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DPChallenge Forums >> Photography Discussion >> whats the best way to learn photography?
Showing posts 1 - 25 of 30, (reverse)
08/10/2005 12:44:53 PM · #1
I am new to photography -- just check out my profile or challenge submissions.. you'll believe me. But I am trying my best to figure this out. I did buy a much better camera - a Nikon D50 -- don't have a ton of free time.. have kids -- so I can't run out to the local college on a regular basis. But like I said -- I really want to learn.. Some people said that I have a knack-- for a beginner. So please give suggestions. I am most interested in nature and might want to work for the local paper. Love fires and natures chaos.
08/10/2005 12:47:45 PM · #2
One of teh best ways to learn here is to read teh forums, and to submit tot he challenges. The things you learn from teh comments helps you to get a bit better each day. If theres a gtg in your are ahead out on it... tkae pics with them and learn from them too :)
08/10/2005 12:48:38 PM · #3
08/10/2005 12:49:36 PM · #4
The best way to learn is by doing, however, a little knowledge about the basics goes a long way.

Basic knowledge about the settings on your camera is a good start. Read the manual then read it again.

Basic knowledge about exposure - aperture and shutter speed is also a good starting point.

You don't necessarily need a formal class. Books and online tutorials can be a big help in getting the theory down. Then it's just practice, practice, practice and don't be afraid to experiment.
08/10/2005 12:49:50 PM · #5
taking a lot of pictures has improved my abilities..
08/10/2005 12:55:04 PM · #6
Originally posted by 4ROGGYCHEF:


Get ToGether; members gather at a predetermiend palce and time and hang out and shoot together.

08/10/2005 12:57:19 PM · #7
you learn best by application... to be honest. I know its not that helpful, but I took many college classes and school teaches you how to use the computer to crop and such and how to manually develop (the technical) when trying to be good at photography... you have to have that niche. I think you do! Just look at other photos here and read how they did it. I have gotten many ideas and suggestions and also learned "how they do that" on many things I thought to be impossible. Just trial and error.
08/10/2005 01:06:14 PM · #8
best way I've learned has already been mentioned...do it and read it. I can tell (others probably not) from my submissions that I have grown photographically but still am way far from even being considered one of the middle of the road photographers here. My main issue is having the time to shoot within the challenge deadlines. (I'm always amazed at how fast submissions happen after the challenge is announced, there was 4 submissions this morning for the new live music challenge, I wish I had that sort of time.)

I read a lot of the treads, even if I think I have a handle on something I read about it because there is always new things to learn or different techniques to try. Like calamity stated look at the Learn section and see the "how'd they do that", some of it is amazing!

Good luck and welcome to the addiction called photography.

Scott Bacon
//www.sabphotography.com (<---a work in progress but viewable)
08/10/2005 01:28:02 PM · #9

This is the method that I used:

1st in all things is to understand the basics. Whether the subject is house decorating, bar-b-queing, or photography, there are certain basic principles that all those who have mastered it do. Understand those basics first.

2nd know that just because something is a rule doesn't mean it can't be broken, just know the rules so that when you choose to break them you do it intentionally.

In my opinion, selecting a single focal lens like a 50mm will teach you many things that are essential. Depth of field (dof) and its relationship to aperature settings, subject framing, and subject placement (rule of thirds) are the basics that I believe all photographers should have a working understanding of. A single focal lens will let you master that one lens within the applications of of these basics.

Best of luck.
08/10/2005 01:41:08 PM · #10
I'm no expert. I am a raw student of this art, but here is what I've learnt so far:

1. Learn to be completely comfortable with your equipment. You should be able to change settings on your camera blindfolded with gloved hands behind your back while holding your breath in front of an oncoming train at 2am in the middle of a snowstorm! Well, not quite, You can take off the blindfold.

2. Learn the basics. There are rules as to why we like looking at certain things. It is said that if you give an infinite number of monkeys an infinite number of typewriters, eventually one will type out the complete Harry potter series. Learn how to maximise your chances instead of snapping away for those Luck shots.

3. Learn to see. Your way. Listen to yourself. Photography is an art, art is an expression of yourself. You have to give of yourself in your photo's to give them life.

4. Study the Masters. They have so much to give. Study their work and ask questions. Why do you like their work? What appeals to you? How did they do what they did?

5 Most important!! Have Fun!! And remember, It is about you in the end. A photo might bomb out here or at your club, but if youre satisfied, You've had success.

Good Luck!
08/10/2005 01:51:35 PM · #11
Take a lot of pictures, look at a lot of pictures and figure out what you like and don't like, take a lot more pictures.
08/10/2005 02:00:31 PM · #12
Taking a lot of photo's, submitting to the challenges, know your camera and its capibilities. Keep at it and dont quit. Get proper post editing software (must) You can fix alot of mistates with software. You will slowly learn. See other photos that look good to you then try to emmulate. I am very new to this however I see a improvement in my quality.
08/10/2005 02:00:57 PM · #13
...by taking pictures and commenting. Check out other peoples pictures and the comments that come with them; good pictures, ok pictures, and bad pictures check them all out.
08/10/2005 02:21:13 PM · #14
Not sure I can add anything new, but I'll give my own 2¢ worth.

