Amateur Photography is as much a science as an art. The pictorial penchant of man evolved through ages and bloomed into photography in the early 19th Century – credit goes to Joseph Nicéphore Niépce the French inventor, who first created permanent images devising a prototype camera.
Since its invention the Camera per se took giant strides in terms of technology and image development. It used to be films and chemical processing in the past; now its digital cameras and digital images. However, the basic presumption of Photography is still the same – to capture an image or a moment at its best! Early photographs were ‘monochromatic’ (of a single color), and monochromatic is generally assumed to be Black and White which is not true. Monochromatic images were also developed in brown and blue shades in the history. Monochromatic images, especially Black and White photographs are still in vogue, given their artistic value and for the benefits of archival permanence.
Enough history spoken, let’s get into the actual photography part. Photographers are basically assumed to be of 2 types – amateur and professional. Amateur photographers are those who pursue photography just out of sheer love or passion for photography regardless of monetary benefits; whereas professional photographers make a living out of their photos. One cannot assume amateur photographers to be of any lesser importance to professional photographers as more often than not many photographs taken by amateurs surpass the quality and aesthetics of a professional photograph. Bearing this in mind an amateur photographer should always strive to hone his photographic skills by learning the technique and basics of photography with the same seriousness of a professional photographer. After all, an art only gets its perfection through perseverance and practice.
Let us now get into the details of the very basic things an amateur photographer should look into while pursuing photography as a hobby. To make these details fancier, let’s call them tips – yeah tips! These simple photography tips will surely reinforce your understanding of photography if you’re an absolute amateur or are just starting to learn the art of capturing appealing images. So all the things you need to know while you get click-happy with your camera are,
Learn the science behind – photography is not just about carrying your camera around and clicking like crazy. Yes you’ll surely end getting some nice shots even though you don’t give a heck about the principles or science behind, but those shots would just be a ‘bolt from the blue’. But if you want to have a command on your shots, and would love to translate the exact creative in your mind into an actual image you ought to know the science behind ‘image capturing’. So being an amateur photographer, always be keen to learn about the science behind capturing an image and different photographic terminologies.
Start slow – the moment we decide to venture into photography it’s always tempting to buy the best of cameras – please win over this temptation for your own sake; start slow! Buying an expensive camera right in the beginning of your hobby, doesn’t let you realize the full potential of it, there by wasting your valuable money which you can actually invest into buying some authoritative books on photography or photo journals by celebrated photographers. So start slow, and these days even a digital camera with minimum features is just enough to get the highest quality of images. So get yourself one of the cameras that’s of pretty minimum or medium in terms of features; and keep on working out with it, by learning all the basic principles of photography. This will only make your art better, and when you’re confident of your theory and practice you can sure buy your favorite DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) camera.
Tripod is not a bad idea – tripods are those 3-legged stands you see on which cameras are placed while taking photographs. While it’s absolutely a professional photographer’s requirement; it’s not a bad idea for an amateur to have it as there are quite a good number of affordable or cheap tripods available in the market. The importance of tripod comes when you have to wait for the best shot – the more you wait the more desperate you become and your hands might get shaky. Even if this is not the case, some people might have shaky hands and a tripod then becomes very necessary. As even a little jerk, especially at high shutter speeds blurs your image.
Notes is always good – if you’re truly serious about culturing your photography, it’s imperative for you to carry a notes with you all the time – a little pocket notes, just for your photography. In this notes you can jot down all your ideas and places you don’t want to forget. Photographic inspiration often comes as a “Flash”, so better you jot it down, as you can implement it when you are ready with your camera at a later point of time.
Experiment and experiment more – as a learner, the more you experiment the more mature you turn out. So, don’t forget to experiment with all those settings you have in your newly bought camera. And try to get the feel of all the settings, just grasp and understand in detail, like how a particular setting is affecting your image. This exercise will surely make you an expert photographer in no time if implemented.
Get inspired – as a learner it’s quite possible that your run dry of ideas or any creative inspiration; don’t worry it’s very common. Fact being, you should find ways to get inspired if you ever feel that you’re not getting any creative ideas for your shots. And inspiration is all around! One only has to have a keen eye, and you will definitely turn out with a very creative idea for your next shot.
Journal – a journal is not a bad idea as a beginner, where you can write down all your progress as a beginner. Just write down everything relating to your photographic journey in your journal since the starting; and you’ll undoubtedly be amazed by your progress. This will be more encouraging while you are beginning to learn photography and will also offer an opportunity to rectify any deviations from the right path of your photographic journey.
Hope you got the hang of all the simple tips mentioned, and I’m sure there’s no stopping you as an amateur photographer if you’re really passionate about it – just go ahead!