You have just purchased your first digital camera, or first camera for that matter and you know that there is more to photography than just pushing the shutter button and hoping for the best. Your big question is how to start and an even bigger question is, where do I go to find the material? Let me answer your questions and hopefully send you off in the right direction as you learn digital photography.
In the days prior to the internet there were limited options if you wanted to learn photography, but, now with the internet it can be quite overwhelming. When doing a Google search, the sites that come up tops aren’t necessarily the best sites for what you are looking for so it can take some time. Let’s take a look at keys to getting you onto the right track.
1. Find a photography school near to you
For many people, good old bricks and mortar is the best route to follow. A local college, adult education programme or a local business specialising in training are the options for you to try. You can speak face to face with people, have a look at their material and see what their results are. Most of them will have a websites for you to gain more information. The great thing about this route is that you can ask questions and then compare the various options and make your final decision. It is the most user friendly option and you aren’t going it alone.
2. Find a correspondence college
This is similar in many ways in that you study with paper materials and have a lecturer or tutor assigned to you who grades your work and corresponds with you. There is an active physical interaction with material and a person at the other end of the email or telephone. It’s very user friendly and allows regular contact with a person. People who aren’t ready for the automated internet interaction may prefer this route.
3. Find an online course
This is one step along the electronic path of learning photography. It is very similar to the correspondence college route with the only difference being that all your material is electronic. You still interact with a live person via email or a live chat service. You submit your work electronically via email or upload to a forum. For the modern electronic person this is great and paperless.
This can be the most difficult route for any budding photographer. Where to start is the big question. So, there are two routes:
- The paper route
If you are still part of the old school and like to feel paper between your fingers then the bookshop and library route is for you. Many bookshops allow you to sit and have a cup of coffee while you browse their books. In this way you can look for books that are tutorial based with a focus on structured teaching. There are many out there but this method does require personal discipline as there is nobody to check up on you and your assignments. You can also look at books in libraries but remember that the latest books take time time to appear on their shelves. As I have said, you need self-discipline to follow this route.
- The electronic routeThere is just so much material available on the internet which means that this is the most difficult way to find the right content to follow the self-study route. But, amongst the many free courses available you are sure to find something that will suite you. Research here is key and you will need to do a lot of it in order to come up with something that you like. Be careful though, many of these courses give you some information and then expect you to pay for the rest.
Whatever route you decide to follow as you learn digital photography it needs to focus on your personal knowledge and needs. What level you are at in your photographic journey will help determine which route you choose. Happy shooting!