Ok, so now I have a Camera, a DSLR no less. The next thing, is to find out what to do with it. You guessed it, gotta Learn how to use it…!!!
My learning Curve started by searching the Internet for learning recourses and tutorials on Photography and ended with an Awesome website called Lynda.com. I must say, Lynda.com is, by far, the best one-stop-shop for all your learning needs. They are an Online Tutorials and Training website and have a huge repository of training material delivered by highly experienced Gurus who are themselves experts in their fields, be it, 3D, Animation, Audio, Business, Design, Developer, Photography, Video or Web.
The first one that caught my interest was by Author Derrick Story, a Professional, Writer and Teacher.
He also runs a very informative website - The Digital Story where he shares weekly Digital Photography Pod casts, Photo Tips, Reader Submitted Pictures, Equipment reviews and more.
DigitalPhotography Principles: The Camera - This tutorial shows us how to master digital cameras and their settings to create magazine-quality shots.
Once I got a good understanding of the Anatomy and various key features of a DSLR camera, I did what Mr. Story mentioned as one of the most important things to do when starting to use your camera for the first time, and I quote ‘Read the Manual’. Although I won’t claim to have read the whole thing, whatever I did read made me a better Photographer for sure.
Next up I came across another Awesome Author, Ben Long, also a Photographer, Writer, and Teacher. Mr. Long has a buncha courses that really helped me in improving my skills as a budding Photographer.
I picked up some of his courses and am studying them in the following order:
Foundations of Photography – Lenses - This course shows us how to understand, choose, and properly use lenses.
Foundations of Photography – Exposure - This course describes how shutter speed, aperture, and ISO settings relate to one another, and how these settings expand your artistic options with any photograph.
Foundations of Photography –Composition - This course is a detailed exploration of the concepts of composition, from basics such as the rule of thirds and leading lines to more advanced topics such as entry and exit points.
Foundations of Photography - Black and White - This course describes strategies for capturing the best black and white images and techniques for converting to black and white in Photoshop.
Foundations of Photography - Night and Low Light - This Course covers the tools, creative options, and special considerations involved in shooting with a DSLR camera at night or in low-light conditions, such as sunset or candlelight.
Shooting and Processing High Dynamic Range Photographs (HDR) - This course describes and demonstrates high dynamic range (HDR) photography, a technique that broadens the luminance or range between the lightest and darkest areas of an image.
By the time I will finish the above listed courses, I’m pretty sure my Photography will be way better than when I began.
Now, most of the Professional Photographers whom I have spoken to, as well as Trainers, advice to achieve the best possible version of the Photograph, ‘in Camera’. But some times a little Photo-Retouching can really bring out a look and feel you could never achieve otherwise. In this matter, the go to Digital Software is Adobe’s hugely popular Photoshop, now in it’s CS6 version. Yet again, Lynda.com has a huge collection of Courses for Photoshop and it’s implementation in Photography by various Authors.
Following are the ones that I’m studying:
Author - Julieanne KostThis course explores the Photoshop features and creative options and shows efficient ways to perform common editing tasks using Photoshop, Camera Raw, and Bridge.
This course provides in-depth training on Camera Raw 7, the Photoshop CS6 component that enables photographers to open and manipulate raw format images.
This course covers the essential techniques to create composites from multiple photos using Adobe Photoshop—from working around tricky exposure challenges to creating stronger group photos and crafting creative photo illustrations.
Author - Bryan O'Neil Hughes
This course takes you on an insider's tour of the key photo-enhancement features in Photoshop CS6.