"I bought my first camera in 2007 due to having a lot of downtime with a knee injury, and I just read and re-read the manual and started playing around with light. I have always been a surfer and live with the ocean right at my doorstep, so it felt like a natural progression to take my camera (in a water housing, of course) straight into the sea. Originally my plan was to take some happy snaps of my mates surfing at home, but in a few months it lead to my first published image, then my first cover."
Thomas Hawk has a good post on how to make the most out of Ello:
Just a quick video with some great travel photo tips!
Update: There is now an entire page on this site dedicated to Travel Photography Tips!
Let's set the record straight.
There is no best way to learn photography. There are plenty of ways to learn photography and there really is no perfect answer this question. Everyone has their own learning style, as such there is no 'one size fits all' solution.
Some people teach themselves, others benefit greatly from a formal education. Others choose to get best of both worlds by learning photography online and teaching themselves.
A Few Ways To Learn Photography:
Read your manual
Read some photography books
Learn photography from the masters of photography
Read photography ebooks
Learn with a group of friends
Use Youtube videos
Attend university and study photography
Go to a local college
Go to a local photography course
Take a one day course
Learn from blogs and photo sites
Learn from an online photography course
Become active on a photography forum
Simple trial and error
Just shoot lots of photographs
Attend weekend courses
The list could go on and on. The main thing is that nobody can tell you what is best for you!
What you should really be asking:
If you want to learn photography, ask yourself what is the most fun you've had learning something? And then try to replicate that. When something is fun people tend to learn quickly. Also as yourself what format do you prefer when learning? Some people prefer the written word and others are more visual. Then choose your method(s) accordingly. A hybrid approach is really great. Just combine a few theoretical and practical approaches and you'll be all set.
Essential To Learning Photography:
This really applies to anything you want to get good at but it really works with photography.
- Have fun
- Practice hard
Without the hard work of practice and the fun of learning you won't get anywhere.
Photography is a Life-long Journey:
One of the most fascinating aspects of photography is that you really never stop learning. Not only does the art form evolve over time but you get older and you attain a different perspective. Your early photos will be embarrassingly bad but they may be more interesting in a different context. What's more, the technology of photography changes regularly as well. There is always something new to learn! How great is that?!
"If your pictures aren't good enough, you're not close enough."
- Robert Capa
If there is anything you can do to dramatically improve your photography immediately, it's get close, and then get even closer.
Here is a example of something I witnessed at the top of Uluru in Australia. The man below thinks he is going to shoot a good photo and he is trying his best. In fact this is how close the average person gets when taking a photograph like this.
This is how close I get when taking a photograph:
It's so easy to get close and it results in vastly superior photographs almost every single time. Also take special note here that the best way to get close is by moving your feet. If that doesn't work only then do you use your telephoto lens. Got it?! Good!
Just look at the photos below and you'll see how different the same subject can be.
photo by rankingfuuta
photo by mjmerry
Here is a video from Vsauce about this subject:
Here is a video from Mike Browne on this subject:
Here is a different opinion on the subject from Matt Granger:
So get out there and get close!
Want to learn more simple ways to improve your images? We have all kinds of tips and tricks like this in our photography course.
(Photographer unknown. If you know who took this get in touch so we can give credit where it's due!)
This photograph of two men standing at the bottom of a very large ship in a dry dock is a really stunning example of scale in photography. Using scale in photography is very important because as humans our minds figure out the size of our surrounding world in various ways. Of course your brain knows the size of a human and in this case that means that is one HUGE ship!
Scale gives the person looking at your photograph a frame of reference. Scale is often an under-utilized technique in photography. In fact many beginners in photography will even go so far as to remove people from a landscape photo thinking people in the image detract from the view. When in fact having people in your landscape photos can often be great! For example look at how much better this image is because there is a person in the foreground:
photo by steved
Be aware your brain can and will play tricks on you:
In fact this caused problems for astronauts on the moon! Here on Earth, distant objects are obscured by the atmosphere, and we use that to mentally estimate distances. That makes things a little tricky on the moon because there is no air! An object can be very far away on the Moon and still razor sharp to the eye. You can't tell if a boulder is a meter across and 50 meters away, or 10 meters across and 10 miles away!
To give you an example this watch the rock the start of this video. Try to guess the size of the rock at the start of the video. Then watch until the end and see if your original guess was indeed correct.
Here is another fantastic example of scale in photography:
Scale is a great technique to improve your images and shouldn't be overlooked. You can even have fun with it like this. As humans we need scaled to know how large and small the surround world is. In photography it helps us to enjoy the image instead of adding mental work to figure out the size of various elements.
