This year I started a photography club in my town. I really enjoy getting together with people from all different experience levels and taking photos. I didn’t have a club like this when I started out six years ago. I had a passion for photography plus age. The age part of the equation told me I didn’t have anything to lose by trying something new. My journey started with a Kodak digital camera with a fixed lens. I thought I had the world.
Now, six years later, I have more photography equipment than I know what to do with. I have Canon full frame to Fuji mirrorless and enjoy using them all. I like to try new things but the ultimate goal is to get the best shot. I have a website for my photos, Flickr and a Facebook page, because it is just easier to share the trips I go on. I didn’t know my little Kodak would open up the beautiful world outside my door and push me to going to new countries from Iowa.
I get a lot of questions about taking photos in the club, most of the time I will have an answer but sometimes I don’t. That is where Sharon Scarf comes in handy to help with her wide range of knowledge, which is why I love the club so much, because it is a safe place to learn. Not everyone has a club to go to though. So, what do you do?
What helped me to learn was to read books on how to take the shot. Make sure you know how to operate your camera like the back of your hand. Read the manual. Plus, look at photos taken by others on the internet. Landscape Photography Magazine published on the internet and delivered monthly is one of my favorites for excellent work. The internet is so easy to find the answers you are looking for and don’t wait to ask somebody go and search.
I learned a lot from going on a photography workshop with Gary Branigan and The Digital Dawn in the UK. The best thing I could have ever done to move me forward. I learned to use Lee Filters and the proper exposure. I have gone on many trips with different people and not all instructors are good. Just find someone you like and go with them. Being with a group of people who love to take photos really expands the experience of learning.
Finally, go out and make mistakes. Truly-if you are afraid to take the shot, you will never learn from it. You will get a feel for what you like, by what you take a picture of. Experiment with your camera and see what you can do and be true to what you like. Photography is a way of escape and show people worlds through a digital image. What world do you want people to see?