Apeture and Shutter Speed

Started Mar 1, 2014 | Questions thread
GreenMountainGirl Contributing Member • Posts: 684
What to do next?

Aspiringtobe wrote:

Well for the most part I have been taking photographs just as a hobby with a point and shoot camera. I didn't switch to SLR until a few years ago.

There are some parallels here to my own beginnings. I also was using a point-and-shoot camera, but realized that I had outgrown it - wanted more control over my images. First time DSLR user two years ago (Nikon D7000). I started by learning as much as I could by myself - reading the manual, joining DP Review and asking questions, looking up stuff on other websites recommended. Since I had already done plenty using automatic settings, decided to start with manual before experimenting with Aperture-priority and Shutter-priority. When I felt half-way proficient with the camera, began looking for ways to get more help with advancing. Sounds a lot like what you did...

And I didn't understand the courses at all, I was taking them online and there just isn't enough interaction. If I had questions they were rarely answered in a way I could understand them. I think it was more of a the professor didn't know how to explain them to someone that didn't already know what he was talking about. I think I really need to focus on learning light, because I think that is the biggest issue I am facing. I am going to make it my goal to learn as much as I can about lighting situations.

My subsequent search for improvement took a different course than yours. First I took free classes offered by the store where I purchased my camera and lenses. Then there was a one-day local workshop on basics. After that, I decided that the best way to learn was to find a photographer whose work I liked a lot, who also gave workshops. Luckily, these opportunities are available within a reasonable driving distance of where I live. The reason I like this approach is that you get to spend several days, not only with the photographer, but also with the other participants in the workshop. People who love photography are generally willing to discuss techniques, and even will give advice to others. In general, photography is a solo activity, but the discussion of it is a social event! Not only did I learn from the experience, but took some of my best photos both during and after the workshops.

Worth the time and the money, in my opinion. Learning techniques is just one small part of it. Training you eyes and other senses to discover worthwhile subjects is another part. Full immersion in taking pictures puts you in what I call a "photographer state of mind".

You did not say where you live, but there are good photographers and workshops pretty much everywhere. Just find one whose photography reflects what you want to be able to do, who gives workshops (or will let you spend some time shadowing).

Hope this helps. Good luck! And take lots of pictures...


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