Many people buy their first camera, which for most is a digital camera, and haven’t any idea about the art of photography. If you are satisfied by point and shoot then there is nothing to worry about. But, if you want to go further than that, you need to at least learn some of the fundamentals of photography. Where to start is as simple as ABC so lets take a look at some of the basics. 

Photography is more than just pressing a button to record a scene and hoping for the best. Photography has always been an art form although you don’t have to be a skilled artist to practise it.  

Get to know your camera 

This may seem logical to most but there are many of us who don’t read manuals and just open the box and learn by trial and error, missing some of the nuances of the camera functions. The exciting part is starting to take photos but unless you know how the camera functions and what the various settings mean, you will limit your abilities. Knowing the capabilities of your camera will allow you to use it to the best of its ability. A great photographer who knows his camera will take great images.  

Practise, practise, practise 

This is the most effective way to become proficient with all of your camera’s settings. Knowing what they are for and how they affect the final image is essential to your photographic journey. Key to this is choosing a scene or subject and then shooting the same image repeatedly, each time changing the setting to see how the image is altered. By learning through trial and error you will miss out on some functions that can make your journey easier and your photo’s quality better.  

Find a learning method you are most comfortable with 

Practise without some sort of structured learning programme will limit your ability to grow and develop as a photographer. Now when I say a structured learning programme this includes personal study from books and courses if you are disciplined. You don’t have to sign up with a college or training institute unless you feel strongly about it. All you have to do is work at learning something new about photography in a disciplined way. Don’t let people fool you that you need to do a lot of study in order to become a great photographer. Many of the best never studied and are self-taught professionals.  

Find a mentor or join a club

Now a mentor is not some guru that you are going to have to find. A mentor is someone who knows more than you do and most of all takes great photos. You want to find someone to learn from. It’s all well and good reading books and doing courses but unless you have some contact with others who are doing the same thing as you, you won’t learn as much. A great place to find these people is at a photography club. Look in your local directory, yellow pages or do a Google search for clubs in your area. 99% are only too happy to have you join. Most clubs have a learning focus and competitions which help you improve dramatically.  

Each of us have had to start somewhere with our photography. It’s that initial step that you need to take in order to get you going along the road to photo success. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and find people who will help you along your photography journey. Photography should be fun. Happy shooting! 

Do you want to learn more about photography and grow your knowledge and skill-sets? If so you can check out our comprehensive Beginner to Pro course.