera. Clarified this, we can continue.
Do you know what opening, shutter speed, ISO, white balance, focal length or depth of field mean? If you don’t know these terms, start learning photography out there. You will not be able to move forward until you become familiar with them. Then more will come, but these are basic. You can already have the best SLR in the world that if you do not master them you will not be able to go beyond the automatic mode, and believe me, for that you better shoot with your smartphone that weighs less and you can also get interesting photos.
But how? You have two options:
- The fast way, sign up for a photography course with which you can save a lot of time and headaches. For example, at Escuela del Fotógrafo you have one online, to start from scratch and at your own pace.
- Be self-taught It can? Yes, you can learn photography self-taught. I did it, but for that reason I recommend option 1. If you know where to walk and you follow this guide more or less, still, but if not, you will lose a lot of time, you will suffer more frustrations than usual and then, when you look Behind, you will regret it. It would be helpful if you made yourself with a guide material, such as our ebook The magic of photographing in manual mode or a simple book like the one we recommended from Henry Carroll.
Another option is through our articles, if parts of zero, I recommend you start here. Preferably in this order and, please, don’t binge on one day. Put this article somewhere at hand and dedicate one day to each of the following articles to be able to try your camera and practice:
- Exposure triangle
- Shutter speed
- Depth of field
- Focal length (if you missed it when we told you in the article on depth of field)
In case you are more than video, I leave you with this video about shutter speed, in our channel you will also find another very clear video about depth of field.
This will be a first phase, the most basic. When you have this clear, even if you are practicing at home, without leaving the sofa (you can) you can move on to the following concepts.
Once you have approved the technical part, or in parallel, if you see that it motivates you, which is the fresh air you need, go catching up on composition and light as a creative element.
At the moment it starts with this, little by little you will discover your own needs according to the disciplines that you like to practice.
READ THE INSTRUCTION MANUAL OF YOUR CAMERA
I know this is the most tedious part of all. The instruction manuals are truly flammable, I am aware. But it is the only way to know your camera for real. Because you can always pull the Tras-Ton method , but it will take longer and you may lose many functions along the way and never know they are there. For me, the most effective is to read the manual with the camera in hand. It is the way to get to know your camera at the heart, to enter into symbiosis with it and not lose photos by putting yourself in the moment to look for the buttons.
This is essential to learn photography. That the practice does to the teacher you will have heard thousands of times. And it is a truth like a temple. It is like that. You can read a lot, articles from the Photographer’s Blog, books, courses, whatever you want, but if you don’t put into practice what you learn, it will do no good. You will only have wasted your time.
And practicing is not waiting to have a heart attack landscape to take pictures. Practicing is taking advantage of any moment, whether you are at home or on the street. It’s about practicing, not getting the picture of your life. Step by step, everything will come, but if you wait for the ideal occasion to practice, you will end up getting bored and wasting precious time.
Keep your camera always at hand and take advantage of every moment. Once you master your camera and the basics, you can go up the steps and look for more favorable situations, remember that the houses begin to be built by the foundations, never by the roof. The same here.
If I told you that you will not get frustrated at any time, I would lie to you. The good news is that frustration is not bad. On the contrary, the bad thing is to throw in the towel. The problem is not in frustration as such, because if you know that it is something normal and you learn to handle it, the only thing that will entail is growth. The problem is to be discouraged by any frustration or photographic disappointment.
When the dreaded frustration comes, use that energy to improve, to look for the results you expect, to practice and grow as a photographer. In his day, our companion Iaio wrote an inspiring guide to deal with her.
Critics are closely linked to frustration, as if it were the same producer of two films . The criticisms are there. You will find them. Good and bad. Constructive or derogatory. When you expose your work to the world, you are giving others the opportunity to value it and talk about it. And this is good.
What happens is that there are some people who have not learned the art of constructive criticism and most have not taught us to fit them and we are hungry with the desire to eat. And we have to digest it alone.
The trick, which seems easy to say but must be done, is to ignore all those criticisms that do not contribute anything. Those that have no basis, those that are not justified. Both good and bad. Listening to someone who doesn’t know about photography telling you your picture is good, period, it’s not a help. On the contrary, you may really believe it even if it is not and that does not help you move forward, but to accommodate you in your comfort zone.
My advice is to filter and stay with all those criticisms, good or bad, that carry behind a why. These are the ones that will help you enhance the good and improve what is improvable. That is, to strengthen your strengths and improve your weaknesses.
DEVELOP THE PHOTOGRAPHIC EYE
There are those who are born with a gift to see the photos and there are those who develop it, 90-95% of the normal ones (nothing scientific) belong to the second group. Only a privileged few are born with the gift in their veins.
The good news is that it can be learned and developed. For this it is necessary to see many photos of great photographers ( this, for example, can be a guide list to start from ). Luckily, in this era we have it really easy. You have the option to browse photography books, but also to immerse yourself in the network. Instagram, Flickr, 500px, etc. These are resources that you can use to develop your photographic eye.
On the other hand, observation is very important. Take pictures even when you don’t carry the camera. Looking around, studying the light, mentally framing or using your hands as a frame, will help you prepare for when the time comes for a great photo. Because in many occasions the great photos arrive because the photographer has been able to foresee it a few moments before.
DO YOU WANT TO LEARN PHOTOGRAPHY?
Obviously you can not learn photography in one day, nor can you play the piano in a week, no matter how much you buy the best piano in the world, unless you are a clear child prodigy (but Mozart there is only one). Sound will sound, but noise will sound, quality, but noise in the end. Just as you can’t learn a language, play good tennis or sail a boat in a few days. Everything requires time and effort.
If you consider this to be too much for you, if photography doesn’t wake you up so much interest or you think it deserves so much effort, you just want to capture some memories but decent, maybe you should rethink if this is your ideal hobby. It is possible that learning composition and with a compact camera that offers good performance, you achieve your goal without breaking your head and without spending your savings on SLR and various objectives. Which would be equally lawful and respectable.
But if you like it so much that learning photography does not seem like an effort but a pleasure, an investment of time, the body asks for it, photography runs through your veins and without clicking you lack the air … then you are in your place. Now yes, from the community of photography lovers we welcome you with the red carpet and everything. It is a long but wonderful task and, remember, the important thing is not to reach the goal, but to enjoy the road while you arrive.
If you found this article useful, I ask you a small favor, share it on your favorite social networks. Send it to those newcomers who are lost. Help me shed some light along the way. Thank you.