The above slide is my take on how someone develops as a photographer. And with each step on this journey your skills as a photographer continue to develop. Now as I have mentioned before, some never get beyond the photo taker stage. Perhaps it is because they don’t want to. They are happy just snapping away on special occasions. There is also the possibility that they are just not very good at it no matter how hard they try to improve or they just don’t know what to do to improve. But let’s just say that the photo taker wants to improve and develop photography as a hobby. What does he/she have to do to get better?
I think the key is to study and practice. You need to learn the basic fundamentals of photography and then practice them. Becoming a photographer is a life long learning process.
So what are the basic fundamentals of photography? Exposure, composition, and lighting are the three basic fundamental principals of photography. In addition to this of course you need to learn how your camera functions. Learning how your camera functions (the menu, the dials, the buttons and what they do) should be the first step every beginning photographer starts with. Read your manual. Will this take time? Of course it will. A camera is a complex piece of technical equipment. Once you decide to learn how your camera functions and learn the fundamental principles of photography you are on your way to becoming a photo hobbyist.
Learning how your camera functions is part of the technical side of photography. So to get started make it your goal to learn everything you can about your camera. As you go through your manual you are going to come across terms such as White Balance, ISO, Aperture etc. that you are not going to understand and you are probably going to have to revisit your manual many times. One tip that I would share with you is make notes. Making notes reinforces what you are learning and helps you to remember. As you start to learn the technical stuff you are slowly going to see how understanding this will help you creatively. Over the next few posts I am going to take a look at how I went from a photo taker to a hobbyist and hopefully help some of you who are just starting out in photography.