You may be a beginner digital photographer or an amateur with a bit of experience; but in either case, photography has become an interest, a hobby. Someday it may even grow into a passion. For now, however, you want to learn more about photography and enjoy it as another part of your life. That’s why an online photography forum is an excellent place for hobbyists. It’s a quick and easy resource that will increase your enjoyment. Then, use the ideas and information you find online with the following 6 tips and you’ll be on your way to having fun and benefiting from your interest in digital photography.
1. You don’t need to spend a large amount of money to enjoy photography. That is often the first poor decision by many people who begin a new hobby. They think they need the latest golf clubs, skis, woodworking tools or camera equipment to feel as if they are benefiting from the complete experience of their chosen hobby. Too often, this decision is one of status, the keeping-up-with-the-Joneses mentality. Of course, you know what typically happens: the hobbyist buys the best equipment and isn’t able to enjoy himself or herself because he or she doesn’t have (photography) skills or experience the equal of the equipment. Eventually, the clubs, skis or high-end camera is collecting dust on a shelf.
The best way to avoid becoming frustrated with a hobby you were so eager to enjoy is to start small. Buy a camera that equals your skills and experience. In most cases, for the hobbyist, this is a compact camera, especially if you are a true novice. It’s also the decision of a smart consumer. You’ll receive more value for the money you spend on a compact camera because you’ll use it more often. If digital photography becomes a more serious hobby, then it’s appropriate to upgrade to the next level of digital camera and other equipment. Participate in an online photography forum to find other hobbyists who will share how they decided to buy a camera, and will help you find the right one for you.
2. Whether you already own a digital camera or plan to buy one, learn everything you can about it. Often the first challenge of a new camera owner is simply reading the equipment manual. It is your first source of knowledge about digital photography. Once you understand all the features and functions of your camera, and can use them, you’ll enjoy your hobby much better. Don’t just set the camera to the auto mode and let it do all work. That’s OK part of the time, but you should learn how to control the camera too. The better photography forums will have a beginner or hobbyist section with basic techniques to help you learn even more about how to use your camera to the fullest.
3. Take your camera with wherever you go, so you have an opportunity to shoot pictures every day. Much like golf, woodworking and other hobbies, you must take literally thousands of photographs to learn the craft and begin to capture good photos. Even the pros shoot thousands of images for those three or four best ones that are actually published or purchased by their clients. You’ll never enjoy digital photography unless you make mistakes and learn from them. This is another reason you should shoot as often as possible, so you can study and recognize what you did wrong and try to correct it. The satisfaction of learning from your mistakes will generate as much enjoyment from photography as taking better pictures.
4. You’ll enjoy your photography hobby better if you don’t go it alone. Find another photographer with relatively the same skill and experience level as you, and learn and enjoy photography together. The camaraderie and sharing of ideas and information will advance your skills faster and help keep you committed to your hobby. One of the best sources to find a “photo buddy” is an online photography forum. If it is an active site with thousands of participants, then you are very likely to find someone in your locale.
You can also make your hobby a family activity. Quite likely, you were attracted to photography to take pictures of your family, to create a portfolio of your children as they grow and progress in life. Don’t just take pictures of everyone, but involve them in what you are learning and doing with your camera. A great deal of enjoyment can be yours if you introduce your children to your hobby, photography, and take photos together.
5. Since taking pictures of your family and friends may be a major reason you’ve become interested in digital photography, learn first how to create excellent portraits. Your head may be spinning with all the types of photography you’d like to try: landscape, wildlife, macro, travel, but becoming a good portrait photographer is usually the best place to start. It’s easier because you have available subjects: spouse, kids, extended family members, neighbors, friends, co-workers, etc. Who wouldn’t want a nice picture of himself or herself? If you can create it, then both you and your subject will be enjoying your hobby.
6. As your digital photography hobby grows, schedule regular time to participate in the online photography forum that fits you best. You’ll have the opportunity to find photo hobby buddies around the globe. As you share ideas and how much each of you like photography, everyone’s enjoyment level will increase.
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