Hey! I bought a new camera and now I can take wicked badass photographs! Everything I take a picture of will be the visual equivalent of 1000 fairies softly singing whale songs while stroking god’s beard!
While I never exactly thought that, I did expect my pictures to be of a higher quality than those I had taken in earlier years with my point and shoot. Trouble is that is not what happened. I could just take more pictures faster. The same bland, thoughtless, and technically impotent images graced my computer screen. In fact, artistically, I had probably taken some better images with my point and shoot. By accident of course but still, they were better.
So I had to get better somehow. Now what kind of sarcastic hypocritical bastard would I be if I didnt follow my own advice. Ask google. Everytime a coworker asks me a question, I type it into google, and regurgitate the answer. Even if I know the answer beforehand. Just to prove a point. So, in order to improve my photography I simply had to google it. Sort of. If you are any type of photographer with any type of skills you can leave now and save yourself a few precious moments of life. If you are an utter and complete n00bcake, like me, then continue reading but don’t expect to learn anything.
One of the first things I googled was “free online photography course”. After wading through a few links I picked morguefile. The website is essentially a place to find free stock photo’s but it also has a number of tutorials that utilizes a forum for the photographer to get feedback. This is where I learned the very basics about composition, shutterspeed, and apertures. During the first few weeks and months of experimenting with the lessons I was learning at morguefile I had also picked up a few books. Scott Kelby’s Digital Photography Vol 1 & 2, was very helpful, due to the humourous nature of the writing combined with the ‘recipe’ style of teaching. I was able to go out and start combining the lessons learned in morguefile with the recipes from the books.
Of course with all these photographs I needed a place to store them and have them critiqued. Flickr was the obvious choice but for whatever reason I never really liked using it. After a bit more googling I found megashot, a place I could upload and share my photo’s as well as get critiques, tutorials, and support from a variety of people. Recently I have begun to share my best images on 500px. I don’t really know why I share them on so many sites, I don’t have any plans to do anything with my photo’s, but maybe it’s to get the most feedback as possible. I have a bit of a problem with doing things in excess until I get as good as possible. It’s a curse.
Finally, to augment my self-help, I belong to a number of forums where I continue to learn new things and get feedback on my images. Shutterfreaks, The Discerning Photographer, Digital Photography School, and a few others. With the vast amount of information out there, and people willing to assist, it is still possible to become a good photographer. One only really needs to make themselves happy and enjoy what they do to be a success.
I am currently enrolled in The Photography Institutes online program. A 24 week course on professional photography. Hopefully it will spark some originality and creativity…and add some skill lol.