Can you learn photography just from content online? On my website and in previous blog posts, I’ve shared that I learned photography by watching YouTube videos and reading articles online. I thought I would share some of my favorite YouTubers for learning photography.
This is not, by any means, a complete list of my teachers in photography. There is more than a dozen more that I could point you to, but I have to say that the bulk of my early education in photography came from this group. If you would like to watch any of these incredible teachers, simply click on their names. I’ve linked directly to each of their YouTube channels.
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My Photography Journey
I didn’t grow up with a love for photography. Taking pictures wasn’t a big deal to me. When I got to college though, I took a class in photography. It was a very basic class. We made our own pin hole cameras and went out on campus taking pictures. I liked the surprise of finding out what I captured.
When I graduated, I asked for a 35mm camera and my parents got me one with interchangeable lenses. I bought a book on how to use it and started taking pictures. I basically knew to keep the needle in the middle of the meter for a proper exposure. I never got any further with the camera because I became a vegetarian. Film is not vegetarian, so I stopped using it. My love for animals trumped using a camera. So, I put my interest aside.
When Sony came out with a camera that stored images on a 3.5” disk, I was excited. Remember computer disks? Well, I had to have a Sony Mavica. I couldn’t adjust the settings on it, but I got to take pictures again. My interest in photography was rekindled. At the time I was making crafts, but I loved setting up a still life and photographing it.
Eventually, I stopped making the crafts and felt lost. I floundered. I became depressed and lost interest in most things. By this time, digital cameras were mainstream. One day, it was like a lightbulb went off in my head. I realized that I could really immerse myself in learning how to make photographs. I got my first DSLR and started watching YouTube videos for hours upon hours each day. I read articles and started practicing what I was learning. I went crazy with my camera!
I’ve said it before, but it is worth repeating. My enthusiasm for photography bubbled over. I can’t control myself! When I learn something new, I just want to share it with the world!! I’ll tell anybody who is willing to listen about the technique or skill I’ve learned. This being the case, now I am working on teaching others how to use their cameras.
Photography got me out of my depression and has helped me build my confidence and self-esteem. I don’t know where my passion will lead me, but I’m excited now about the future.
2020 has been rough for most of us. I personally have had surgery and several deaths of close family members. Not to mention the current pandemic that keeps all of us stressed out. Most of us don’t take time to relax. We’re so used to going quickly through life that we can pass something beautiful and not even notice it.
I find myself saying, “I need to go out with my camera.” Saying I “NEED TO” may sound strange, but I find my photography to be relaxing. I get lost in the process of taking an image. I take a mindful approach to my photography.
What does that mean? It means I go into a place I want to photograph and get lost in the environment. I notice my surrounding—every detail, from the sights to the sounds and smells AND I enjoy it. I appreciate the way the light dances around my scenery or how vibrant the colors are. I enjoy the sounds my feet make as I walk or the waves crashing along the shore, the sounds of the wind and wildlife. I love the smell of the salt in the air or a burning campfire. I notice the beauty.
Then as I take time to set up my tripod, choose my composition and settings, I slow down. It all becomes meditative to me—going through the steps. I connect to my images. I’ve immersed myself in the environment and the photograph that I’m taking. Usually when I go out, I go with no plans or expectation from my time. I don’t have an agenda of certain images I want to make that stresses me out. I don’t worry so much about getting the perfect shot. I go out for the experience, enjoying the process.
By going into a place I want to photograph & getting lost in the environment, I don’t think about my troubles or worries. I stay focused on what’s around me and where I am. It benefits me tremendously, in dealing with stress, anxiety and depression.
If you’ve never slowed down and submerged yourself this way, I encourage you to try doing so. Whether you like photography or have a different hobby, try noticing your surroundings—truly living in the moment, and then fully engage yourself in your activity. See if it melts your troubles away (even if only temporarily). This approach to your hobby can become an escape from the problems you face and allow you to relax for a while.
What Is This Page?
Since I love photography and teaching, I thought I would start a Blog page and share how I take my images, what I was thinking and about me.
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