Tuesday, February 17, 2009

A great beginner's guide to photography

The more I read about photography, the more I realize that it's

There is a lot to absorb in photography. As I read more and more about it, I have found myself getting more and more overwhelmed. There’s a lot to consider in every shot including the lighting, the exposure, the subject, the color balance, the list goes on and on. And you need to know how to Right now when I take pictures, I am trying to incorporate a little more into each shot.

Photography is kind of like cooking in this way. If a beginning cook watched an episode of Good Eats, for example, all the things they could think about to make their food better would overwhelm them. Alton Brown often goes into intense detail about how to make something simple, like scrambled eggs, which everyone kind of knows how to make. Just like everyone technically knows how to take a picture. You just point the camera at what you want to take a picture of, and you’ll probably be able to tell what it was that you took a picture of. It can be really difficult to fathom incorporating all the steps he mentions when you already know how to make ok scrambled eggs. But if you just incorporate a little more knowledge, like knowing that you should fold the eggs to create big curds, it makes it that much better. That’s what I’m trying to do with photography, add a little more knowledge at a time to get better at something I technically already know how to do.

Darren Rowse at Digital Photography School has a ton of useful information in this vein. The beginner’s section of his site is filled with clearly explained articles, and separated into different areas that you can focus on to improve. In particular, check out “10 Questions to Ask When Taking a Digital Photo” which takes a whole bunch of these areas and puts them into 10 manageable questions to ponder as you click away.

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