Here is a list of the things you need to start treading the waters of digital photography.
1. Digital Camera. Of course, you need this to capture images.
There are three major distinctions: Point-and-Shoot (P&S), Bridge and Single Lens Reflex (most commonly called SLR). Point and shoots are handy, compact and lightweight cameras that can fit anybody’s pocket.
Bridge cameras are also compact cameras except that they are packaged with more features and functions than P&S, such as longer zoom or wider angle ranges.
SLRs are often bulky but handsome cameras. If you’re using either P&S or Bridge, that’s just fine. If you have a DSLR (D stands for Digital) that’s even better.SLR camera allows you to see the same way the sensor does. It gives a better control in shutter speed, aperture stop and truck-load of other settings that makes shooting pictures very exciting. These, we’ll discuss on a future blog posts.
2. Ideas. If you lack it, you’ll probably just be shooting like one of those photographers for ID photos. One of the keys to creating beautiful photographs is not possessing the most expensive and recent camera but by having the creative mind and ‘eye’ for amazing images.
3. Willingness to learn. We all started to beginning. Digital photography is the same as all the others. No one is born with the skill to play drums, nor the ability to write proses. I believe in the mantra everything can be learned, and digital photography is no exception.
4. Read. Reading is an important element in learning. Forums is a rich source of valuable information and if you like frequenting in one too many photography forums, you’ll encounter the words “read the manual”. Take that to heart, and do read the manual, if you haven’t done yet. You’ll be caught surprised of the unfound gems(i.e. features) of the camera you’re holding.
5. Determination. Gas drives the car’s engine for it to move. Determination is like gas. It disappears over time. You need to keep your determination to become the “photographer” that you want, checked and always on the radar.
6. Focus. You can have it auto or manual! :) Seriously, as you go along shooting and pressing that shutter, put up your perspective, list your personal objectives (like do you want to be a landscape artist or fashionista photographer) and develop your style. Maintain your focus to your objectives and goals. Don’t quit on learning just a thing or two. Encourage yourself to learn new things and keep that focus sharp!
I’m always an advocate of change. I like change itself since it brings life to a dying one.
Today is the start of the 31 days to building a better blog spearheaded by Problogger and I eagerly signed up a few days ago. My reason is simple, I want this blog to improve, and keep it better.
“Each Day is a Chance to Learn”
The New Photographer aims to help novice photographers (newbie) learn the art of digital photography.
The year 2008 has been a fruitful ride for me. I finally left my first job where I worked for almost 5 years and moved to the country’s business capital. I’ve gained a lot more white hairs and a handful of wisdom. Some old habits gone and replaced with new ones. Read a new set of books and put me to a new perspective to many things. Some so-so friends gone but there are those who really stick around.
But most importantly, I’ve gotten a better and clearer understanding of digital and photography combined. My gear has gotten a year old and a half, and it has been the primary instrument for the year long learning experience.
In celebration, allow me to share the past year in pictures below.
Rule of thirds. I have a knack for taking pictures of inanimate objects, white spaces, simple things, and the color brown. Combining the shadows and stillness of this chair, I shot and applied the rule. It’s a picture compelling enough to tell a thousand stories.
If I could make traveling as a living, I don’t have an idea where I would be right now. This is the entrance to the future wonder of the world– The Underground River of Palawan. It’s a river underneath a mountain where various formation of limestones and unknown depth. Its difficult shooting pictures inside especially as a Filipino tourist riding alongside foreigners from Malta, Australia, Japan and US. I had to snatch a perfect shot in a perfect timing under a cave lit only by the flashes of camera and that of the boatman’s flashlight. It was a great experience riding in that boat.
Most of the pictures I’ve taken where I paused think and composed heavily are landscapes. This is one of them where I started to appreciate the result of my learning on how to take a good if not great landscapes.
Birds. They used to wake me up in the morning during my stay in Sta. Rosa, Laguna. Manually focused with a pre-AI 200mm lens, I snapped this photo on one of those mornings.
Don’t you just love cats? This is probably one of the sharpest photographs I have.
Old and New. A portrait of my grandma and a kin.
I started 2008 with a willed mind about wedding photography. After shooting 2 weddings, I realized how challenging it is. And it’s quite a hard pill to swallow –since I really thought at the first time I handled a camera that I would be seasoned wedding shooter– that I would less venture into this field. Perhaps, I will still see myself shoot a couple tying the knot, only on special occasions.
The last lens I purchased in 2008 turned out to be my favorite. A pre-AI 105mm f/2.5, it snaps into the mouth of the Nikon D40 well. And it makes me do wonderful photos, with amazing details, sharpness and color.
