Wishing you all a Happy New Year 2016.
This is to wish you all the best for the New Year and may this be the year you achieve your photography goals and any other goals you have set yourself for the year, also this is to say Thanks for your visit to this blog.
If you are planning to take an online course this year, then check out Proud Photography for the latest courses available and special offers. You can’t go wrong with one on one tuition and learn at your own pace plus money back guarantee.
Digital Photography Success – Learn from an accomplished professional photographer to transform you from a photography beginner to an amazing, confident and awesome photographer. Amy Renfrey will take you there…..
You may have taken a look around this site featuring photography courses where the Proud Photography online courses feature quite prominently but despite the advantages of learning at your own pace you may have found the structures of the Proud Photography online courses are still not for you.
If you’re like I was in the beginning picking up knowledge from media such as books and magazines you may prefer to read these and instead put your new found knowledge into practice. If you prefer to do this then you want to take a look at Amy Renfrey’s Digital Photography Success.
Amy Renfrey is an Australian lady who has taken herself from a beginner who taught herself through trial and error enduring a few years of frustration to going all the way to becoming a successful full time professional photographer. In addition to being a working professional photographer she wishes for others to achieve the same success as her but in less time.
She will take you from a photography beginner to a totally confident photographer in the quickest time possible which will amaze your friends and family.This can set you off on a totally new career to become a full time professional photographer if you want to.
Amy shares all her photography knowledge with you and doesn’t retain any secrets, the kind of information other professional photographers wouldn’t feel too comfortable in sharing. It’s always so refreshing when there’s an expert who openly shares their knowledge instead of guarding it.
If you check out Digital Photography Success you will see she is offering you two massive value packages, you get a choice of the Super Package or The Blockbuster Package.
In the Super Package you get the Digital Photography Success and Advanced Digital Photography ebook downloads plus Amy adding bonus e-books as part of the package – Digital Photography Presentation, Digital Photography In Abstract, Five Most Popular Scenarios In Digital Photography and Exposure Charts.
The Blockbuster Package which includes everything in the Super Package and also includes additional bonuses such as The monthly subscription to Focus eMagazine, 8 back-issues of Focus eMagazine which include about 8 hours of videos, the current issue of Focus eMagazine (again with video included) and two more e-books as a bonus which are Powerful Landscape Photography and Digital Photography Techniques.
Overall the above are massive value for money you get to receive Amy’s teachings no matter where you live in the world.
You will see from one of the testimonials on Amy Renfrey’s Digital Photography Success from someone saying they wish they could fly to Australia to attend one of Amy’s classes 🙂Pin It
I am writing this post for the purpose of the photography beginner in retrospective to wishing this was written for me when I first discovered photography so I would have burned the definition in my mind to know exactly what to aim for starting out. This is actually a frequently asked question for which I would start off by saying what it isn’t.
Photography isn’t taking pictures of your family & friends with a camera phone or a point and shoot digital camera where you just aim the device at your subject and press the shutter. Hopefully from the above you will see that point & shoot picture taking isn’t photography.
Photography therefore is more like painting you have a visualization of the final image and your camera & lenses are the tools in creating your final picture.
The manipulation required in creating your final image can only be achieved with a camera with interchangeable lenses where you have control over the composition of the image, the ability to make the best use of the available light sources in lighting your subject and to control the exposure using apertures and shutter speeds.
Lens filters are also used to manipulate images such as skylights or 1A filters which have practical use of protecting your lens but also reduce haze and polarizers which cut through reflections on water and darken blue skies.
The quality of the picture isn’t determined by equipment alone which means to say the most technologically advanced camera will not create the best pictures in the wrong hands therefore it’s down to the abilities of the person using the camera.
The person with the vision of what they want to see in the final image and the ability to use the tools at their disposal no matter how basic the camera they are using have the skills to create the image they want – this is what makes a great photographer. A great photographer will always seek to improve to get a better picture than the last one they took.
From what you read in this post do you now wish to learn more about photography and you now know what sets photographers apart from ‘snapshooters’and you may wish to read the other posts on this photography blog such as Why you need a DSLR camera? and The Photography Essentials Overview.
The Photography Essentials consist of composition, apertures, shutter speeds, exposure and depth of field for which I taught myself through trial and error shooting rolls upon rolls of print film and from buying and reading monthly photographic magazines – I wouldn’t like to think about how much this cost me financially but it certainly wasn’t cheap.
