Learning photography can be done in a lot of ways these days. There are so many options that it's no wonder beginners get so confused. Photography is a world of its own and it can be whatever you want it to be: a job, a business, an art form or simply a very enjoyable way of spending your free time. Provided you have a little bit of talent, expanding skills and creativity is a must, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't have fun doing it. We've put together a list with our seven favorite ways of learning photography and expanding creativity and imagination.
You might not have thought of it before, but watching movies can be one of the best and most fun ways of learning photography. Every filmmaker and cinematographer must first learn to shoot stills and that's why films shot by great cinematographers can be composition manuals.
Our recommendation for this learning using this method is to watch some award winning movies with no volume. That way it'll be easier to focus on the cinematography and make notes about what you can incorporate into your own style.
Photography books are the first and most obvious choice for most beginners. Books are never going to get old and they are a timeless source of valuable information and a tool to expand knowledge and skills. Industry giants like Scott Kelby , Joe McNally or Bryan Peterson all have some fantastic books that are easy to read and packed with everything you need to learn.
5. Video tutorials
They are a great way of learning something from a demonstration, particularly when it comes to the editing and retouching part of photography. Post processing has removed any boundaries of imagination from this medium, and you can now do anything you want with your photographs. Video tutorials are a fantastic way of stepping up your game in Photoshop and Lightroom. Companies like lynda.com specialize in delivering quality video tutorials.
If you don't feel like you have the patience to sit down and read or watch tutorials, there is an alternative that we recommend to all photographers. Socializing with local photographers can be educational and it can also bring creative challenges. Being part of a local photography club or simply hanging out with fellow shooters can help you learn secrets that not even books will teach you. There are also things like internal competitions that will spark up your imagination and get you working on your skills.
Workshops are not the most affordable way of learning photography, but if you make the right choices, they can help you improve a lot. The thing about workshops is to be careful about who you're letting teach you. Every other photographer seems to be teaching something these days, and quality education is actually not that common. Go to workshops held by renowned photographers, people who have a serious background in the industry and experience you can actually learn from.
A photography project is the first sign of maturity. It shows that you're committed to an idea and prepared to go all the way for something you believe in. There are unlimited possibilities when it comes to projects. You can do a 365 or something with more depth that will take you through an interesting journey for the next years. We highly recommend projects because they make photographers more disciplined and stimulate their creativity.
1. Lightbox Photography Cards
Our favorite method of learning photography and seeing creatively is a bit unconventional. (See how these cards work ) We like innovation and we believe in the fun of the learning process. One of the most difficult challenges for photographers of all levels is finding the next subject. You know you're aching to shoot something new for your portfolio, but you're having a little trouble finding a cool idea to go out and shoot. 2015 is far from over, and yet these cards, have easily secured a spot in our “Top Innovating and Must Have Items in Your Camera Bag for 2015”. Most Kickstarter campaigns don’t fund, let alone reach anywhere near their funding goals. This company, in January/February 2015 with their amazing idea nailed it with 936% OVER funding goals and nearly 2,000 photography enthusiast backing it. If that’s not social proof, I don’t know what is!
The Photography Cards were designed by award winning photographer and designer Paul Michael Kane and feature 52 different photo assignments that will light up your imagination and put you to work. Here is some additional info from the man himself. Check out these cards for yourself here.