New To Photography:Continuing the learning process

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This page is a chapter in the book Learning Plan Overview.
The idea is that by now (if you have worked through this plan) you are a reasonable photographer who is significantly in advance of people who only happy snap.
Photography is a continual learning process. Even the best photographers are learning something new each time they capture an image.

Please start entering the AP competitions - don't be scared - it is a great way to learn. Entering your first Ausphotography Competition
It is worth noting that the 2008 Ausphotography Photo of the Year was won by Seesee (Colin) who only started using a DSLR two years previously.

We also cover the idea of workflow in Workflow - Putting it all together

It is also time to think about all the possibilities of subject matter. Some concepts are listed here.
  • Sports / Action
  • Portrait & Candids
  • Street
  • Wildlife (Flora & fauna)
  • Landscape
  • Night
  • Art and Still Life
  • Macro (magnified close ups)
  • Strobist / Flash
  • High Dynamic Range (HDR)
  • Panographic (multiple images stitched together)
  • Effects post processing (B&W, Sepia and other effects)
  • Using filters (Circular Polarising Lens (CPL) and Neutral Density Graduated (ND Grads) being very common)

Earlier in the guide we recommended using a limited range of lens focal lengths. One of you next learning exercises should be finding out about the capabilities of different lenses. Using different lenses
This is something you can do by yourself from now on using AP as a way to get constructive critique (CC).

Now that you have mastered the basic techniques it is also time for you to re-visit the composition of your photographs. Compare what you are doing now with the photos you took in automatic mode? What would you improve and how would you do it?
Most good photographs have one main subject or point of interest. In a crowd shot it might be a person in a brightly coloured shirt. For a landscape you may centre on a building or significant tree.
Once you decide your main subject, you can make it the centre of attention and at the same time improve the composure of your shot employing a combination of long-established visual devices such as:
  • placing it in the frame using the rule of thirds
  • using Depth of Field to eliminate unwanted background
  • vertical or horizontal composure
  • use of angles and perspective
  • use of lines such as fences or water courses
  • contrasting surroundings
  • reflections (eg. mirrors, water and other shiny surfaces)
  • patterns, texture and shape

The best way to learn is to take photographs and post them on AP for CC and enter AP competitions. See: Competition Information

Above all - it is meant to be fun - enjoy the Australia Photography Forum and your photography!

Some books that might be of interest:
Understanding Exposure
Learning to See Creatively
Langfords Starting Photography
Previous: New To Photography:Learning to print or web publish photographs Learning Plan Overview Next: Equipment and Software

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