This was back in the day before the internet and the availability of digital cameras. You have to master ‘The Photography Essentials’ to progress as a photographer as if you don’t you will remain just a mere snapshooter. As you get more into photography you will have to continue to learn and practice but you will surprise yourself on how quickly you will improve.
I mentioned above you will need a DSLR camera to learn the art of photography, however an argument exists where the photography purists and traditionalists refuse to move on to DSLR cameras they choose to remain with SLR cameras with functionality only to shoot conventional print film and transparency(also called slide film).Darkrooms still remain for those wishing to develop and create prints from black & white film despite the existence of Photoshop and other photo editing software.
I have done darkroom work as well as part of GCSE and A level Photography study it was very interesting but the amounts of time spent in there as it was a per hour charge would end up becoming very expensive.
My answer to the above argument having been on both sides of the fence as stated above I learned photography before the digital medium came into being or widespread internet use for that matter and I own a DSLR camera today.
The fundamentals of photography prevail in the digital age as you have to know what you were doing with ISO settings, exposure and choice of lens in creating your image therefore DSLRs are absolutely fine just use the technology to your advantage you can preview your shot and you can take as many shots as you like without worrying about cost, there are no more waiting days for your prints to be ready not forgetting you are also spared the associated costs.
You got to remember professional sports and fashion photographers use DSLRs therefore it’s only an issue amongst the very much old school photography type and there will be DSLR camera owners who think those still using SLR cameras today are living in the dark ages and would attach ‘luddite’ labels to them. I suppose the for and against viewpoints or SLR v DSLR arguments will be around for some time.
Once you have mastered the essentials on how to become a photographer then you will want to gain a speciality in say portrait photography, fashion photography, sports photography or wedding photography just being a few examples.
Remember if you do go all the way to becoming a professional photographer then photography as an art will only become a small part of your job most of the time you will be a business person running a business.Pin It
With Black & White photography the viewer’s focus is drawn to the subject matter, lighting, tonality and texture where colours could be considered a distraction from the subject itself.
In addition to two jobs in the mid 90s I studied A level photography via an evening class which was challenging to say the least, having limited time to shoot pictures for my coursework and the need to do two jobs this was indeed tough.
It was a requirement for the whole course for work to be submitted in Black & White. The most memorable images of the greats such as Ansel Adams, Henri Cartier-Bresson and Edward Weston were in Black & White.
Not wishing to allow the following images to just remain inside an album that gathers dust on a shelf I decided therefore to make digital copies and get them online.
The photographic equipment I used at the time consisted of a Nikon F301 SLR Camera, lenses consisting of 28mm wide angle, 50mm standard lens and a 75- 300mm zoom lens. A yellow contrast filter was used with the images taken with 50mm and 28mm lenses. The film stock varied due to weather conditions as a lot of images were taken in winter – Kodak 3200 T-MAX, Fuji Neopan 1600, Ilford FP4 Plus & Ilford Delta 400. A tripod was also used with some of the shots.
Extensive darkroom work was required in the developing of the film and producing the prints. The hours and per hour cost of hiring the darkroom made this an expensive exercise in both time and money before deciding on the final prints. This is well before the days of Photoshop was anywhere as widely known as it is today.
Wrecked Houseboat, River Thames near Sandford Lock, Oxford mid ‘90s
Nikon F301 75mm – 300mm
This wrecked houseboat was actually an eyesore on the river but with using black & white film, the available light and selective viewpoint and cropping with the zoom telephoto lens was able to achieve something interesting. I felt pleased with the reflections and tonality.
Childrens’ slide, Sandford, Oxford. Taken in winter 1994 with Nikon F301 with 50mm lens with yellow contrast filter. Additional work done in the darkroom with burning in the sky.
Victorian Lantern, Sandford, Oxford. Taken in winter 1994 with Nikon F301 with 75mm – 300mm zoom lens. The zoom lens was used to focus attention on the lantern and to render the background out of focus. This is achieved by making use of the shallower depth of field associated with telephoto lenses particularly at wider apertures like say f5.6 which if I recall correctly was the widest aperture on the 75-300m zoom lens.
