Friday, November 21, 2008

Foto Friday #1- It's the Photographer, Not the Camera

It's the Photographer, Not the Camera

Aren't you glad it's FRIDAY? While Fridays have always been an enjoyable day for me, since I have started working for my church, they have become even more enjoyable. Why, you may ask? Because they are my day off. And I for the most part get to hang out with my lovely wife on these days!!! Tonight we are going to Disneyland and it is the first day of Christmas time there. Yeah, we are pretty excited.

All that to say, I wanted to be able to share my excitement for Fridays will all of you. Lately I have been getting a lot of requests from up and coming Photographers who would like me to help them take their photography game to the next level. While I can't help out everyone individually, I thought that Foto Friday might be a good way to share photography tips that have helped me become a better photographer.

You may not know this but I have NEVER taken a photography course and have learned 100% of what I have learned from fellow photographers, 1 book and the internet. So now I am giving back.

FOTO FRIDAY TIP #1- It's the photographer, not the camera.

When I say that, I must instantly qualify that statement by saying that if I was given the chance to have a point and shoot camera vs the Canon Mark III 1ds- I would choose the latter every day of the week and twice on Sundays.
But here's what I am getting at with this post- the more decisions that you take away from your camera and make yourself, the more creative and higher quality your photographs will be. Many people buy a fancy SLR (single lens reflex- or detachable lens) camera and put it on fully automatic mode and assume that they will get amazing photographs simply because they have an expensive camera. Not true. A photographer who really knows how to use a Canon Rebel XT will get pictures that are far superior to a novice photographer who puts the $7000 canon camera on auto and snaps away.
So what does this mean- Photography takes some effort! It is like many other things in life where you will get out of it what you put into it. So, two things to take away from this post-

#1- Manual Mode- I shoot 95% of the photographs I take in manual mode because that is where I have the most control over the settings for my shot. If you don't know what you are doing, manual mode will yield you stinky pictures (yes, they may actually smell) but if you do- oh so good. Manual mode is incredibly intimidating at first with trying to understand shutter speed, aper-what? and ISO? However, there is a book that incredibly helped me to understand the nuts and bolts of photography in general. You can get it for about $17.11 on Amazon. Understanding Exposure. The author uses pictures to demonstrate everything and reading this book will definitely not make you feel like a photo nerd. Not that there's anything wrong with being a photo nerd... Read this book and practice! Get comfortable with manual mode, because your photographs will be better when you do!
#2- Know how to adjust the settings on your camera. Plain and simple, you may have to crack open that manual to learn how to adjust the aperture, shutter speed, ISO and a few other things on there. Obsessive reading of the manual may just make you a photo nerd, however. Read the first book to teach you about how to do photography and use the manual to help you apply that to your camera.

Well there it is, the first Foto FRIDAY! I will be endeavoring over this next year to be posting a helpful photography hint EVERY Friday so bookmark me on your google reader or check back on Fridays!

And if you have a photography question that you are dying to get answered- email me! I would love to be able to be inspired by you for a future Foto Friday post!


kristin said...

Good. I will check back and learn a few things. I 95% of the time shoot in aperture priority. Love it. But I mess with my exposure +/- a lot :)

rcampbell said...

Almost as good as sitting as Starbucks with you.

Naomi Smith said...

billy - - I just scrolled through all your foto fridays. very nice.