will england :: art : photo : getting started

[This is a note I wrote to a friend of mine who was ready to re-finance
their car to get started in photography.]

You don't need to spend thousands of dollars - a good basic camera, like that Nikkon FE10 ($250), a few lenses( $2-300), a basic enlarger ($250) and trays and stuff is all you really need. Now, you can get away without the enlarger, even - just concentrate on picture composition, lighting, contrast, etc. Have Walmart develop them. You scan them in and self-publish.

Really, to get started with the *very* basics of photography, just get a Yashica T4 Super. ($149.95). Spend the rest of the money on books and film.

To get published, you'll need to have a portfolio to show around. You'll need some amazing images. To make those amazing images, you'll need to take pictures. Always have your camera with you. Learn to see the world as you would see it thru a view finder. Practice composing pictures constantly. Take more pictures.

You'll need to learn the basics of design - light, dark, space, lines and shapes. Colors, contrast, complements. You want to create art just as a painter does, except your canvas is the whole world, and you simply arrange it and frame it to your liking.

You will need to be able to recognize what is good and what is not - study the masters - classical painters, architects, designers, photographers. Really see what they did - what techniques they used to create the effect of the painting. Study the history of art - learn about the artists, the art, the science of design.

Study math, especially geometry. The world is made of shapes, and geometry describes shapes. Learn how shapes work together to create objects.

Look at shadows. See what isn't there - the space between objects. Take pictures of what isn't there.

Be patient. learn every day. Use your eyes - experience new things. See the old in new ways.

Take pictures. Learn from your attempts. Never give up.

Will

-- Jan: Our monitors go 'doink' when they change HSCAN freq. Is this normal? jguthrie: Do they also go "Narf!" and say things like "I think so, Brain, but where are we going to find leather pants in our size?" [email protected]

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Author: Will England ([email protected])
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Updated Thursday, March 07 2002 @ 10:27pm