The following image was taken during practice before a match at local rugby club on a Saturday afternoon. This was where the forwards were practising their line out. This was taken with a Nikon F301 with the 75mm-300mm.
Again using the shallow depth of field offered by a telephoto lens at maximum aperture of f5.6 to throw the background out of focus and the faster shutter speed offered by the wider aperture freezes the action.
In addition to the above which are just a small sample of the coursework required for final submission there was a dissertation to do. My chosen topic for this was Ansel Adams whose work is synonymous with Black & White Photography discussing his most memorable images, how they were achieved using the zone system which he pioneered in the 1930s and also discussion of work of other photographers he influenced such as Edward Weston and George Tice.
The work of Ansel Adams was very much an inspiration especially when you look at some of his memorable images such as The Face of Half Dome, Yosemite National Park in 1927, Frozen Lake & Cliffs, Sequoia National Park 1932, Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico 1941 and The Tetons & Snake River, Wyoming 1942 as just a few items of his legendary work.
On this Wikipedia page you can learn more about Ansel AdamsPin It
I am writing this on the basis of what I learned the hard way through trial and error from buying monthly photography magazines and shooting through rolls and rolls of print film which as you guess was pretty expensive. I would also say time consuming.
The following are the essentials you need to master if want better pictures and get into photography on a more serious level.
I have therefore written this to give you an insight and understanding before you sign up for any photography course. You may find it useful to come back to for reference.
The following is information for which has had to be paid for in the form of courses, in this document you’re getting it for free and you will be one step ahead of the game in any form of photography study you undertake. If you want to be a serious photographer and not a mere snap shooter you need to nail down the following concepts and get out there with your camera to put them into practice.
This is the means of arranging the elements in the frame of the picture that makes for balanced and pleasurable viewing for the audience you wish to present your pictures to and yourself of course. You have to get this right or the shot you have just taken is worthless as it’s composition that makes or breaks a picture.
One methodology used for composition is the rule of thirds.
The rule of thirds is where you divide the frame horizontically and vertically into thirds. Where the intersections of the vertical and horizontal lines meet in the frame is where the eye is most naturally drawn and therefore it’s around these points where you should place your subject(s) for more dramatic impact.
These intersections are imaginary points s you compose your image through your camera’s viewfinder. Don’t think too hard about this concept but at least keep in mind when you are looking through your camera’s viewfinder imagining the frame split into these intersections as you decide where to place the most interesting elements- try it out on a landscape or a street scene.
Camera apertures also known as f-stops, these are the settings that allow you how much light you allow into your lens. They are represented in numbers you will see on your DSLR camera or on your old 35mm film SLR cameras on the lens in the form of f2.8,f5.6,f8,f16 and f22.
The lower the number behind the f ie f2.8 the wider the aperture therefore the more light will enter the lens and the higher the number behind the f ie f22 the less light you will allow into the camera, each f number or stop from wide to narrow is half the size. You decide on your aperture setting depending on the picture you’re taking and available light levels.
These can be set by yourself or if you’re not familiar with the concept the camera can do it for you. However, if you’re serious about photography you will need to know how to set them yourself and the impact this has in combination of shutter speed to your final picture.
Fast shutter speeds on a camera with 1/2000 or even 1/4000 and faster can freeze any action such as moving water droplets to whole seconds, you can hold whole second and even minutes for timed exposures for creating weird and wonderful night time images.
A typical shutter speed range from fast to slow on a typical SLR or DSLR camera would be in fractions of a second typically go from 1/8000,1/4000,1/2000, 1/1000,1/500,1/250,1/125,1/60,1/30,1/15,1/8,1/4,1/2, 1 and Bulb setting for the timed exposures.
The shutter speed you use is determined by the aperture you use. The combination of aperture and shutter speed determines the exposure which is covered below.
As stated this is the combination of aperture and shutter speed. Your DSLR camera gives you the option of shooting in either aperture or shutter priority mode as well as the point and shoot automatic mode.
You don’t want to use any automatic modes if you’re serious about taking pictures you need to take control.
The most common practice in photography is aperture priority which is you set the aperture and the camera calculates the required shutter speed to achieve a correctly exposed image. There are situations where the light can be tricky and you will want to use manual override to set the shutter speed for a predetermined aperture, this practice will become more common with experience.
Shutter Priority is used in situations where the emphasis is on shutter speed for example freezing fast move objects and you’ll set the shutter speed leaving the camera to calculate the correct aperture.
