Fellow geeks and nerds have probably heard and even seen the show ‘Westworld’. It’s a show that revolves around paying clients in the distant future who have money to satisfy all their needs. And in such a world, a theme park is opened where AI enabled ‘humanoids’ can be tortured, f**d, and even killed if the clients desire. It’s a world set back in the past, where even a photograph looks like an alien object.
“Looks like nothing to me” says one of the characters when his daughter shows him a photograph of a girl.
Photography is as much a skill as it is an art
But that one photograph had fans of the show in a tizzy. There are various theories on who that woman may be and how she fits into the show. One photograph, though. That’s all it took. Even though it’s a plain photograph of a candid moment, there are plenty of photographs that we remember for their moments in history. Think, the Napalm Girl or the tragic Syrian boy at the beach shore.
So, how can anyone take a great picture? It takes a lot of practice and understanding of the terms involved along with practical usage of techniques. Though it might appear overwhelming at first, it can be achieved with a proper approach. So let’s get started.
It takes time and patience
Even though I’ve made it plainly clear, I’m going to reiterate the fact: Photography isn’t easy. It takes time to master it. Like any good art worth pursuing, there are many nuances to photography. It’s best to first know them fully, then practice them gradually and reap the rewards eventually.
Web tools makes things easier
DSLR functions can be quite complex and to get the right shot is not always easy. To understand how these varied functions work needs a little practice. If you’re not up for going out and taking dozens of photographs with different settings, then there are some web tools to help out.
Photoskop is one such web tool which will walk you through different photographs in varied lighting conditions. The only caveat is you’ll need to enable flash, a technology which has been outdated in favour of the more robust HTML5.
But if you still use the site, you’ll quickly realise how changing the aperture, shutter speed and ISO settings changes the final image. The website’s helpful UI allows you to see how making changes to one function can lead to better exposure and level of details captured.
Get social by joining activities
Once you’ve got enough understanding of DSLR camera functions, it’s time to get social. The more you involve yourself in the newly acquired skill, the better you’ll get. Here are some ideas for it :-
1. Join a club/activity
There are plenty of online and offline photography clubs that you should join to get motivated. It will not only give you an additional way of socialising with other people but also helps in getting better at photography. A simple Google search will yield results or look for local Facebook Groups.
Another fun idea to try is completing online tasks. There are a few websites out there that will set out challenges on a regular basis. Also, follow websites like Petapixel, 500px, Flickr and r/photography on Reddit to stay abreast of photography trends. You should also find famous contemporary photographers and follow the ones you like on social media.
2. Don’t compare your work
Secondly, but more importantly, don’t start comparing your work to others. You might simply be doing things better but to your own critical mind, the progress might be too slow or just not good enough. Don’t show your work to anyone for at least 6 months. Even after that time, share it with fair minded and just individuals who want to bring out the best in you and not pull you down.
3. Keep at it
Lastly, don’t give up! Giving up a newly learned skill can be easy but only with persistence can you actually achieve the desired results. And if you still feel like giving up, remember the words by famous American photographer Alfred Stieglitz
In photography there is a reality so subtle that it becomes more real than reality.
Are you clicking yet?
If you know of easier ways of learning photography and sticking to it, then we’d love to know. Please drop us a comment with what you did to get clicking and together we can create better ideas.