Three weeks of learning photography - what would you do?

Started 8 months ago | Discussions thread
TacticDesigns Veteran Member • Posts: 5,721
Re: Photo School (Freeman) + Make a Project + The Strobist

j_eldritch wrote:

TacticDesigns wrote:

1) IMHO, get Photo School by Michael Freeman.

This book looks really good, thanks for the recommendation. I like the way he writes a lot, it's really clear but doesn't try and dumb it down. I'll get this book!


Glad to hear!

It really is a good book IMHO.

2) Make a project for yourself to accomplish.

IMHO the thing about reading about photography is that you can read something, but not really learn something.

But creating a project (such as deciding to take a series of (self) portrait pictures, or still life pictures or a series of pictures about the colour green, for instance, it will force you to actually use your camera and try to achieve your goal.

If you run into trouble, it will point out areas that you need to learn / improve . . . so you can search for an answer or come here to ask for help.

But . . . in the end . . . once you have completed your project, I believe that you will have learned something, because you were forced to in order to finish your project.

Aye, I was wondering by asking about 'course books' whether there's anything out there that has information on fundamental principles hand-in-hand with practical exercises to go out and take shots to. But I can also just go and do my own project!


I would recommend to make a project of your own. IMHO that means that it is important to you. And . . . at the end, instead of a series of photos that show you understood a particular principle in photography . . . you will have a series of images that means something to you.

The book above actually has a series of "Projects".

These projects go along with the ideas of the chapters / sections.

(I'm just pulling out my copy now.)

Some may be a bit dated, as they are related to film photography.

But . . . there is usually an updated digital way to think of everything in the book.

Such as "Project 32" . . .

(Excerpt from the book.)

"32 - Altering Color Temperature

For this project, you will need a set of gelatin color balancing filters. Six must be yellowish, to lower color temperature (81, 81A, 81B, 81C, 85, 85B); size must be bluish, to raise color temperature (82, 82A, 82B, 82C, 80A, 80B)."

Of course, now-a-days with digital photography, the need for colour correcting filters to accommodate different colour light sources for indoor / outdoor film is diminished. LOL. But the underlying concept of colour temperature remains. This is why indoor pictures sometimes look orange. And sometimes why you would want to stop the camera from doing auto-white balance in order to get the camera to record sunset or golden hour shots with a bit of orange in them. Or like how if you took a picture that was a bit orange . . . you can actually digitally apply a cooling filter in Adobe Photoshop to neutralize the colour.

But the bulk of the projects remain very relevant . . . like . . .

Project 23 - Placing Tonal Values -- NOTE: This is in the section on "The Zone System."

Project 27 - Controlled Lighting in the Studio -- NOTE: Classic photograph an egg project.

Project 39 -Synchronizing with Shutter Speed

Project 40 - Stopping Power -- NOTE: Using flash to freeze motion

Project 47 - Identifying Points -- NOTE: Part of the "Focus of Attention" section

Project 96 - Using Symbols -- NOTE: Part of the "Symbolism and Cliche" section.

3) Check out "The Strobist" and off-camera flash.

IMHO . . . good to know about this before you get into things.

Either you get interested in it or you don't. But . . . at least you know about it.

Take care & Happy Shooting!



Good luck!

Go for it!

And have fun!

Take care & Happy Shooting!

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