Here is another video about scale (and polarizing filters)
Now go forth and take some great photographs with scale!
Here is a video that uses scale nicely:
This list of photography themes is super hand for those of you feeling like there is nothing to photograph. Photography themes are a great way to organize your photography. Often students say their town is boring or there is nothing to shoot. There is ALWAYS something to photograph!
Just take a look at this list of themes and items that are interesting to shoot. It should get you started.
If you're wondering why using themes in photography is useful read this.
We will update this list as we come up with new ideas.
- Abandoned Buildings
- Back Alleys
- Bad Weather
- Bald Heads
- Bare Feet
- Bicycle Parts
- Black and White
- Broken Glass
- Butterflies / Bees
- Car Details
- Catching People Unaware
- Church Windows
- City Hall
- City Skylines
- City Street Scenes
- Covered Bridges
- Custom Cars
- Disappearing Professions
- Disappearing Technologies
- Doom and gloom
- Door Knobs
- Dots / Dashes / Diagonals
- Emergency Situations
- Enthusiasm / eager
- Environmental Trash
- Eye Glasses
- Farm Animals
- Fetes & Festivals
- Fire Engines
- Fireworks / Fire
- Flower Petals
- Forms in Nature
- Geriatric (older folks)
- H Hands
- Hot Rod Cars
- Indian Ruins
- Indigenous Things Or People
- Isolated Objects
- Junk Yards
- Kin or Families
- Machine Parts
- Marine life
- Mass flowers
- Movie Theater Marquees
- Neon Signs
- Night lights
- Odd Couples
- Old Everything
- Paper Abstracts
- Parallel Lines
- Peeling Paint
- People At Work
- People Walking Dogs
- Pictures in Pictures
- Piles of Things
- Pink / Purple
- Railroad Cars
- Railroad Tracks
- Red Barns
- Reflections in Glass
- Reflections in Water
- Round Things
- Rows of Things
- Sand dunes
- Sand Patterns
- Sea Shells
- Sleeping Animals
- Sleeping People
- Small Furry Animals
- Smoke Stacks
- Soft Curves
- Spanish Moss
- Steam Railroads
- Still life
- Strange Signs
- String Instruments
- Teddy Bear / toy
- The Local School
- The spot (X marks it, you know)
- Tools of the Trade
- Tree Knots
- Ugly Everything
- Ungulates (hoofed animals, pigs, goats, deer horses)
- Vices or Habits
- Weathered Wood
- Wide Angle Everything
- Zig Zags
How's that for a list of things to shoot?! Now get out there and take some great photographs!?
Not enough? Check this out for some more ideas:
Everywhere we go it seems like people want to take photos of each other jumping in the air! And why not? It’s great fun and you can get some really fun and energetic photos this way.
Based on the number of people who seem to try to take the same photo over and over it seems people don’t understand how to take photographs this way. There are so many failed attempts that we thought we’d put together some tips on how to take these photos properly.
The closer you are the better your jumping photo will look. The subject will look as though they are much higher in the air and the effect will be more pronounced. In this photo I was using a wide angle lens and I was quite close.
The same applies here, the lower you are the better your jumping photo will look. Again, the subject will look like they are much higher in the air and the overall effect will be more energetic.
Use a flash
If you can, use a flash to help freeze the action. Using the flash adds more light and makes it much easier for your camera to shoot an image that isn’t blurry. If no flash was used in this image it simply would not have worked at all. This photo was taken inside a massive tree.
Learn your camera’s timing
If your camera is not a DSLR there may be a delay between pressing the shutter and when the photo is actually taken. The trick is the learn the delay between when you push the button and when the photo is shot. Most point and shoot cameras have some kind of delay because of their auto-focus system. Once you have this delay mastered your jumping photos will be dramatically improved.
Do the countdown
Tell your subjects that you will countdown from three and say jump in order to get the timing right. So you’d say something like 3,2,1,JUMP! You may have to do this a few times to get the timing right. Interestingly many people say things like “ready? go!” or “ok, JUMP!” which clearly doesn’t work.
Shoot Portrait not Landscape
If you shoot your image in portrait as opposed to landscape you'll exaggerate the height of the jump. You'll also have a better chance of catching the action given it's quite an up and down... Also, be sure to include some of the floor or ground in the image to show more height.
Strike a Pose
Tell the person you're photography to do a funny 'move' or 'pose' when they're in the air. It will make for a more dynamic image.
There are even websites dedicated to jumping photos:
I took all the photos in this post and had lots of fun doing it. We hope you enjoy taking your jumping pictures as well.