Getting Into Photography – What Am I Learning?

StefanoBlogging, Photography, Stories Comments

Getting into Photography

Finally, I decided: I’m seriously getting into photography. In few weeks I’ll be leaving to Chile and the thought to go there and take crappy pictures just disgusted me.

If you are a complete dummy, well, you are in the right place! I was at your same level a couple of months ago. That’s my beginning and you can follow my improvements (if there any!) step by step. =)

When I finished my BSc, I realized it was time to buy a camera and stop to share a Sony point-and-shoot with my sister. Back then my plan was to take good pictures when traveling. I didn’t have any intention to post-process them, and – I’m honest – I didn’t have any idea of what ISO meant or what the shutter speed was.

Therefore, I got a Sony superzoom DSC-H400 for a couple of hundreds of euros during a flash sale. I thought it was a good compromise, a sort of half-way between taking crappy photos (point-and-shoot) and taking awesome photos (DSLR cameras).

I will later learn (literal translation from an Italian saying): the more you spend the less you spend.

Although it has some very good features, like the optical steady shot (it reduces camera shake) and the 63x superzoom, the image quality of that camera was unsatisfactory and of course there’s no RAW. Most of the images you see on this blog have been taken with this camera and yes, I took some good shots…Out of around 13000 pictures, I think I had less than a hundred shots worth of sharing.

Up to that point, my knowledge about cameras and photography, in general, was – according to my standard of knowledge – less than 0.

At this point, I felt the need to improve my photography. I was pretty sad that my eyes were looking at something completely different to what I was able to portrait.

First step: I bought a new camera!

I must say: I knew that the skill of the photographer is way more important than the equipment he uses. Said this, a bridge camera does not give you the chance to be very creative. You cannot change lenses, you cannot shoot in RAW (forget post-processing) and as I told you the image quality was very poor.

I read tons of reviews and watched hours of videos, and I couldn’t really choose a camera. Mirrorless? Reflex? I even thought to buy just a better smartphone.

At the end, a shop close by was selling a Canon 750D kit with an 18-55 mm lens. I’ve got it! (Aaaargh! Quite pricey, but I consider it a one-time investment until I will take kick-ass pictures).

Another lesson learned: you will never find the perfect camera. There are millions of factors to take into account. Some of them:

  • Transportability. You do not want a bulky camera and equipment when it comes to traveling.
  • Low light capability. That really makes the difference when you are traveling – considering you will shoot many times indoor, with generally crappy light conditions.
  • Compatibility (lenses and accessories). The most known manufacturers are Canon, Nikon, Sony and Fujifilm. There are also other brands (Olympus, Leica, Pentax, Panasonic, etc) but the first ones are those with the widest range of lenses. Many DSLRs are compatible with older lenses (those you find on fleamarket’s stalls!) and other brands like Tamron produce high-quality compatible lenses. Tripods and monopods are compatible with most cameras.
  • Price. For a beginner, it does not make sense to buy a some-thousand dollars camera, for example, the Sony A7R II. These are for professionals, and I personally think you should first learn how to properly use a DSLR camera.

So, where am I learning?

There are just a couple of resources which are boosting my knowledge in photography:

  • Udemy.com has plenty of great tips. The courses (either free or paid) are high-quality under all points of view: content, audio, video. In particular, the Photography Masterclass is amazing. There are hours of videos, everything is well explained, all topics are covered (did you know about bokeh photography?) teachers are great and they reply to each and every question very fast. Many times Udemy has endless 10€ sales, so be sure to catch some courses during those periods.
  • I downloaded some e-books on Photography and one purposely for using the Canon 750D, in addition to the instruction manual.
  • I followed a couple of seminars held by Gary Arndt within the Travel Blog Success course.

This is where I really started in order to getting into photography.

And that’s it. I have realized over time I love taking photos, I love blogging and my devotion to photography in this period has come naturally. In the next period I will finally have the chance to put into practice everything I learned in these months. I’m so excited!

Stefano

Are you also getting into photography? What are your tips for a beginner? Share your thoughts in the comments!

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Getting Into Photography