Why I'm learning how to take photographs
I've always enjoyed taking photos but very much just your average snapshots and really just to have a memory of a place or moment in time. Over the last few years I've grown a bit more thoughtful about my photographs. I think this is in large part due to my interest in reading blogs and seeing quality photography. However I also believe that the great quality technology we have in our hands now allows us to be really good photographers; as long as we know how to use it obviously!
I've been really fortunate in that I have the means to travel relatively often despite having a family and job. I have a very supportive partner in JT and I'm also self-employed which means I do have a degree of control over my working hours and how much holiday time I can take and when. Over the last few years, the travel bug has well and truly bitten me and I've visited some amazing places, and learned so much. This has just fuelled the fire to see more. I've always had a thirst for knowledge. Definitely gained from my dad and his dad. My earliest memories of my grandad are of him poring over the atlas he kept by the side of his chair with his magnifying glass. He was always keen to talk about places and seemed to know loads of information and facts about different cultures. This was despite him not travelling extensively outside the UK himself. He did always have a copy of National Geographic on the go too which will explain a lot of where he gained his knowledge. This thirst for learning passed to me in that I'm pretty much a perpetual student in some form or other.
So, quickly pulling back from that tangent........my recent trips have resulted in some fab photos which I'm really proud of. This got me thinking more about things like composition and light when I'm actually taking the pictures. From there, the editing itch starts to need scratching. You know; when you have that lovely photo but it would just look better if you could crop a photo-bombing tourist out or brighten it up a little?? I had no clue how to start with that sort of thing so I decided to learn a bit more in general. I booked myself onto an afternoon workshop with a local photographer to find out how to get the best from my iphone and my lens kit. This was the best £95 I've spent in ages! We spent 4 hours going over things like composition, light, angles and editing. She really knew her stuff and imparted it in a friendly and non-patronising way. I definitely came away from that afternoon a better photographer albeit it was with my iphone 6!
As I got better using the phone and producing some interesting photos, I decided I wanted more. I started researching DSLR cameras and wanted to invest in a one that was easy to use for a beginner but would also take my photography to the next level. After some internet review research and speaking to a couple of photographer friends, I settled on the Nikon D3300. I also purchased an additional 70 - 300mm lens second hand from one of said photographer friends and I was good to go.
After further advice, I also then purchased a travel tripod, a monopod (still not really sure why a monopod is different to a tripod in terms of how photos will turn out), a wireless wifi adapter, spare battery and a remote control. Faced with all this, I figured I'd better learn how to use it because right now I have all the gear and no idea as my good friend Jeanette puts it!
Soooooo, that's why I'm off to college this evening for my first Introduction to Photography class. I'm hoping to learn the basics and meet some likeminded people. By the time my next trip comes around, I'm hoping for some amazing pics as the next one is a cracker with some fantastic photo ops! (Post coming soon on this one).
Wish me luck!!
I'd love to hear about your photography experiences. Do you have plans to improve your skills? If so, how do you plan to do it?