SImple Ways to get Back into Photography for a Beginner

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    Hey!! I’m amateur photographer who has taken a break from improving my skills for while(a year or so) and I would love some tips on ways to start over! What are some things you guys did to learn when you were beginners? I have pretty basic and slightly old digital camera and mostly like taking pictures of people. I was thinking of rereading James’ ebook about “10 Camera Setting..” but are there any other tips?
    Thanks for the help!

    Ezra Morley

    Welcome to the forums, @smileyface! James’s e-book would be an excellent way to get started!

    I guess one of the most important things to do is to practice! 🙂 You know the saying, “practice makes perfect”. Get out and take pictures!

    Mr. Quebec

    I will say that mainly two things helped me (and still helps) a lot when I started photography :

    1. Trial and error. I’ll echo @buddingphotographer : practice a lot! Explore your camera, try different things, learn what to do and what not to do.

    2. Lenspiration Forums. Honestly, I don’t know if my trial-and-error method would have worked out very well without nobody to ”coach” me. I sure learned a lot with these forums. A special big thanks, @buddingphotographer, @jamesstaddon, and everybody else who helped me.
    Don’t be afraid of asking questions on these forums, @smileyface!

    Ezra Morley

    Thank you, @Mr-Quebec! As I’ve said more than once on these forums, I learn a lot myself while researching other’s questions! I enjoy answering questions as much as most people like getting their questions answered!

    I have always had an interest in the technical side of things, so I especially enjoy the technical questions that come up every once in a while.

    To expound a bit on my initial advice, @smileyface, you should critique yourself. Look at the picture, and ask yourself, “Why do I not like what I see“; or, “What is it that could/should have been improved?”.

    Is it grainy? Try lowering your ISO speed. Is it blurry? Check your focusing methods and make sure your shutter speed is fast enough. Is there a tree branch sticking out of the subject’s head? 🙂 Learn to watch your backgrounds (and foregrounds) for distracting elements.

    Definitely post a picture or two now and then, and ask for some constructive criticism. We’re more than happy to pick your picture apart and tell you everything you did wrong help you improve your photography! 🙂

    James Staddon

    And I have always enjoyed the artistic side of things. 🙂

    I started taking pictures for the fun of it. I took pictures of whatever inspired me. I love beauty. I love color. When I see it I just have an urge to just go capture it . . . or at least am challenged to at least try to capture it. 🙂

    So my advice for getting started back into photography is to explore what inspires you. It’s different for everybody. What catches your eye, what you find beautiful, what makes you pull the camera out of your bag . . . that’s the wellspring of motivation that will keep you challenged and growing.

    This makes photography fun and keeps you snapping as you push yourself through the self-critique, practice and outside-critique that have already been mentioned. It all works together!

    Austin Vinar

    Looks like you have started right already, just getting on these forums. I’m not the most experienced photographer(started the end of March), but maybe that means I’ve got the freshest memories of starting. =)

    As far as learning, finding a site like this one is a great way, I just started using this site I previously used (and still use) Nature Friend Magazine’s Photography Community. They helped me a lot and gave me some new ideas too. I also have had a few people I could email any questions I might have, including @buddingphotographer. That has been really nice.

    Reading James Staddon’s ebook is a good idea, and then post any questions it pops up on this forum.

    And as the others said, learn your camera. Learn everything it can do and how it does those things best.

    What kind of camera do you have exactly? It could be helpful to know that so we can better give tips.

    Good luck!

    Dan Cope

    Glad you’re getting back into it after a year! I “took a break” so to speak from photography for many years. My early years of photography were in the days of film. I let it fall by the wayside but for years I had in the back of my mind that I wanted to get a digital SLR and get back into it. Shortly after I did so, I met James at a local event and was introduced to this website. As others have mentioned it is a very valuable resource! As @buddingphotographer said, don’t be afraid to post pictures and get feedback. In addition to the ebook, the Foundations of Photography Course would be a great resource for you as well! Also learn all you can about post processing. One of the big differences between now and when I did photography as a teenager is the post processing capabilities that the digital age offers. The ability to edit your pictures properly will have a tremendous impact on their quality, so take time to learn it! If you don’t already have it, I highly recommend the Adobe CC membership which gives you both Lightroom and Photoshop for only $10 a month. There are many online tutorials for both programs.

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 5 months ago by James Staddon.

    Thanks everyone! I appreciate your answers! I plan on posting a picture to be critiqued soon, but for now, I’m off to take some new pictures 🙂

    Austin Vinar

    Sounds great! Hope you find an interesting and cooperative subject!

    Joshua Ong

    Echoing the suggestion of others, my advice to you, @smileyface, is simply to practise. Photography, like learning or speaking a foreign language, is a skill that can be easily forgotten over time if it’s not used frequently. Therefore, practice is very important.

    In addition, I would highly encourage you to get involved in the forums. I have learned a lot about photography through these forums and am especially grateful to members like @jamesstaddon, @dan-cope, @buddingphotographer, @dfrazer, @abbie, and many others who have given me excellent tips and advice on photography. Ask questions and post a picture to be critiqued. As I’m only an amateur, I’m sure these guys can assist you as you take up photography again.

    Joseph Camuso

    I agree, @Joshua_Ong! I started in photography a few years ago and i have learned so much from just posting photos on here and getting peoples feedback. And taking lots of pictures will help you get a lot better!

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