Photography 101: in a world where most people have a smartphone, there are many people who dabble in photography. I am one of those people. In the past I had a DSLR and even enjoyed organizing a few super amateur photo exhibitions. Finally, I decided to step it up and actually learn about photography! While this can be a daunting and expensive task, there are plenty of cheap resources to get you started.
Do You Need a DSLR Camera?
This is a tough question that I can’t answer for you. I have an iPhone 11 and the photos are high quality enough to print out in obscenely large formats. But the problem with phones is that you don’t have as much control over the settings. Plus, so many phones automatically edit photos as soon as they are taken. There are literal auto filters on selfie cameras that make your skin look better. While I am certain that people have taken award-winning photographs with phone cameras – they simply don’t offer the same options as DSLRs.
iPhone Photography Class
Even though I did buy myself a DSLR (I’ll get to picking the right one soon), I also bought an iPhone Photography Class on Udemy. Udemy is my go-to website when it comes to online classes. They always offer reasonably priced courses but once in a while they offer them for as low as $10. I always use these sales to stock up on any course I may be interested in. Anyway, since I will always have my phone at hand and won’t be lugging my DSLR everywhere I go, an iPhone Photography Class will be a great tool for me.
Educational Cheat Sheet Cards
Ever since I started searching for cameras, Facebook decided to advertise all things photography related. Thank you Facebook. Also, that will never stop being creepy. Anyway, there are many different options out there but I chose to go with Photzy Snap Cards. They offer a complete set of 44 print-at-home sheets to teach you about settings on the camera and more. Photzy Cards seem to always be on sale from $29 to $220. They seem like a great resource and I am excited to print and laminate them!
Editing Software: Photography 101
A big part of photography is editing the photos you have taken. There are many free tools to edit photos, you can find the list here. I prefer to go the traditional route of Photoshop and Lightroom. You can pay for these monthly or buy them at full price for a one-time fee. You should also take advantage of their free trials to see if they are right for you – once again, I’m going to mention Udemy and their great editing classes. Check these out.
Buying the Right Camera
This is THE hardest thing for newbies to photography. There are so many cameras out there and picking one is a daunting task. I started my camera search on Facebook Marketplace and I was excited to see cameras for as little as $100! These were impressive-looking DSLRs with extra lenses and looked amazing. But a quick Google search made each each option sound inadequate. So I did more research. Finally I decided to trust this list of best beginner cameras. I ended up picking the Nikon D3400 which costs $439 new but I found a used one on Amazon for $320. However, there are plenty of cheaper cameras that are great for beginners.
Summary: Photography 101
Photography is a great hobby that many people are interested in. It is true that art is subjective and no two people will always agree on what looks good. These photography tools aren’t meant to tell you how to see the world and what to find worthy of photography. They are meant to teach you how to use the tools you have to the best of your abilities.
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