There has never been a better time to starting learning photography. In fact, there is a plethora of resources available to you that simply wouldn’t have existed 10, 15, 20 years ago. Thankfully, times have changed and there are hundreds of courses, tutorials, books, workshops, videos and even podcasts that can help you learn the art of photography.
In this in-depth guide, will walk you through the 5 best ways to learn photography, complete with tips that could improve your learning. So, if you’re serious about getting the best shots, read on!
1. Get out there and practise
This may seem like the most obvious thing in the world, but if you really want to learn how to take pictures, you need to start taking pictures. Regardless of whether you have a DSLR, mirrorless, bog-standard digital camera, or even just an iPhone, the only way to find out your strengths and weaknesses is to practise.
You don’t necessarily have to do this alone either. If you have a group of friends who are keen on getting into photography, you can work together to find out what works and what doesn’t work. It can also be a useful exercise for when you become more advanced, and you can look back at where you started. But the best bit? It’s completely free!
2. Take a course
One of the easiest ways to learn photography is to take some form of photography course. The length and proficiency of this course is entirely up to you, and there and plenty of them out there that cater to any skill level. For example, if you’re a complete beginner you may want to take a longer, all-around course, while an experienced photographer who’s looking to learn more specific skills, could take a shorter course.
The course could be online, at your local arts/ community centre, or even at a more traditional institution (i.e. college, university) – and each one will have a varying price tag. Our advice is to shop around and find one that works for you.
3. Library books
There are hundreds upon hundreds of books that have been written about the art of photography, and they’re mostly just sitting in your local library, waiting to be picked up. These can be great resources for understanding the basics of the craft and are usually accompanied by diagrams or picture tutorials to help you transfer the knowledge into your work. Not only that, but the library is a great place to head if you’re keen to brush up on your photography theory.
4. Take inspiration from the masters
When you first start learning how to take photos, one of the best ways to understand style and form is to study the work of established artists. Depending on the style you hope to pursue, there are plenty of exhibitions and museums around to gain inspiration. One of the best techniques is to find an artist or piece of art that you like, research how the shot was taken and try to recreate it yourself, bringing something new to the idea. While this may not be the best way of understanding theory or the practical elements of photography, it’s a great way of unlocking your creativity, which, we would argue, is just as important.
5. Join a workshop
If you can find a free, local photography workshop, you’ll be surrounded by photographers of all levels, who can help you improve your skills. Usually made up of enthusiasts, it’s a great way of making like-minded friends and expanding your knowledge with equally ambitious people. Alternatively, a more professional workshop, led by a trained photographer, can be an excellent way of learning specific talents, such as editing and lighting.
Realistically, there’s no set method for learning photography, you just have to find what works for you. Hopefully, a few of the things we’ve listed will do just that!