The aperture and shutter speed metrics are also determined by what used to be called film speed or ISO setting, the higher the number the more sensitive to light therefore the less exposure required while the lower the ISO setting the more light is required to achieve a correct exposure. There is a trade off though the lower ISO settings produce finer, sharper more defined images whereas images shot under higher ISO settings result in more grainy pictures. It’s all dependent on subject & lighting conditions.
Depth of Field
This is the amount of sharpness within a picture. You control this depending on the image you wish to create.
If you are doing Sports photography or Portraiture you will want less depth of field or what is called shallow of depth of field. You focus your lens on your subject and the background is thrown out of focus.
In the art of landscape photography you will be wanting sharpness in your image throughout from the very front to the back.
Depth of field is determined by the aperture you are using and the focal length of the lens.
Smaller apertures such as f22 on a 28mm wide angle lens will give you wide depth of field with sharpness throughout your image.
If you are a Sports Photographer shooting a football match using something like a 300mm or 400mm lens with an aperture set at f2.8 the depth of field will be minimal, with the lens focused on your subject when the shutter is pressed all details in front of your subject and behind will be rendered into a blur.
Longer focal length lenses with narrower perspective give lower or shallower depth of field, where wide angle lenses such as a 28mm lens give wider depth of field.
Another factor that determines Depth of Field is the distance you’re away from your subject. Close subject = shallow Depth of Field whereas a distant subject will give you greater Depth of Field.
Each photography situation depends on the final image you want, the available light which will determine the shutter speeds you can use and the lenses you have at your disposal.
The information contained in this document is knowledge gained from my own experience as someone who is an experienced amateur photographer and as done formal courses in photography.
Please bookmark this post as this will serve as reference to whatever photography course you do whether it is a low cost high value online course that offers one to one tuition such as
Proud Photography, a course at a traditional educational establishment such as a college or if you are teaching yourself through trial and error like I did when I started and only took courses later on when I mastered the basics which cost me a lot of time through mistakes and money through print film as this was the end of ’80s and beginning of ’90s when I discovered photography.
You may feel that with a point and shoot camera this will be sufficient for your photography needs or you may even feel impressed with the capabilities of your camera phone. Both are great at taking social snapshots of friends and family.
You may want to be more creative with your picture taking and you may find yourself in a wildlife park and feeling frustrated you’re not close enough to the animal you wish to photograph (taking into account safety considerations), you take your picture in the wildlife park and unhappy with the animal not featuring so prominently in the final image not forgetting to mention the cluttered, distracting foregrounds and backgrounds.
With a DSLR camera with interchangeable lenses you can switch to a telephoto lens to enlarge your subjects in the frame from a long distance such as like above you’re photographing wildlife or a sports events and if you are shooting a landscape you can switch to the smaller focal length lens commonly called wide angle to fit more into the final image.
With a DSLR camera not only do you get more control of your viewpoints you also have further creative control with selection of exposure modes where you can select the apertures and shutter speeds depending on what you want to achieve in the final image say you wish to make the fast moving car look stationary in your picture you can select a fast shutter speed to freeze the action.
With a DSLR camera you can become a photographer as opposed to a mere snap shooter even though it would take time to develop those skills either through reading & practice or results can be achieved quicker through a photography course.
Prices of equipment do vary from inexpensive to expensive and the vast array of equipment on sale can be bewildering. A DSLR camera from Canon or Nikon with lenses of focal length that cover wide angle(28mm), standard lens 50mm which is equal to the viewing perspective of the naked eye and telephoto lens say up to 300mm will be sufficient. Add a skylight or 1A filter to each lens, not saying too much about filters at this point but a skylight/1A filter as a dual benefit of reducing haze in pictures and protecting the coating of each of your lenses.
Also add a good quality bag to carry your equipment and you may consider one that has room to accommodate further accessories as your skills and interests in photography grow. Later on you may wish to add a flashgun if you get into flash photography and a tripod for landscape photography which will serve you well in low light conditions which will result in slow shutter speeds, holding a camera at slow shutter speeds increases the risk of camera shake resulting in blurred images.
