Ahem..Ahem.. Is this thing on?
So here is my very first post for What the heck? Friday's.. There is so much information and I really want to word vomit and try to fit it all in, but that is impossible, so I will take small steps.
Before I start, I really want to say that I am not an expert. My goals are to try to help anyone that needs to learn the basics stuff. I will share tips, books, sites, etc.. that I have found along the way to really help me. I am not getting paid by anyone. I will be as blunt as possible with products or sites I have tried that work for me.
Most of the stuff I will share has to do with my own experiences with shooting an SLR camera. (Sony A700)
Now, what I need from you. I need you to find your own personal style. I want you to find the areas of photography that inspires you. I don't care if it is portrait work, weddings, nature, wildlife..it could be taking photos of your kids all day long. Find what it is that makes you smile. Because if you struggle to copy someone else’s work, or style you will find yourself feeling empty and unsatisfied.
Don’t get me wrong, other photographers are a great way to study. I literally follow the work of more than 2 dozen photographers (you can see the ones I follow HERE - scroll down to mid page to Photography Blogs) It is a wonderful way to find inspiration, and help decide what you like and don’t like.
Basically, my first piece of advise to you is to (a) Shoot - a lot, (b) Study your shots and then shoot again (c) search around, check out Flickr, or JPG Magazine, (d) start noticing light and where it falls and (e) Realize that learning to understand your camera and your unique style takes time.
Okay, now for the big REVEAL in week one of What the Heck? Friday’s. STOP SHOOTING IN AUTO. Now. Do not put your camera in Auto again. First I need you to go Here. I was going to write a big post on what Aperture, Shutter Speed and ISO but then a photography blog I read did one like three days ago that was realllly good, so go read that first and then come back.
I’ll wait. Go. Go here now. Your back? Good.
Now it is time to take control of your camera. In auto mode you are letting the camera make all the decisions for you. Switch to Aperture Priority (some cameras have just and “A” some have “AV”) and Auto ISO -shoot like that for a full week. Take at least five pictures a day of the same thing at different Aperture settings. You control the Aperture with the dial on your camera - remember the Larger the F/stop the smaller the opening of light, the smaller the F/stop the larger the opening of light.
Try the exercise of shooting each day and reviewing the EXIF data (EXIF stands for ‘Exchangeable Image File’ it is the information your camera stores with your image file showing you your settings- check your camera manual to figure out how to get this information from your camera). Really study the data of each picture. Pay attention to the Shutter Speed, Aperture, and ISO values. Start asking yourself "how could this be better?"
Oh and carry your camera manual everywhere you go. Read it cover to cover. It is going to be horribly boring and confusing. And if you don't read it cover to cover, keep it with you because there will be a point that you will say "Where is that?, How do I change that?"
If you get a chance, go out and purchase Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson. It was THE book that opened my eyes to understanding why I should not shoot in Auto mode anymore.
And because this is my first official What the Heck? Friday post, I am giving away a brand new copy of the book to one of my readers. Just leave me a comment below. The winner will be announced in next Friday’s addition of What the Heck?
Happy Shooting!! And let me know in the comment section if there is anything you want me to focus on for future What the Heck? Friday’s.
Ahem..Ahem.. Is this thing on?
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