I learned how to use my camera as a young child. That’s so long ago that I can’t remember my photography learning process. People do ask me for help to learn and I haven’t been sure where to start. I’ve been very fortunate to have been asked by my local blogger buddy Sunshine Sarah to meet up and help her learn photography. She’s been learning photography and I’ve been learning how to teach. This has been great for both of us! It’s early days yet; we’ve had two afternoons on it so far and I’m fortunate that she is a fast learner with a good memory.
Sarah does know what she wants to learn. She has a Lumix bridge camera which functions in a similar way to a DSLR. She wants to understand how it works, what settings are best in different situations and also how to find a good composition.
As a blogger, Sarah needs quick wins. She’s a busy working lady and she can’t spend a month doing homework on aperture and ISO before she can find her way to taking a better photo. My aim on day one was to get her to take far better pictures in a few short, memorable steps.
Photography Learning in any order
This leads me to an important point about photography learning – there are many ways to skin this cat. You do not have to learn things in one particular order. You can learn exposure before perspective, or afterwards. You can learn composition before you learn depth of field, or afterwards. You will try taking a photo and discover what it is that you don’t know, and so your learning path with make itself clear as you go along.
That means that I can’t plan a rigid photography learning course that will automatically suit everyone. Your learning is as individual as you are. You don’t need to aim to take the same photos as someone else, either. That’s because your photos will be individual too. You’re making art and that’s a creative process. It’s not like learning equations for a maths exam and you don’t want the same result as the person next to you.
Are you like me?
I would like to help more people improve their photography through this blog. I do not want to be like so many other photography blog sites which spout dry lessons at you and hope you absorb it. This is still a personal blog about me, my family, our travels and interests and the point is this: If you are anything like us, perhaps you are taking photos of similar things. You take photos of your days out, your holidays, the view from your dog walk, your cooking triumphs, your kid’s cardboard sculptures, your family get-togethers, the sky when it’s beautiful, the flowers you were given. Wouldn’t it be nice to take those photos really well, and give them more lasting appeal?
For what it’s worth, I am still learning too, 33 years after I started out. Much of my recent photography learning is documented on this blog, especially in the “Judging a Photograph” blog series. I make mistakes (like last week when I forgot to change my aperture and messed up 5 photos in a row) and there are whole types of images I just haven’t got my head around, such as Insta fashion photography. Camera skill can be taught. Your creativity is all your own, and that can be teased out of you, infinitely. Like me you will never stop learning that part.
What to do next
If this sounds like your kind of thing, then you need to do two things. First, fill in the very short (4 questions) questionnaire below, which is anonymous. This is essential because it will tell me what you want to learn. You can comment on this blog post instead if you prefer. I’ve already written dozen of blogs full of photography tips and advice but it would help to know what you are looking for. Thank you in advance!
Second, follow this blog either through the WordPress reader or social media (Twitter, Facebook or Instagram). There will soon be an email list you can join, which is in the planning stages, so keep your eye out for that.
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