Things to work on as a Newbie photographer

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As a new photographer, there are an overwhelming amount of things to learn.  This creates quite a learning curve in the beginning.  Learning photography take times, energy, and a boat load of determination.  This blog is about all the things I am currently working on and I am happy to share them with you.

1.  First, learn your camera.  Learning the manual mode allows you to take full control of your shots in all kinds of settings and to create very specific things you want to do such as shooting indoors, outdoors, in the snow, or the sunset.

2.  Learn lighting.  To me, lighting is the hardest thing to learn.  Learning to capture light correctly will help you get the proper exposure as well as sharpness in your photos. There are also a lot of creative things you can do if you know how to manipulate the right settings.  Having the proper lighting depends on many different factors.  It depends on what kind of camera you have, your indoor/outdoor setting, the time of day, and where the light is coming from.  It also depends on your light source, and how you control the camera.  Improve Photography is an awesome resource if you want to learn all about flash photography, check it out.

3.  Take time to learn about lenses and what they do.  I had thought at the beginning of my photography stage that all lenses perform the same function.  This is indeed not true. Photographers use different lenses for different functions.  What a wedding photographer has in their bag will differ from a sports photographer whose focus is on capturing fast action photography.  Also, not all lenses are created equal in quality, but a low price lens may not necessarily be a bad lens.  Take the 50mm 1.8 for example, this is a good affordable portrait lens and certainly one that most photographers can afford.

4.  Learn post processing.  Some photographers are purist and may not agree with this but I tend to think that these tools can take your photo to the next level and make it special. With that said, learning to use these tools correctly is not always easy.  I have lightroom and one of the challenges is to apply it to photos correctly without overdoing it.  The problem is often that learning to have a good eye for what looks good can be difficult.  Photography is somewhat subjective and that makes it difficult to know what is good art.  SLR Lounge is a great resource to many lightroom tutorials as well as other photography tips.

5. Practice shooting in different settings.  Shoot nighttime photography, landscape, action, sunset, wildlife, portraits, etc.  I do mostly portraits, as you can see, but I do make good use of every opportunity to do this because I think it will stretch me in different ways.

6.  If you are a portrait photographer, practice shooting with a real family.  I realized that it is much harder to actually shoot with “real” people as opposed to my own.  When I did a photo shoot of my friend and her family, I learned that there is so much more than just composing and shooting.  When you are the photographer, you must be able to give people direction, and tell them how to pose.  It may be difficult to work with children or family members who may not want to be there.  Getting your subject to be comfortable in front of a camera can be challenging. Doing portraits also requires a lot of preparation such as informing your family on how to dress, bringing props, setting the location, and giving your client clear expectations.  Here is a great blog about portrait photography.

7. Learn about different equipment and what it does.  Obviously the first thing a newbie photographer should do is to learn your camera, lighting, all of the above, etc.  After you have been shooting for a while, however, you might want to have some equipment to help with the process.  If you are like a many of us,  you may need to save for a while.  There are three things I currently have in my bag, it’s not much, but for me, these are the essentials.  1. a yuongnuo external flash for flash photography 2. a set of five reflectors 3. a tripod for nighttime shooting.  What you have in your bag may depend on what you want to do.  My next goal is to save for a new lens.  I would like to get a 24-70mm Canon lens but in reality, I might have to settle for a 85mm Canon 1.8.  I think this may be a good option since I’ve heard that the 85 is an excellent portrait lens.

I am sure there are many more and the lists goes on but those are things that I am currently working on.  In no means am I an expert in any of these areas but it has been fun to share with you.  Thanks for reading.

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