“Why aren’t my photos better?”
“I need a better camera.”
“Only the top camera brands are worth buying.”
“I must buy a fast lens.”
“You need formal education to become a good photographer.”
Photography is big business and a hobby, passion and livelihood for hundreds of millions of people around the world. Within the dynamic culture of photography, misinformation is almost as equally prevalent as reliable information. It’s the nature of the beast. That misinformation can often create misconceptions that prohibit the beginner photographer from enjoying the experience fully. If you’re a beginner, then the quicker you unlearn the following 5 misconceptions, or don’t be fooled by them in the first place, the sooner your photography skills will advance and you’ll be happy you bought a camera.
Even for the beginner, photography is a serious hobby. It takes time, education, patience and practice to advance from a beginner to a more successful level. Don’t surprised if you must take hundreds, even thousands, of photos, to capture just a few that are keepers. Most of the greatest professional photographers must do exactly that during virtually every assignment. Wildlife photographers, in particular, will shoot dozens of images from the same position for an entire day or a number of days to bring their editors a handful of images worthy of publication. If you expect to succeed quickly at photography, then you might want to consider another hobby. Perseverance is one of the most important qualities of the successful photographer.
Equipment can only perform as well as the photographer using it. If you don’t have the experience or skills that shooting with a better camera will provide, then buying a more expensive camera is a waste of money. A better learning experience for beginners is to capture the best photographs possible with an inexpensive camera. Don’t forget that you’re a beginner and it isn’t wise to spend a large amount of money for equipment until you’re sure photography will be a long-term hobby or interest.
This misconception relates to #2 above. Sure, Canon, Sony and Nikon cameras are those most professionals choose, but you’re not a pro. Very few, if any, beginners should purchase a DSLR camera. Virtually all of the major brand names, even if they have a small share of the market, have low-priced compact cameras with all the features and capabilities you’ll ever need to learn photography. Professionals spend thousands of dollars for cameras and lenses because they need their “extreme” specifications, but every pro will tell you that ultimately it’s the person holding the camera that is the biggest difference maker, not the camera brand or model.
A fast lens refers to one with a very wide aperture, f/1.4, for example. Similar to #3 above, fast lenses are typically the most expensive of their size and only professionals actually require those wide apertures. A fast lens won’t add much to the quality of your photos until you’ve advanced beyond the beginner level. Many of the newer, and less costly, compact cameras are now being built with many features that were only available on a DSLR just a few years ago, and a fast lens is one of these features.
If your eventual goal is a career as a photographer, then, yes, a formal education is an excellent foundation. Most beginners will do quite well and advance their skills if they read their camera’s manual, practice and become members of PhotographyTalk. Fortunately, for today’s beginners, there are many online alternatives to a college or formal curriculum. PhotographyTalk vendor partners, such as MyPhotoSchool, LoveThatShot and The Perfect Picture School of Photography, offer convenient and affordable online courses for all levels of photographers, even those without previous experience or knowledge.
Photo copyright PhotographyTalk member Robin Hirsch
Your feedback is important to thousands of PhotographyTalk.com fans and us. If this article is helpful, then please click the Like and Re-Tweet buttons at the top left of this article.