How to Learn Stuff: Photography

Blog: How to Learn Stuff




I can’t tell you how many amazing photographer lady and gentlefriends I have. Amateur photographers and professional photographers. Film photographers and digital photographers. Wedding photographers and landscape photographers. I couldn’t say. Some delve into graphic design and marketing. One’s a cake decorator. Some work with movie directors, shooting stills. Others are at the scene of the crime, or the courthouse or the red carpet trying to catch a troublemaker making trouble. They come in all shapes and sizes, these picture-takers, but they each have one thing in common: they are all [too damn] busy.


Seriously, they’re about to become an urban legend in my mind.


If I could find one of these elusive creatures I would ask them about the basics of their craft. I say their craft because photography is not my craft. I don’t know anything about it aside from there being pictures I like to look at and pictures I don’t like to look at. I don’t know what aperture is and frankly it boggles my mind that someone got the bright idea to even invent the things. I mean, if somebody handed you a box and some glass and a battery, how long would it take you to hand them a Polaroid?


For-fucking-ever, right?


But there are cameras all around us all the time. They’re just overhead of traffic lights checking your plates, etc. At this point they’re essentially standard on new cell phones. Cell phones with dual camera systems with megapixels so high you’re like, wait–this camera’s a phone, too?! There’s always somebody around with a little iPhone action. Flip on that Instragram…aaaaand scene! All done! This event has been catalogued in the easiest, coolest fashion. You’ve been tagged. No need for me to break out my little blue Canon point-n-shoot at all, which is fine. Totally works out for social gatherings but what about the practical applications of photography for me as an artist? How’s a lady s’posed to build a portfolio around here? It’s been months and months since I spent some time asking for all the help and I could get and so far I’ve gotten none.


Granted, my schedule hasn’t been the easiest to work with. I spent about a year working two jobs and more than half of that time in school with a full course load. And my band, Super Plaid, practices usually weekly. So okay. Whatever. I was busy! In that time a lot of my business pursuits went unanswered, some events went unattended. [Missed you!] Sure, I completed a series of paintings, A Touch of Whimsy, but I just couldn’t find the free time to really work at marketing them which, at the end of the day-week-month-semester-season, left my artistic side cold and pouting in metaphorical rain. So that’s it, I gotta change. I’m no longer working that creativity-stifling second job and school’s out for the summer.


The time has come to set in place new standards and practices that make it easier to keep this thing going when school’s back in session for fall. Because you can do anything you set your mind to. Because, really, I have to keep making stuff or I’ll just burst. Just ‘splode, I will.


Step one is learning the basics of photography, with my little blue point-n-shoot without getting down about my little point-n-shoot. Sure there are better cameras, but if you handed me one, I wouldn’t know what to do with it. If I have to start somewhere I may as well start with where I am. Step one is Google It! Photography is the art, science and practice of creating durable images by recording light or other electromagnetic radiation. Ooh! Step one is research. Aperture, also known as an aperture stop, is an opening, usually circular, that limits the quantity of light that can enter an optical instrument. Alright. That’s gotta be the little hole thingie that clicks closed with the snap of the button. Okay. Alright. Look at me, I’m moving right along!


I realize steps two-through-professional-photographer all involve more research, probably a class. I know I have a long way to go, but every blog I’ve read slash instructional video I’ve watched says the real deal is taking pictures [makes sense] and paying attention to what you like about them [also makes sense]. Okay, here’s some I shot today.


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I’ll keep you posted on the progress of my pursuits if you promise to give me advice and opinions and hugs! [Let’s face it, you were going to hug me anyway, weren’t you?]


[Weren’t you?!]


One thought on “How to Learn Stuff: Photography

  1. After learning with a point and shoot, try moving on to the SLR, the camera where you change lens. I see you already understand composition. Keep looking and you’ll eventually find a “mentor”

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