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Thread: Where to start learning?

  1. #1
    New Member leapoffaith's Avatar
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    26 Sep 2019
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    Where to start learning?

    Hi Everyone,

    This is my first post and I apologise in advance if I ask any silly question.

    I want to start learning photography and my genre is 'War/Humanitarian Photography'. I know it sounds too ambitious but I have decided to change my career to do something useful with my life instead of sitting in front of a computer 9-5 all my life.
    I have never used a camera and not familiar with photography at all but I am ready to learn. Alongside with photography, I will be looking to enrol in journalism.

    -- Should I undertake a University course such, if yes then which one? There are many such as RMIT, AAPH, any recommendation?
    -- I am based in melbourne, is there any dedicated community or workshops conducted on war/humanitarian photography?
    -- Should I attend workshops related to other genres ?
    -- What is the best place to start?
    -- Any useful tips for a beginner like me ?

    Any feedback would be highly appreciated.


  2. #2
    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    18 Sep 2009
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    Hi Leap...
    I'll let other people answer about courses for photography, as I'm not up on them.

    Here on AP your best approach would be to practise the craft through the normal interaction of
    taking, posting, and commenting on photos - both yours and those of others. This will hone any
    innate ability you have.

    Since you're a [rank] beginner, you can immerse yourself in the learning plans and other resources
    you can find in the Library (tabs everywhere). - And of course ask questions, the only thing there
    is that you take the replies on board. Expect to be bewildered and confused occasionally - But
    not for long, as you practise what you learn.
    Last edited by ameerat42; 26-09-2019 at 11:18am.
    CC, Image editing OK.

  3. #3
    Loves The Wildlife. Mary Anne's Avatar
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    19 Dec 2009
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    Hello and Welcome to AP.. What kind of camera do you have or are you looking for Help to choose one.
    You will get lots of Help here with things like that and while you are thinking about it do have a read of whats on the link below. Especially New to Photography

    I shoot with Canon and Olympus Cameras.. And My iPhone SE
    And sometimes a Little Old Panasonic DMC-TZ7

  4. #4
    Ausphotography irregular Mark L's Avatar
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    21 Nov 2010
    magical Mudgee
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    Give your ambition I'd think that the photography side of things is the easiest to deal with.
    What MA suggests is a good starting point,
    Quote Originally Posted by Mary Anne View Post
    Just go and buy a basic camera to start with and go thought the above plan. You don't need to study to learn how to take a good photo.
    The more challenging things will be completing some sort of journo coarse and figuring how to get into places to take the photos you want.
    "Enjoy what you can do rather than being frustrated at what you can't." bobt
    Canon 80D, 60D, Canon 28-105, Sigma 150-600S.

  5. #5
    Site Rules Breach - Permanent Ban
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    Quote Originally Posted by leapoffaith View Post

    I want to start learning photography and my genre is 'War/Humanitarian Photography'.

    Its remiss not to ask some questions of you.

    How many openings are there for this type of work? How much have you looked into it? Who's going to pay you? and how much are you going to earn? How much do you need for your food, rent, travel, gear, bills etc?

    Without the credentials of a seasoned journo/photographer (and you admit "I have never used a camera and not familiar with photography") how will you get the access needed and if freelance who would you sell the photos to?

    Remember, virtually everyone in the world has a phone with a camera now and most people will give away newsworthy photos to news agencies.

    I'd be asking myself a lot of the questions above (and a whole lot more) before having this leap of faith and changing careers.

  6. #6
    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Welcome and start out by learning how to take good photos. Remember photography is an Art and just like some people can paint masterpieces, some people have a great eye for taking photos. Conversely, some people struggle drawing a stick figure, for some photography is hard work. Yes you can be taught/learn most of this, but there are naturally talented people in photography.

    So I would say start by learning the basics, the technical of what each function does, as that is easily learned by everyone and then start putting it into practice, working out how they all work together to change the photo. Then comes the composition, how you line up your shots, etc. I would say spend 2 years at least on getting to be a good photographer, then start looking at possibly doing a course if you want to. BUT most professional photographers have never done a diploma or degree, what they may have done is a journalism diploma or degree as they are often called upon to write about what their photo represent.

    As others have said above, with everyone having a phone now, then need for 'photographers' other than for product shots, real estate and weddings/ family events, the demand is really low. Even then product shots are usually arranged by the manufacturer and supplied worldwide. The days of local studios doing clothing shots for Kmart or supacheap having a photographer take photos of car wax bottles are gone

    With the globalisation and media interconnection, someone in a war zone takes a photo, sticks it on facebook, gets trolled by a media organisation and asked if they can use their photo, most say yes, and the next thing it is front page news across the glove, tagged (Source : facebook).

    Whist i commend you on your goal and dream, be prepared to find it a hard path to success. Enjoy learning how camera's work and how to take good photos for the next year or two and then start looking at your goals.
    "It is one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it is another thing to make a portrait of who they are" - Paul Caponigro

    Constructive Critique of my photographs is always appreciated
    Nikon, etc!

    My Photography

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