Home Forums Let’s Talk Photography Where do I start Reply To: Where do I start


I can understand not wanting to get into big bucks for a hobby, but there’s a difference between paying for a $39 community education class on composition and investing your life savings on a Canon 1Dx and $30k worth of lights and backdrops.

I’m an old car buff. I even own one, a 1963 Studebaker. It’s a hobby, and I’m not a professional racer, car show trophy winner, or mechanic. I’m a hobbyist. But even as a hobbyist, I spent $70 on the shop manual for my car a few years back. I still spent about $100 on paint and supplies to freshen it up under the hood. I still spent about $40 last week on points, a rotor, and a distributor cap.

I guess my point is that even hobbyists invest something into their hobby. Often times, what you put in is directly proportional to what you get out. Someone who will only ever take what they get for free will get a lesser quality education and in turn enjoy the hobby less.

Okay, now that I’ve hammered on you for that, I’ll try to actually do something useful :). Truly, if you go looking for a step-by-step how to take a photo guide, you’re going to find just what you said, lots of people with different, sometimes conflicting ideas. It’s important to know that those ideas are not always wrong. The end goal is to get a usable exposure, and truly, there are many roads to get there. One person might like a super low ISO with a long shutter speed, while another turns his ISO to the max for a short shutter speed, while yet another guy rides somewhere in the middle.

If you want entertainment value with a little bit of know-how thrown in, Check out DigitalRev on YouTube. They’re a little on the crude side with their language sometimes, but I get a laugh out of their antics (most of the time – I cringe when they destroy a high end camera!), and you’ll learn something useful. From their videos, the related video streams are usually full of good stuff.


At the end of the day though, your best experience may be to experiment. Take an exposure, then take a good, serious, almost cruel look at it. Pick it apart and look for all the flaws. Then adjust your camera settings. Open your aperture and see what it does. Tweak ISO settings to see how much grain and noise drives you nutty. Experimentation is going to be the key for learning the technical side. From the artistic side, some people naturally have it, and others don’t. Composition is one of those critical aspects of photography. Go to the library and check out look books and books on composition and posing. It will help a great deal.

Okay, that’s all I’ve got for now. Hope it’s helpful. Peace.