Overall, Starting out – A Nikon/Canon DSLR camera with lenses to cover 28mm, 50mm(standard) & telephoto up to 300mm will cover most photography situations, skylight filter for each lens and a good bag to carry the equipment. Use search engines to find reviews and check out local photography retailers or browse online at places such as Amazon to determine what’s best for your needs and budget.
How about Wedding Photography?
If and only if you are already a skilled photographer looking to specialize in wedding photography, then you may want to take a look at the Proud Photography’s Expert Wedding Photographer Course
As a wedding photographer you’re under pressure of only having one chance to get the best pictures your clients expect because bad wedding pictures will result in a ruined wedding and you will not want to ruin any couple’s day. The course covers the business & marketing aspects because as a professional photographer that is what you will be spending a lot of your time on, the picture taking becomes only a small part of your job.
I haven’t done this course as I don’t plan on doing wedding photography, I have only took wedding pictures while as a guest at a friends’ wedding as they later decided they wanted black & white images which they didn’t request as per contract with the official photographer.
Even though I feel confident it’s a good course I am unable to provide recommendation as I have no experience of this therefore it’s your decision if you wish to enrol on Proud Photography’s Expert Wedding Photographer Course if you want to be a wedding photographer and you have mastery of the photography basics confident you will get the right picture every time.
If you’re absolutely sure you’ve got what it takes to be a successful wedding photographer, you’ve got the skills, can handle the pressure of the big occasion and not let the pressure affect your creativity – The Expert Wedding Photographer Course – Enrol Today
Discover The Best Online Courses In Photography That’ll Skyrocket Your Photography Skills And You’ll Soon Be Taking Pictures As Good As The Professionals…
Take Your Photography Passion To New Heights….
Put away the money you will spend on monthly magazines, books and expensive college courses that promise to teach you how to master your DSLR Camera and photographic techniques as this is the longer, more difficult and more expensive route to Learning Photography.
If you wish to improve your photography whether you are a complete beginner, someone who’s taken a few pictures wanting to get more from your camera, a serious amateur photographer with experience like myself, someone with a goal of developing a speciality within photography and maybe wants to go the whole way to being a professional then you may want to read what’s here especially if you may find yourself –
- Not knowing the relationship between aperture and shutter speed with the combined effect on exposure?
- Unsure of how a selected aperture and focal length of lens effects depth of field? If you don’t know what depth of field is you will need to know if you are serious about improving your picture taking.
- Needing to improve your composition skills? You need to frame your images correctly by knowing the rules to follow.
- Finding you’re taking way too many shots trying to get a decent picture?
- Having difficulty getting correctly exposed pictures?
- Desperately wanting to learn photography but unable to attend any evening classes due to work or family commitments.
- Worried and stressed about meeting course deadlines?
- Concerned that with an internet based course this will be too expensive and you are left alone with the study materials unsupported without help or advice?
If you are looking for a more cost effective, efficient and more fun way to learning photography there is an Online Photography Course where you receive tuition on a one to one basis with a professional photographer who you can contact at any time, there are no courswork/assignment deadlines, you can participate in the online community where you interact with other photographers on all photography matters, enter competitions for prizes and even gain insights to making money from your pictures. This without doubt will surpass your expectations of any online photography course.
All you need is a SLR camera or preferably a Digital SLR Camera with interchangeable lenses(which you need for control and creativity with your picture taking), the desire to succeed and to be able to accept constructive criticism of your work by your assigned personal tutor.
If that’s OK then watch the following video presentation which describes the benefits on offer with this amazing photography course and with testimonials from happy former students who completed their course describing the wonders it did for their picture taking:
Many people have cameras and take pictures but not many are photographers so join the “not so many” and become a photographer.
Once again Proud Photography offers an easily affordable online photography course with one to one tuition with a tutor who’s a professional photographer you can have unlimited contact with, no deadlines for coursework and assignments, information available throughout to site to provide additional information on photography through the community blog & forum, regular competitions to win prizes and you can also learn how to make money from your camera.
If you are already skilled in photography and want to develop your expertise in a more specialist area there are other courses available:-
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- Happy New Year 2016
- Digital Photography Success – Learn from an accomplished professional photographer to transform you from a photography beginner to an amazing, confident and awesome photographer. Amy Renfrey will take you there…..
- What is Photography?
- Black & White Photography
- Photography Essentials Overview – Composition, Apertures, Shutter Speeds, Exposure & Depth of Field