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  • Writer's pictureMark Abere

So You Want To Learn Photography

Updated: Dec 2, 2020

(all pictures were taken for purpose of this series)

Photography makes a huge impact on almost every aspect of our lives.

How many times have you overlooked an Airbnb because the photos of the location were subpar?

Or, consider the times you were looking for a barber/hair stylist. How many of them have you personally skipped over because their social media/ pictures of their work were lackluster?

Think about your encounters with the app, Yelp! We've all had times when we we've stumbled on a new restaurant, quickly realized that the photos of the food don’t do it for us, and swiped to the next restaurant without batting an eyelid.

These situations may seem comical on a surface level but they happen so many times a day. People lose all kinds of business (and ultimately money!) because of an inability to effectively convey what they want through pictures and media. Photography isn't just about about the ability to capture pictures - it's the opportunity to capture your desired audience.

So what's my point? Shooting pictures with a DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex Camera) or a Mirrorless camera can seem very complicated and daunting at first. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t get frustrated in the very beginning. I can say, though, that the basis of me getting comfortable with photography was in my ability to understand basic concepts of 3 important things: Shutter Speed, F-Stop and ISO. Once I mastered these, the rest came easy.  I feel that everyone possesses the ability to take decent pictures and my hope is that with this series I can make these concepts a little less complicated.

The subsequent parts (there will probably be 2 more) in this mini-series will be focused on the mentioned topics along with a few tips on editing and trouble shooting. This information is targeted to beginners who want to actually understand photography basics and want to be able to take their own pictures with a DSLR/Mirrorless camera.

Let's Jump in.

Things you’ll need.

1. A Decent Camera Body

I’m a Canon guy because I started learning photography with a canon camera. When I say a decent body, I don’t mean super expensive or high-professional end. I have been shooting for a while so I've outgrown a couple of camera bodies and currently use a professional body (Canon 5D Mark III). However, as a beginner/ beginner-immediate, you'll solely need a camera that enables you to switch out lens and manually adjust your settings.

Some suggestions:

-Anything in Canon rebel series (Canon rebel t3i is what i started off on, Rebel T7 is pretty good from this series as well).

-Canon EOS M50 (just got this one and I love it for vlogging, and it takes dope pictures. I took the content photos in this blog with this).

All of these cameras are around 500-600 range. I will admit, photography is probably one of the more expensive hobbies to start off, but it definitely pays off in the end. Always remember that you can sell your camera body once you outgrow it and invest in another one that suits your needs.

2. A Good Lens

The kit lens that comes with these camera bodies are often decent and straight forward. They allow you to zoom in and out and practice the basics. However, from an artistic stand point - if you are trying to get nice portraits, pictures of buildings, or even pictures of objects “with the blurred out background” (also known as bokeh, but we’ll talk about this later) it probably won't give you much to work with. The lens I always tell people to start off with is the 50 mm portrait lens (aka fixed lens). It allows you to practice how to set your lens up for those great depth of field pictures (blurry background with subject in focus), while allowing you to also practice composition and lighting at a good distance from your subject.

(tip: it's considered a fixed lens because you cannot zoom in and out – the focal length cannot change. A zoom lens is made in a way that you can change the focal length allowing you to zoom in and out of your subject.) Canon has a basic 50 mm lens that is just around the 100 dollar mark on amazon. Great for portraits!

3. Patience

Photography will not come over-night. As time progresses and you shoot more, you'll notice yourself getting better and better. Just like any other thing, it’s great to have an idea of the type of photographer you want to be in mind, so you can tailor your questions, gear and time to learning towards that specific style. I knew I wanted to be a great portrait photographer, so I followed a lot of great photographers on Instagram and watched tutorials on youtube. You put out what you put in, and photography is no exception.

So what are our take-aways?

  1. The importance of good photography.

  2. You don't need an insanely expensive camera body to take good pictures.

  3. Bokeh.

  4. Prime Lens vs zoom lens.

  5. Patience is key.

If you have any questions about equipment, feel free to hit me up! Don’t forget to subscribe if you like this content and want to be one of the first to get info!!


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