“I want to learn how to use my camera… Properly”
“I want to learn how to use my camera… Properly” is a statement we hear from people time and time again. How do I learn my camera? Is another – Our reply at Welshot is always the same. Practice, practice, practice, practice some more and practice again. According to Malcolm Gladwell’s blockbuster book ‘Outliers’ it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert at anything. That’s about 10 years of intensive practice to achieve mastery of any subject and here at Welshot we know, without a doubt, the people who get the best from their camera(s) are the ones that put the most time and effort into learning the art of photography.
Whether it’s about you needing to learn about F-stops, apertures, shutter speeds, ISO (Exospore Triangle) and camera modes – and how they all work, together and separately, or you just want to learn how to use your camera in a specific setting, such as the studio or shoot a particular genre of photography. It all comes down to the same thing. Practice!
We are guessing you’ve probably invested quite a lot of money in your camera, lenses and other photographic equipment, so were going to assume you made those purchases because you really did want to learn how to use your camera, take great photos and take a serious interest in photography. Maybe you wanted to be a part of a like-minded community and take advantage of some great opportunities but something (maybe your confidence or lack of understanding) is stopping you from using your camera properly.
Practice & learn how to operate your camera
Time, effort and practice is all it takes. It is about making sure you take some time, each day, each week, each month (it doesn’t really matter when and for how long, as long as it is consistent) to pick up your camera, set aside some time to learn, to practice, to have a go, to press that shutter button to see what happens. After all, once you have your DSLR camera, digital is cheap, your images can be deleted, you’ve not got the cost of developing and/or printing. You’ve nothing to lose and everything to gain by just playing with your camera to see what happens.
It is about not keeping your camera in the camera bag which is then stashed in a corner of the room, or, worse, thrown into a cupboard or under the bed never to see the light of day again.
Ideas to get you started with your camera & photography
At Welshot we have a whole book case of photography books, but the book we recommend the most for beginners is Michael Freeman’s ‘The Photographer’s Pocket Book’ – the essential guide to getting the most from your camera. In fact, any book by Michael Freemen will always stand you in good stead.
Subscribe to a blog
There is always something to learn, even for the most seasoned of experts and blogs are a brilliant way of not only learning about photography but also a way of keeping up with new trends, learning new skills and techniques. We like Photography Pro.
Ask a friend for help
Or get involved with a community of like-minded people who love photography and want to learn just as much as you do. Welshot is a community and we see Members (and Team Leaders) helping each other out all the time – not just at our events but online too in our Facebook Open Group
You Tube is the photographers playground
Type in ‘How do I learn photography?’ into You Tube and you will be given a 1001 different options. At Welshot we love Gavin Hoey and we’ve been privileged to have him lead some Welshot events in the past. Of course, there is always the Welshot channel too
Book a 1:1
If you learn better by doing then find someone you like, trust and respect to help you. Maybe you have a friend who has been using a camera for a long time and you admire their work. Maybe joining an organisation is something you would benefit from, As part of your Membership with Welshot you get a 4hr 1:1 Learn Your Camera session as part of your benefits which would get you started.
Take your camera everywhere
And we do mean everywhere. We tease Eifion because he puts a camera into the car even when he is going to the supermarket – always with a comment of “You never know what you will see” and he is constantly using it, from street photography to just practicing with different settings or trying new functions or in-built filters. Try taking your camera out on the next time you go for your daily walk – You can be learning to use your DSLR camera at the same time as getting fit.
Once you’ve learnt the basics, keep going, add to your skill set, invest in new kit. We always tell our Welshot Members not to get bogged down in having to need all the kit first – start with the basics, camera and the kit lens it probably came with. It is no use having all the gear and no idea about how your camera works. Learn your camera first.
Photography Courses, Workshops & Events
Same goes for all the different photographic genres, keep it simple, you do not have to know about every single genre of photography or technique all at once. That is where Welshot Academy Evenings come in, or our Mini-Modules. These are affordable, bite sized, camera courses and sessions that introduce you to different genres and techniques. A try it before you buy it opportunity before you invest in anymore photography equipment that you might not need.
So, why not make 2022 the year you turn “I want to learn how to use my camera… Properly” into… “Wow, look at me, I am using my camera properly and I am creating images that I am proud of” Imagine how great that would feel.
At Welshot we would certainly love to have the opportunity to help YOU get the best out of YOUR camera.
Lee, Eif and Team Welshot
Image Credits: Sue Mannings. Eifion Williams