How to love photography
How to learn photography
The small steps method is the only effective way to learn the basics of photography. These steps need to be done systematically, over a period of time (e.g. 2-3 months with lots of repetitions and exercises). It is impossible to learn conscious photography in one weekend. In this time you can at most master one small issue.
When you start learning photography, you should think that you are just starting to prepare for a series of… basically never ending long distance runs. Photography is a beautiful adventure for life. So start learning it calmly and systematically!
Do you think it is crazy? Unfortunately, it’s a very demanding job, and if you’re not crazy about taking pictures, there will always be someone better than you, because he or she thinks only about it every moment of the day and learns endlessly.
Don’t worry, photography is for everyone and it doesn’t have to be your profession at all but a great hobby 🙂
The important thing is to get a solid foundation and establish good habits. Slow and systematic learning with lots of practice is great. At the beginning you need to understand the role of light in photography and the relationship between ISO, exposure time and aperture. You should learn how to use your camera and know the capabilities of your lenses.
Learn a solid foundation of composition. Such knowledge is enough. It is not worth looking for tricks or gimmicks! If you look carefully, they will turn out to be the result of the rich imagination of their creators, based on a solid knowledge of photography. If you know the rules, you will immediately come up with plenty of unconventional solutions.
So you need to exercise your perceptiveness and imagination in order to take remarkable photos later on. However, at first you should start with the most ordinary frames, looking for the best light for them.
This is where significant problems arise. Let’s go back for a moment to the comparison with long distance running. You will probably immediately answer the question of what happens if you are out of shape for a long walk, but stand on the starting line for a run of just over 42km. The end of such an adventure is easy to predict. The run will never be finished!
Photography is based on craft and vision. There are no magic camera settings, perfect for any type of photography. If you know the basics of photography, you will plan the solution to any problem. To photograph consciously is to solve problems with the tools available and in the places attainable.
It’s not good to set too high a challenge for yourself, as it will not be met and will lead to disappointment. If you don’t like getting up early, give up the idea of taking pictures of sunrises and spend some time taking good pictures of interesting sunsets. If you dream about wildlife pictures – don’t wait for an African safari, but start by photographing your dog and cat or the birds at a feeder in a nearby park. Want to take beautiful portraits? Start at home by the window with your loved one, experiment with light.
Photograph with what you have on hand and in places very close to home or even at home. Buying a new lens or camera may not help you take better pictures. Especially if you don’t know how to use its power creatively.
You can take an interesting photo with an old phone, see for yourself:
Don’t pile up problems and don’t collect obstacles.
See what creates problems and solve them immediately. Photography is about identifying problems and solving them creatively.
I am consciously writing about long distance running, not marathons. Photography is running along a freely chosen route. It does not matter how you reach your destination. You don’t have to run according to any rules set by any regulations. It is worth understanding that it is not the result that counts, but the pleasure of overcoming the route and the joy of seeing a lot of wonderful views and meeting intriguing people.