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December 28, 2012


Replies: 14

Pro Photography As A Hobby

paradoxicalfang Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2012
I would be interested in getting to know what it takes to get in to photography as a hobby. More than just using a typical point and shoot camera kind of thing. I'd be interested in looking to the digital SLRs and the like, however I'm unsure of the preparation and self education required to learn how to take quality photos before learning the equipment.

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Devious Comments

SkankinMike Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2013
Get a camera, learn it, take photos... Everyday!
Yenneferx Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
A lot of the information you can find in the Internet. For example something like that:
There is a lot of the pages which can help in getting knowladge. You only need to look for it:) (I never tried to find something like that in english, because in polish i have great course. But i like reading the tutorial "How i made it" something like that: [link] or read some tips : [link]
Nehszriah Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2013
I have to say that out of all the art-based hobbies, photography is one of the easiest for the casually-interested since the digital age has gotten rid of the finality it once had with film exposure. All you need is the camera you've got and a watchful eye--no heavy reading or fancy equipment required. If I were you I wouldn't bump yourself up to DSLRs and light riggings quite yet since they're not really necessary for a good shot. Once you get comfortable with the equipment you've got at hand, that's when you should begin looking into things and upgrading your stuff. For now, your camera is fine as-is. (Once school is back in session I can rent a DSLR and show you how to work it if you really want.)

A few things I'd keep in mind would be the rule of thirds (imagine the photo being divided with a tic-tac-toe board, and then offset the subject ever so slightly so it's partially in other squares), close-ups are your friends (don't be afraid to get in there), lines and angles going everywhere looks dramatic as hell, COLORS, and take your camera with you so you can get all the shots.

Like, that's it. If you really want to have some sort of preface to photography, look up the wikipedia articles for color theory/spectrum, analogous colors and catch the "Odessa Steps Massacre" scene from Battleship Potemkin while observing where everything is placed on screen and how the lines/angles are situated. Also try looking at shots other people have taken, or just talk to someone who is already in the hobby/profession.
FallisPhoto Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2013
By the way, I know it isn't what you meant, but that was a strange way to put it. In real life, pro photography as a hobby would be like doing business administration for fun.
WizardOfUnseen Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
It depends upon how far you are willing to take this hobby seriously. If you want to take photography seriously, by all means buy a good camera.
paradoxicalfang Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2012
Thanks for all the great advice everyone. I'll be looking in to the basics with books first and take it from there as I do have a nice point and shoot camera already. I think lighting for me is going to be the trickiest thing.
FallisPhoto Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2012
None of it is really easy. If you break down photography into seperate elements, you will find that once you get past the very basics, each is an art in itself.
FallisPhoto Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2012

Uh... learning the equipment is PART of learning to take quality photos.


Things you will have to learn:

1. lighting

2. composition

3. how the camera works

4. how to get the photos out of the camera and onto the computer

5. how to edit them (digital cameras are set to take crappy photos at the factory -- not a joke -- and you will have to fix that).

6. all the assorted 1001 things that apply to the specific type(s) of photography you are going to do. For example, portrait photographers need to either hire an assistant who knows how to do hair and makeup or they need to learn it themselves. Landscape photographers need to learn how to use filters. Photographers who work with nudes have a whole other set of things to learn, and so on.

LacieMelhart Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2012  Professional Photographer
Absolutely agreed. If you don't know how your equipment works then you'll never get the quality shots you want. You have to walk before you National Geographic.
blepfo Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2012  Student Photographer
Most important: go out and take some pictures :)

Aside from that, my #1 recommended resource is "The Photographer's Eye" by Michael Freeman. It's a painful read, and it takes forever to get through, but its full of great info on compositional theory.

For the technical stuff: every time I couldn't figure something out (exposure basics, histograms, RAW vs. JPEG), a quick Youtube search will give you all the info you need. I probably watched 2-3 videos on each topic I needed to know about :P
Delahkel Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2012  Professional Photographer
Get the book "Understanding Exposure" by Bryan Peterson, great for beginners.
Watch photography shows on youtube such as "digitalRevTV" "AdoramaTV" and "ThatNikonGuy" to name a few.

You can get great results with just a P&S camera, just focus on composition first, learn the basics, then, if you find that your camera is limiting you, start thinking of getting a good DSLR with a good lens.

Experiment with new things, don't go straight forward to googling how to do something, try to figure it out yourself first.

Of course, if you have a specific question that you can't find the answer to, or just want simple guidelines on how to do something, you're more than welcome to ask here, people are quite helpful on this forum.
georgewjohnson Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
A bit of OCD might help? :laughing:

All you need to get started, other than a camera of course, is dedication. The will to want to drive yourself, there's no rewards being a hobbyist other than simple satisfaction at doing something well and maybe a few friends and family oohing and ahhing at your better shots. You need to think a little like a pro, studying photographic theory of such things as composition and understanding your camera's operation. You need to constantly be thinking about getting the most out of your precious free time. Rather than spend time watching a TV show, spend some time looking at images and dissecting them, reading and learning photographic theory for when you have time to go shooting. Join a local camera club if you have one, get some shooting buddies, learn what others have done to maximise their enjoyment of this pasttime.

All the time effort and money you pump into this mental hobby and at the end you have to walk away with just the enjoyment, the classic line "The journey is its own reward." applies to photography so well but especially serious hobbyists who get no financial reward from it. I shoot landscapes and sometimes you might plan a couple of months in advance, wait hours or days to get a 30 second opportunity at a shot ( yes I've done that! ), all that's your own time and money so you have to make it count.

I'd like to think I'm a classic amateur/hobbyist, never sold an image, probably never will and frankly don't care. It can be a huge financial black hole if you're not careful, dread to think how much I've spent on kit and fuel for my car and the countless hours travelling and shooting, but in the end it's just such a superb way to ensure you do something genuinely creative with your free time and all the hard work you put in actually pays off.
Xcetera Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2012  Professional Photographer
Get a point and shoot and learn the basics first. Composition is something that all beginners have a big struggle with, and it's easier to focus on that when you don't have a whole other technical side to worry about. At least then, if you find it's not something you're enjoying, you still have a perfectly reasonable camera to own for practical purposes. Don't get lost under the idea that you can't take a great photo with a PnS - you can, but it's essential to know the basics.
mkr Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2012  Professional General Artist
DSLRs have great resale value. The worst case scenario is that you take a small loss if it's more than you're inclined to handle.
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