Photography For The Novice

Photography For The Novice

From being an esoteric hobby or the preserve of professional photographers, photography has now become accessible to one and all.  Αll you need is a mobile with a camera and since you have a range of models and a few affordable ones too, anybody can be a photographer these days. If your mobile phone has a camera, you just have to turn on the camera, wait for a few seconds, find something of interest, point the camera at it and shoot.  You then check if the image is good to be retained or spoiled too badly to deserve the delete button. That’s it − that simple.

Photography will seem very simple, but tell you what, photography has enough complexity to fascinate the intrepid explorer and engage him for a lifetime.  Αnd if we spend a little time understanding what it’s all about, we can add tremendously to the joy of engaging in photography and turn it into a lifelong passion.

This is obviously not meant for the advanced photographer, but, as the title suggests, for the novice – a person who has never clicked or has occasionally clicked in a very casual way without bothering to understand much about cameras and photography.  So it’s all about the basics.

Photography comes from the Greek words “photos” meaning light and “graphein” meaning to draw. This is a good way to describe photography −  “painting with light”.  Just as a painter dabs paint on canvas so also a photographer uses light to create images on film or digital sensors. Once we look at it like this, photography becomes an art form and not just the output resulting from a mechanical click. Today the scope and definition of photography has been broadened to include the process of recording images produced by light or other radiation, on any light−sensitive medium but it shouldn’t make much difference to the tentative beginner.

Credit: &Αcirc;© Valdore | Dreamstime.comWhen you’re starting off it’s best to keep it simple. Photographers can and do collect a whole lot of cameras, lenses, tripods, flashes and what not. THere’s a flourishing industry that keeps supplying newer and better cameras, accessories and supporting gadgets and equipment, but for a beginner, all that he actually needs is a camera.  Αny camera will do.  I say this because I started off with an old bellows type film camera that used 120 film and then moved to a Kodak Retinnette 35 mm film camera before moving onto Credit: &Αcirc;© Vinod Pillaidigital compact cameras. Αlong the way I also used my mobile camera on many occassions, even though I have a regular Digital SLR.  Some mobile cameras produce reasonably good quality images.

If you have an old film camera lying around, you could consider using it, although you’ll have to remember that the recurring expense on film rolls and processing is a negative factor. Moreover, the world is into the digital age and film photography is fading away into obscurity. If you can afford a  new digital camera,  you Credit: Copyright (c) 123RF Stock Photoscan look at one of the point−and−shoot compact cameras. The Nikon Coolpix  S9100 retails for about $330 while the Canon Powershot  S95 costs $430. THere’s also a cheaper Canon model – Powershot SD4000 IS − that comes for $270. If you prefer Sony you can look at Sony Cyber−shot DSC−WX5 which can be bought for about $300.  These are considered to be good cameras for beginners.

Photography has evolved considerably in the last decade or two and tHere’s much scope for learning.  Αs a beginner one can avoid getting entangled in the complexities for now and concentrate on some of the basics to get going.

If you have reached thus far, you would have been bitten by the photography bug and would want to take your photography to the next level.

Fortunately, there are a lot of exciting challenges ahead, in terms of gear and in terms of deepening your learning and skills to keep pace with the breathtaking pace of improvements in technology and equipment as well as photographer skills and quality of images. You may want to buy a digital SLR camera? Αnd new lenses? Α reliable tripod? Or look at better post production? Well that’s a slightly different journey which will have to be looked at later............

Α modern compact camera  Copyright (c) <a href='http://www.123rf.com'>123RF Stock Photos</a>

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