1) Take pictures. No art can be learned except by doing.
2) Seek advice and learn from it. Entering challenges is a valuable way of getting advice. But you have to check your ego at the door.
3) Seek out photos that you like and learn from them. I add to my favorite photos list not just photos that I believe are 'pretty' but also photos that display photographic techniques or insights about how to compose a good photo that are new to me. I also comment on others' photos so that I might learn something about what they did well.
4) Go to museums and watch movies look at ads in slick magazines. Find photos and pictures that you like and copy them. Then go beyond.
5) Exchange ideas with others.

I have learned that it is hardest to judge a photo that represents a person or place or thing or attitude to which we have very strong emotional attachment. One can succeed in taking good photos ot these things, but to judge a photo accurately, one must be able to completely separate the feeling for the thing itself from the feeling evoked by the photo in and of itself. And that takes a skill that might be more important than knowing which f/stop to use.

If you hang out here long enough you might find some kindred spirits who share your sense of photographic style or hear your own unique artistic voice. And when that starts to happen, the thrill of learning to be a photographer really starts to work its way into your soul.
08/10/2005 04:51:29 PM · #15
Adding my 2 cents woth. You could take a home study course such as www.nyip.com ( New York Institute of Photography) if money permits ( about ($600-$800) I took it and enjoyed it very much. And there is always free library books and internet tutorials. I have learn tons of stuff from this forum. I know if you have any questions no matter how basic someone here is always willing to answer and lend a hand.
The most important things to me are:
1.Read up on the basics (lighting, exposure and composition).
2.Learn what your camera can and cannot do. Know it like you know your children.
3.Carry it with you as much as possible so you can take lots and lots of photos of everything (even at home)
4.Experiment, let your creative side come through.
5.Don't let everyday life get in the way of living.
08/10/2005 04:57:06 PM · #16
- Take your camera everywhere
- Take lots of pictures
- Look at the pictures and decide which are the best/worst and why
- Take any criticism with an open mind
- Look at works you love and decide why that is (and possibly how they achieved that)
08/10/2005 04:57:32 PM · #17
Practice. I look at what I'm doing now, and what I did two years ago, and I'm amazed at the difference.
08/10/2005 05:37:23 PM · #18
Originally posted by brianlh:

- Take your camera everywhere
- Take lots of pictures
- Look at the pictures and decide which are the best/worst and why
- Take any criticism with an open mind
- Look at works you love and decide why that is (and possibly how they achieved that)

Exactly what I had in mind!
08/10/2005 05:40:04 PM · #19
I think I've learn a lot by DPC. But do many shots of everything you like. The other secret is passion!
Good luke!
08/10/2005 05:55:56 PM · #20
i like what one of the dads of my kids with cameras project said.

"You got to take pictures to make pictures"
08/10/2005 06:53:45 PM · #21
my 2¢

take lots of pictures ... lots & lots & lots '

read everything you can - go to your public library or a college library
& take out books -- not the picture books but books on composition, style

take classes (which should inforce everything you've read) but it has a social aspect, which if you don't have a 'gtg' is very important

try to repeat what works & find out why things don't ....

learn & experiment -- pay attention to critics
(but not too much because they have their own biases & prejudices)

DPC is alot of fun - but it is a narrow venue and dosen't like all forms of photography --

try everything atleast once ;)

08/10/2005 06:58:38 PM · #22
Take alot of pictures, and spend a considerable amount of time here! :-)
I have learned more from the people here, not only from comments and critiques, but also from just studying the work of photographers here that I admire. This place has been the best teacher in my opinion.
08/10/2005 07:06:56 PM · #23
As others have suggested, take a lot of shots. Photograph almost anything, but don't just take a shot because the subject and you happen to be there at the same time. Move around and explore. See if you can see things differently and more interestingly. While you are doing all that, try to understand how the camera works. Try to get a good understanding of exposure. Learn to use light and be confident to overdrive the camera in making decisions about exposure.

And yeah, I would suggest to spend more time looking at a lot of images and even the world around you instead of spending the time here on DPC. You can use DPC to display your work and get feedback. But if you spend too much time here hoping to learn 'photography', you might find yourself stuck in a very narrow tunnel.
08/10/2005 07:07:00 PM · #24
Becoming technically proficient with the controls on your camera opens the door. Studying aestheic applications of light, shadow and their properties will allow you into the room.
08/11/2005 08:36:25 AM · #25
Just wanted to re-iterate the basics. Taking lots of pictures is good advice, after you know the basic fundementals of framing and subject composition, lighting, and depth of field usage. Taking lots of pictures on the blind, can simply lead to instilling bad habits instead of good ones.

Each endeaver requires a basic understanding of the fundementals. Start there and all else will be easier. The masters, continuously return to the basics to hone the most needed skills. Ask professional golfers why they spend so much time on the range hitting practice balls. It is to ingrain the basic fundementals so that when they need to break the rules and purposely hit a fade or a draw, they can.

But to each their own. One can lead a horse to water........
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