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Where Do You Start When Learning Photography?

Updated: Jun 20, 2021

I wanted to get as close as I could to capture the raindrops on the petals.

There is so much to discover when learning photography, so where do you begin?

Do you start with camera lessons, by reading the camera manual or by getting out into the field and experimenting?

Before getting out into the 'field' I watched some YouTube videos on getting to know the camera and enrolled on a beginner's camera course.

Some commentators suggest using auto mode for a while, others suggest getting out of auto as quickly as possible. I read about aperture, shutter speed and ISO, and watched tutorials on each, but they made very little sense, so I began my 'hands on' learning by taking the camera out and snapping from different angles, and different distances, while still in auto mode.

My task was to focus on the image and blur the background. Limited success, but there's hope!

This was my first attempt at getting creative with my camera. I always liked the blurred background effect but didn't know how to achieve it. I now know that it's down to aperture so I'm out of auto and onto aperture priority.

Slightly better bokeh?

I took my camera out to my garden to experiment with A (Aperture Priority) and P (Programmed Auto).

The Blue Challenge!

On one of my go-to photography sites I was presented with the blue challenge - to go out and shoot as many images as possible with blue subjects.

I was definitely guilty of contempt prior to investigation on this one. I didn't see the point in only taking photographs of blue, but on a 30 minute walk around my own neighbourhood, snapping only blue, I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the task, and how much I take for granted as I go about my 'busy' life! This task asked me to become observant, to seek out blue. So off I went with my camera and kit lens. Below are some of my first attempts.

I will now have to shoot at blue hour! My attempts will show up in a further post.

My next task is to capture only autumn colours. Again, this involves being selective and observant, looking for the colours that epitomise the season but that will also make for a worthwhile picture. Not as easy as it might seem!

The photograph on the bottom right was captured with my phone camera. It offers lots of potential for improvement. I am already becoming my own best critic!

These are some of the starting points I used to get used to my camera and to begin to build a portfolio of images as a starting point for my photography learning.

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