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Photography is an art form unlike any other. A simple photo can tell a story, create a feeling, conjure up a memory, inspire or disgust, explain a culture, and so much more. Professional photographers and amateur photographers of all backgrounds and walks of life invite people to look at one instant that is forever gone; the photos people capture with the most complex and simple cameras is truly an medium that will never fade.
Most of us have access to a camera but few really have control of their camera equipment. A photographer is made by “having an eye”, but also, with having the technical skills to make your images have the meaning you want to convey to the people who look at your photos.
Whether you use a digital camera, a point and shoot, a disposable, a film SLR camera or the most celebrated medium or large-format camera – there is always something to learn, something to try.
There’s nothing quite like the anticipation of receiving your photographs from a family birthday, a party or from your last vacation, but there is nothing like the feeling of disappointment when you get your photos back and they haven’t turned out the way you had hoped. Perhaps the scenery that was so full of color and life turned out to be over or underexposed on film. Maybe your photo was blurred because of camera shake or the wrong part of the shot was not in focus, leading the eye to be distracted by something else in the frame.
Whatever the occasion for your shots, you’ll want to have control of your camera and an understanding of your subject, background, time of day – and most importantly – the feeling you want the picture to give when you look it. Often times, people see photography as a simple means to record where you were and who you were with at a time in your life, but photography is more than this. The photograph itself can cross cultures and time, giving people you may not even know a reason to want to be where you’ve been and experience the lives of the people we see in pictures.
No matter what your reason for wanting to improve your photography, control of skills can provide both the information and inspiration you will need to build up confidence in the subject, and to make picking up your camera a pleasure!