Monday, April 12, 2010
10 Things New Photographers Should Know—04/12/10
What I wish I had known when I got my first camera
8. Automatic features are great, but you don’t need to use them all the time. In fact, if you can start to get comfortable learning manual exposures and manual focusing you’ll become a better photographer much sooner. I’m consistently amazed by budding photographers who have used their cameras for years and who still don’t understand the difference between Aperture Priority and Shutter Priority—much less how to create an appropriate manual exposure. Relying on auto features is fine, but feeling in control of those automatic settings is even better.
9. You’ll never know it all. Prepare to always keep learning. There’s no finish line. I’ve been a student of photography since I was 10 years old. And I still learn every day. Every time I read a magazine article, study a new camera’s specifications on the Internet, or even simply speak to another photographer. There’s no “right” answer, and you’ll never know it all. So embrace it, and enjoy the journey.
10. Remember, your photography is supposed to be fun. You can get caught up in all the things that are wrong with your camera, or all the things wrong with your lens, or all the things wrong with your technique, or all the things wrong with your prints. There are a lot of ways to approach every scene and there are a lot of ways to make great pictures. If there weren’t, there wouldn’t be so many great photographers. The point is that it can be easy to see the tremendous work of others and get down on your skills or your equipment. Don’t be afraid to seek criticism; quite the contrary. Just remember that just because some anonymous web commenter doesn’t like your photograph doesn’t mean you’ve failed. Never lose sight that it’s supposed to be a fun hobby, not something to keep you up at night. And there's no “right” answer, no single definition of a “good” photograph or a “good” photographer.
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