Rainy days usually put me to sleep. But it’s oftentimes the perfect setting for dramatic composition.
Bird Sanctuary, Candaba, Pampanga. It’s the first shooting trip with my friends from college. They’ve been bitten with shutterbug, so most of them now carry their own guns of singe lens reflex camera and lenses. We were supposed to photograph birds in flight, and steady, of different species and migratory in nature. That was in October, when typhoons and storms lurk the countryside. We were warned by the municipal office of flooding even before boarding the first ride towards the town of Candaba. We didn’t know it was this bad, that the locals have been used with this scenario and having their boats to live.
Less is More.
Mount Pinatubo. It took me almost 4 years to climb a mountain again. And what a sweeter thing to do with a camera on my back to capture images of nature, travel and a trek back to history.
I guess I’m leaning towards as a landscape artist. Before the year ended, we went back and visited my grandma’s place in Canaan West, Nueva Ecija. The place was perfect for a photographer who loves to shoot wide angles. Good weather, fair blue sky, a lot of clouds, vast farmlands, hills and mountains It was one of those events I would like to call superbowl for landscape artists.
Greeting the Christmas and welcoming the New Year has never been this fun.
2007 Christmas day, I took this photo of the children around our compound somewhere in Angeles City. It’s really exciting to see these kids enjoy the day! Tradition would let these children visit every house and express homage to every elder, ninong and ninang (god parents) expecting an aguinaldo as a gift for Christmas.
It was my first Christmas with my Nikon D40.
Below is a recent version, but some of the kids in the first photo were not around. I just realize how astonished I am with the outcome and how speedy these children grow up.
See the differences? Several kids were out of the picture because they’ve gone elsewhere while the picture was taken. Although, some new and young faces have emerged, the 2 – one year olds. But the main difference I’d love for you to see is the variance of exposure and white balance. The first was obviously over-exposed and white balance just set to automatic. I’ve come to understand the two terms and the result is properly exposed image and a warmer look.
And what a better way to greet the new year with a first ever family picture!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everyone!
Reading is a good means of learning new things. That obviously applies to anything, and photography is just one of the many where it applies. If you have gained the habit of reading, then good for you. It will take you to monumental heights. I think of it as a kick-start to something great.
Putting what we read (just like this blog) into practice would only make us better than just reading it and learned it by concept.
And one of my favorite places to gain skills for becoming a great photographer is to practice and train by joining contests, or challenge groups. However, there is a difference between the two.
Contests are often launched with a cause. Commercial, promotional, advertorial are some of the sources of these contests. The huge prices and awards are what makes contests more interesting and attractive to photographers, professional and not.
Challenge groups are oftentimes created with the aim to learn, camaraderie and fun. Most don’t have luxurious prices. The excitement comes from having the nod of fellow contributers that gives your masterpiece the approval of being a great photo bounded by the rules of the challenge.
I joined similar challenges in the past but is currently active with a flickr group named “NikonD40/x/60 Challenge Group”. Here is a link to it’s home page. I’m a D40 user and this is where I poured several entries and attempts to contribute for the weekly challenges. It’s fun to view other photographs creativity and artistry –makes my mind sparkle with ideas.
Below are some of my previous entries.
The calendar keeps flipping its pages and wow, in about a month and a half, the year 2009 will greet us. Still, this page don’t get to see its refresh on a frequent basis. A struggle within myself, I keep on fighting against.
Thus called the jawbreaker. To break the stillness of things. I really want to create a continuous collection of pages that would let me express myself through pictures and words, and share to “new” photographers of this digital era.
I’ve been closely watching the economic crisis gripping the US and the entire earth. I’m saddened that when the standard of all finance and business falls out, everything follows through. Allow me to post some photos I took, in an attempt to start macro shooting and showing the fine lines of George Washington and Manuel Quezon.
Feel free to share a line. Cheers!
Quite heavy duty and ready for any amount of rugged travel and abuse, it packs a lot of features inside. The first thing I liked about Keystone is its ability to embrace a number of glass and accessories. Keystone, can carry the whole family of my own collection “vintage” film lenses — 55mm micro, 50mm f/1.4, 105mm f/2.5 and 200mm f/4 — plus the only DX lens I have, the trusty 18-55mm kit. It still has room for the TC but it’s better left in the cabinet since I rarely used it nowadays.
My first bag and almost a year-old bag, the Velocity 7x by Tamrac, can only carry a maximum of 3 lenses, with one fixed on the body. It will still be used on occassions when I only need a couple of lenses. But the Keystone will be their new home when mode is sleeping.
Here are some photos to bat: