Taking photography to a professional level (Literature)

Started 6 months ago | Discussions thread
FingerPainter Senior Member • Posts: 6,720
Re: Taking photography to a professional level (Literature)

Zakkape wrote:

Greetings everyone

I ve been photographing for the past 3 years though, very circumstantially and as a result i am very confused about what i know and how to utilize it. In any case, for long time i ve been am making plans for pursuing a career as a photographer in the future, however i ran at some obstacles. I do not know where to start from and what i should be reading for example, i am a man of details and most of the time i end up reading about optics physics.

A structured syllabus, where,how and how much to focus on particular subjects of photography and experiences of becoming a good professional photographer as so welcomed.

It is difficult to provide a structured syllabus when there is so much inaccurate information out there on the web,  in popular books and commercially available courses.

A few texts to consider, on three different aspects of photography are:

  • The latest edition of "The Manual of Photography".
  • "Light, Science and Magic"
  • "The Photographer's Eye."

Somewhere out there is a book that lists a series of photographic projects, without actually teaching you how to achieve them,. This is actually a great resource, because it will not steer you wrong, but I have forgotten its title.

Avoid anything or anyone that purports to teach you a fundamentally flawed but extremely popular conceptual model called "The  Exposure Triangle", or its published origin: "Understanding Exposure". Reading this won't harm you much if you restrict your photography to taking JPEGs and not editing them much, but if you intend on shooting RAW or becoming a pro, you'd be better off not learning its incorrect concepts and then having to unlearn them later as you get deeper into technical issues.

Photography is one of those activities where one learns best by doing. There are some experienced professional photographers who post here who are rather weak on their technical knowledge but still manage to make wonderful photographs. This is an indication that learning technical knowledge is not nearly as important as practising one's craft. So the best advice I can give you is to go and make photographs.

When you encounter problems along the way, come back here to Beginner's Questions and ask questions, preferably including a photo illustrating the problem, which has not been downsized and retains its EXIF information.

You'll get advice with a wide range of accuracy and attitude, but with some discernment you ought to be able to figure out who knows what they are talking about. There are some highly qualified people posting here on DPR: developers of photographic hardware or software, professional educators (some of these overlapping with the previous group),  and professional photographers.  Some of each post under their real names and some under screen names. Listen to the engineers and educators on the technical subjects and the professional photographers on the non-technical subjects. There are a larger number of posters who don't have the technical, academic or professional qualifications but have picked up a lot along the way (I'd like to think I'm in that group) , and perhaps an even wider number of posters who have picked up widely disseminated misinformation and mistakenly believe they know the truth. There are also some professional photographers who actually do understand the technicalities of digital photography. Like anywhere else outside of peer-reviewed publications, you are going to have to learn to find the few nuggets of truth among the heaps of dross.

Good luck, and welcome to DPR.

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