Friday, January 22, 2010

A Guide on the Basics of Photography

So my most recent endeavor, and what has been eating up my time and causing me to forget that I do, in fact, have a blog; is a guide to explaining the absolute basics to photography.

How many times do people ask a photographer what camera they should buy, or what certain settings on their camera do? How many people read these long manuals that are so dry they can't truly grasp what it is they're reading, and in the end are left confused anyways?

The sad fact is, too many people are, and there aren't many guides out there that can explain these things in a way that is fun, and that a high school student can understand.

So, I decided I wanted to create a guide that would use analogies and photographs to explain the basic concepts behind photography. I'm not covering any special techniques or lighting; just the run of the mill camera.

I'm explaining apertures, shutter speeds, and megapixels. I'm covering what one should think about when considering purchasing a camera. I'm going over things that most people, as they learn, forget they once never knew.

As photographers, we often forget that we weren't born knowing the basics of photography. Along the way, either by going to school or through trial and error, we had to learn about aperture, shutter speed, ISO, and some sort of post processing; be it by use of chemicals in a darkroom or programs on a computer.

Frankly, the basics aren't that interesting either. So once you know them, you tend to forget that learning process because it sucks, in plain English. There is nothing more dry than listening to someone explain aperture and the likes when it comes to photography. As photographers, or aspiring photographers, we are of a creative mind. We don't tend to latch onto the technical, but instead the aesthetics. We're visual-minded people, and visual-minded people don't really care about the geometry behind apertures, they just want to know what setting to use to get the photograph to look right.

Because of this, my guide is going to skip over a lot of the more dry parts of photography, and instead explain things in a much more creative way. Analogies, photographic examples, and fun scenarios are just a few ways that I'm using to convey the idea.

After all, who needs to know that there's a formula behind why an aperture of 22 is capable of producing sharper photos than an aperture of 5.6, when you can show them a photo of the difference and say "this is what it does, remember that."

I love photography, and so part of my way to share that love is to create a guide that anyone can understand. And the first place I plan on sending it is back to my high school art teacher who hated the book we had to take notes from in photography for being too dry, so that she has something better to spice class up with.

I'm not sure if I'm going to try and get it published or not, but considering I'm at nine pages and going, with plenty of information left uncovered so far, I just might consider publishing. We'll see how it goes

For the most part though, I'll probably just release it online to start.

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