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When you start out in photography there’s going to be a lot you need to learn! Students of photography are presented with huge amounts of information and it can be hard to pick out the most important things to understand, learn and master in order to rapidly improve and grasp the fundamental techniques that will unleash your creative vision to express yourself in new and changing ways.
In Photography Consistency is the Key to Success.
You need to learn to be consistent, something which is much harder than it sounds. Getting used to your camera and learning to use it in different situations, adjusting for the lighting levels, conditions and subject matter will take some practise and you’ll need to do some studying! So get stuck into your photography books and the camera’s manual, start taking some notes and you’ll be on top of the details of operating your camera in no time!
Read Books, Articles and More.
It’s not only books which can help you get to new levels of technical skill, all round knowledge and the confidence to get out there and start taking some great photos! Articles are also a fantastic resource that tend to focus on one or two topics at a time to help you get a handle on specific areas of photography. Articles don’t take too long to read and you’ll get the nuggets of wisdom much faster than if you’re reading through books.
First of All – Learn About Your Camera – It’s Your New Best Friend!
The most important, and that first thing that all student photographers need to learn, is how to use their camera! Pointing and clicking is just the beginning and you’re going to have to learn the ins and outs of the different modes on your camera, what the terms mean and how you can use the settings in a practical way to get the best results.
Get Comfortable with the Big 3 – Aperture, ISO and Shutter Speed.
After finding your way around the camera you’ll need to get used to using the Aperture, ISO and Shutter Speed settings and modes on your camera. This will allow you to control the outcome of your pictures in a far more precise way than simply relying on the Automatic mode on your camera. There are great articles, books and tutorials that you can study to learn all about these vital functions of your camera.
What is Exposure?
Once you have grasped the basics of using your camera and learnt how to make use of the Aperture, ISO and Shutter Speeds you will be well on your way to being able to get better at producing well exposed photographs. The exposure determines how bright the image will be, and given that photography is the use of light to create lasting images, this is a hugely important part of your learning process.
Over-exposed or under-exposed photographs can ruin an otherwise fantastic shot so getting to grips with this is essential to take your work to the next level. Combining the knowledge you have gained about Aperture, ISO and Shutter Speeds will let you create amazing photos with perfect exposure that combine the best of the lighting and the scene you are photographing with the full capabilities of your camera.
Study Composition and Perspectives.
Take the time to study some of the classic composition techniques to turn a mediocre photograph into a stunning, memorable and truly outstanding piece of artwork. Learning to use techniques such as The Rule of Thirds, the Golden Ratio and using Leading Lines to good effect will set your work apart from most photographers who have not yet understood how to put these to good effect.
Making use of perspectives in your images can have a massive effect on the perception of the subject by your audience. Taking a picture from above, or from a lower angle looking up, changes the whole meaning of the photo! Have some fun experimenting with new perspectives to practise making great images.
Top 3 Photography Blogs that Every Student Should be Reading.
- The Skip Cohen University: Often described as the ‘God Father of Photography’, Skip Cohen has an amazing reputation and a long career of working with big names and companies around the world as a professional photographer. However, he has also spent much of his life teaching and providing great educational resources to student photographers. His blog is a great read and full of interesting educational articles as well as point of view perspective pieces.
- Photofocus. This website has a broad range of content, from editorial pieces about every aspect of the photography industry to educational and skill building pieces every student of photography can benefit from. With product reviews, videos, podcasts and more, it’s an Aladdin’s cave of treasures for any photography enthusiast.
- Feature Shoot. This is a site that is more a source of inspiration than education, but the two always go hand in hand. We can all learn from the work of others and this quirky site showcases the work and exhibitions of many up and coming names in the world of photography. The blog also produces interesting features on a variety of topics which means there is something for everyone on this popular photo blog.
Great Articles that every photography student should read.
As a student photographer you should be reading and taking in a lot of information on a regular basis. Of course, all photographers, whether they are professionals, amateurs or keen hobbyists, should be keeping their skills sharp and staying up to date with the latest trends in the industry.
Focusing primarily on the educational value of the pieces, I have listed a few topics that every student photographer should read.
- How Photography Works, Cameras Lens, and More Explained.
- Best Web Hosting Companies For Photographers.
- Improve Your Photography By Learning The Elements Of Exposure.
As a Student of Photography You Have Your Whole Career Ahead of You!
There’s a lot to learn when you’re starting out in photography – there’s no doubt about that! However, don’t worry, even if it can seem a little bit daunting to wade through all this new information because if you stick with it, in no time at all you will find that you’ve remembered more than you thought you would and your photography will start to look really, genuinely professional! Don’t forget to keep experimenting during the learning process and follow your passions throughout. This will help you get the best results as well as keeping things fun!
Are you a student photographer?