Introduction: Photography DIY Part 1- Getting Started
This is a multi-part tutorial on photography and going from beginning to finished product and everything in between.
This 'ible will be on gear and what I personally use.
I'm not here to offend anybody but here's what I have found: many of the people who write tutorials have access to lots of gear. I mean things like ND filters, polarizing filters, lenses, flashguns, studio lighting, etc. In case no one noticed yet, all these add up to quite a hefty amount of money.
I've decided to write my experience down as a [not so experienced] photographer and how I have made out.
Step 1: Photographic Vocabulary.
These are my definitions and by no means professional so don't go around comparing me to Webster's or Dictionary.com
Photography: The art and science of taking pictures. (Search up on the internet, "What is photography?" for more on this topic)
Post-Processing: Modifying and /or changing a picture after it has been taken.(Some people hate this and some people think it's great. I honestly think it's okay. As soon as some people hear that a picture has been modified in a software they think it's terrible and that I did a lot of editing to it. I use it to make a crop, color adjustment, add a border...that kind of thing...)
Point-and-Shoot Camera: A camera that is designed for ease of use and simplicity with many features automated (This is the type I use and some pros will think that you take lousy pictures with it. I just don't want to invest a lot and want just [about] as many features.) (I will be abbreviating to something like point and shoot or p and s or even just ps. I might use digital camera as well.)
Digital Single Lens Reflex Camera (also known as a DSLR Camera): A camera that has many features and have lots of manual interface. (I want one, but a few thousand dollars for it is a bit pricey. In this series of ibles, I'm focusing on ways to get DSLR photos with point and shoot cameras.)
There. These are a few terms I will be using right away after this step. There's more but no need to memorize them now but by the time you use them you'll probably forget what it is so no need to overflow your brain now when you can later.
Step 2: What Camera Should I Use???
Okay, so now you've decided you want to take up photography as a hobby and you are ready. This is where I began at around third grade.
My first camera was from FujiFilm and it was what I used until a year or two ago. My second and so far, still with me, is a Samsung camera.
No, in case your wondering I'm not going to advertise or advocate for any camera. I don't like to start up arguments on cameras so I'm not going to recommend any type of camera. Some people prefer film cameras, some people use point and shoots and some people use DSLRs.
I like Canon cameras (and yes, I am biased by CHDK) but that is personal preference. Many pros on the other hand, use Nikon cameras. I am using a Canon Powershot S3 IS and a Samsung camera.
However, do plan on getting another camera, though I don't know when or what it will be. I have a few good ideas but I am not sure...I will keep you posted on how it turns out.
That's about it for cameras...
Step 3: Another Piece of Gear: Tripod
You've probably heard this before...get a tripod.
Now, I'm not going to bore you with a two column chart with pros and cons and other stuff like that. I am going to give you a scenario.
You are going to a party*. You grab your camera and your trusted tripod. Here is the problem. It's big, and it's bulky and it's annoying to carry.
"Wait!" you ask. "Why are you asking me to get a tripod if you're saying how BAD it is?"
Well young cricket, let me continue on with the story and you will understand. Now, you get to the party. You're excited and ready. Now, once inside, you find that you have no place to place your tripod.
"Great! I lugged a heavy ,annoying tripod here to find nowhere to use it. Just Wonderful!" you say.
Hold on, hold on. Let's continue. So now, everybody has had their fun and now, everybody wants their picture. So, they whip out their phones and they start snapping pictures...
Then they find out that they can't take a full group photo because they go and lean their phone against something, they set the timer and they run only to find that their phone falls and then it snaps a picture...
So now they find out you have your dashing tripod and stunning digital camera to take awesome photos. And so now, you take group photos and even if you weren't very popular among the others before you probably will be now because everybody wants to see what everybody else and themselves look like.
*This could be any party...birthday, sleepover, etc.
Okay, so maybe it was a bit late when I was writing this but you get the idea. A tripod is an indispensable piece of gear when it comes to photography. I mean, you don't need to carry it with you everywhere but it is very nice to be ready and prepared.
I usually keep three tripods with me when traveling:
1. My big clunky tripod
2. My smaller gorilla pod (averaging at about $15-$20 depending on where you look)
3. My tiny little one (which is pretty much useless now that I have gotten a gorillapod) (also the photos you are looking at of the tiny little black one are the last pictures ever taken of it in one piece...I am missing one rubber foot now)
Step 4: Other Miscellaneous Gear
There's not much left to touch upon in the gear area. Really the only other things needed would be a good light and may be a nice surface. I do recommend a table that you can reach all the angles from but I don't have one so it really doesn't matter.
Step 5: That's All Folks!
Next time, we'll talk about in-camera settings and what can be done to enhance your photographs from there.