Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Advice on Taking up Photography

Hi everyone,

I thought I would offer some advice and guidance for anyone who is interested in taking up DSLR photography, but your not sure how to go about it. In this post I'm going to talk about DSLR cameras that are suitable for beginners, and also the different types of courses and tuition that is out there for you.

I started learning how to do DSLR photography about four years ago, and for myself personally I went and had private photography lessons with a professional photographer. Its taken me until now to how to get the best use from my DSLR camera, and what I need to do to improve on my photography.

DSLR Cameras that are Ideal for Beginners

Canon 100D with an 18-55mm IS STM Lens £479.00
Canon 1200D with an 18-55mm IS Lens £369.00
Canon 700D with an 18-55mm IS STM Lens £549.00
Nikon D5100 with an 55-200mm VR Lens £579.00
Nikon D5300 with an 18-55mm Lens £599.00
Nikon D3200 with an 18-55 VR II Lens £330.00

These are just some of the DSLR kits which I have found online, and these are the DSLR cameras that I think would be ideal for someone who is just starting out in DSLR photography.

Recommended DSLR Accessories

UV Filters - I would recommend buying one of these for each lens you buy; just because these protect the front of the lens, and they also reduce the glare on your photos

Tripod - One of these would be ideal if you wanted to do landscape photography, or taking a photo using a long exposure time on your camera. 

SD cards & Compact Flash Cards - If your camera takes SD cards, make sure you buy the SDHC type and its a Class 10; which are the latest SD class on the market. These upload pretty quickly to your computer. Compact Flash cards are mainly found in high end cameras; so I wouldn't worry to much about those. I'd also recommend you getting two 16GB cards, and also a 32GB than that way your covered memory wise, and you have spares if anything goes wrong or its full.

Spare Camera Battery - As you never know when one of these may come in handy.

Camera Bag - Lowerpro bags are fantastic camera bags at a reasonable price. Make sure you find a bag thats ideal for both you and your camera/ lens needs.

Photography Courses

You can go about learning how to do DSLR photography in few different ways, and these ways are: -
- College/ Adult Learning Centre
- Online Courses
- One-to-one tuition with a private photographer
- Photography Workshops

College Courses

These are just some of the courses that they offer at one of my local colleges, but I'm sure that you'll be able to find something similar within a college in your local area. Its also worth mentioning that with these courses you will have to pay an upfront fee of around £500+, depending on course you decide to take.
The course that I've found are:-
- Digital Photography
- Digital Photography Beginners
- Digital Photography Certificate Level 1

Online Courses

These are courses were you enrol online, and then attend a course at a particular venue. These courses do have limited spaces, and they is a fee to go on these courses.

This online company offers a four hour beginners photography course, and it has enough space for 7 students. The course itself is based in London.

This is a two part course, and you have to pay to attend each course separately.
Part One - Get off Auto
Part Two - Advanced Camera Skills

You need to enrol online for each course, and these are held within your local area. Each course has enough space for 10 students.

One-to-One Tuition with a Private Photographer

This is the route that I chose to take, and this worked brilliantly for me as I was able to fit in and around my lifestyle.

You gain a basic/ intermediate understanding on how best to use your DSLR camera, and how to get the best out of it for what you want to use it for. Its important to find a photographer that offers this service, as well as one that you can get along with. You also need someone who is a flexible and fit lessons in when its suits you and your lifestyle. These lessons are also worked around your pace of learning, and held in your local area. There's also no need to worry about exams, as they won't be any. Maybe questions here and there to see how much you have understood, and also some DSLR homework. 

Photography Workshops

Jessops Academy Course DSLR Level 1
This course is suitable for anybody who doesn't have any prior knowledge of how to use a DSLR camera, but would like to know on how to get the most from their camera by gaining a basic understanding.

This course is a mixture of both theory and practical work, and this will help you to get the most of your DSLR camera. You also pick up hints and tips along the way.

The course covers:-
- Lens & focus operation
- Camera handling
- Controlling image exposure
- Aperature & Depth of Field (DoF)
- Shutter Speeds
- Basic composition

Jessops Academy Course DSLR Level 2
This course is suitable for anybody that have some basic knowledge on how to use a DSLR camera. But before you apply to go on this course; this is the knowledge that you need to have:-
- Aperature & Depth of Field (DoF)
- Understadning how to adjust your ISO
- Know how to adjust Shutter Speeds
- Understanding focusing & lens control

The Level 2 course covers:-
- To read & control exposure
- Ensure locking & bracketing
- Exposure metering
- White balance & custom white balance
- To get the best from your focusing system
- Lenses
- Macro
- Flash
- Using filters

You do have to pay for each of these courses separately, and they have locations throughout the UK.

I would like to wish you loads of luck on your chosen photography journey. It'll be worth it in the end, I promise.

NB.) I have not in any way been sponsored for this post, by any of the above companies. This is just what found from doing a lot of research, and then collating it into a blog post that I hope that you will find useful.

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