Photography – A hobby or passion
These days, it’s very common that anyone who can afford a DSLR camera wear a title of photographer. So, what’s photography? How to start with it and gradually become a master? How to find happiness and inner peace by getting involved in it?
Who is a photographer?
In reality, it’s not about how good or expensive your camera is. It’s all about your artistic mind, talent to think different, skill to see the things from a different aspect and perspective, ability to see life, love and nature in the things and convey such message in the form of a photograph. A precious camera never gives you these skills. It’s achieved either by your own born-talent or by practising it. Practice can be of anything from but limited to - observing other photographers, philosophy, painting, social work, animals, children, adventures, arts, sports, movies, etc. The frames and subjects are chose by the photographer, not by the camera. So, broader the mind with an ability to think and visualise the happenings you witness, the more beautiful and meaningful the photographs you take.
It’s not easy to become a champion. Start with baby steps, no harm in imitating professionals, bring your own style slowly, establish a trademark and do experiments.
Happiness and inner peace: It’s a good stress buster and an effective media for expressing social issues, causes, personal interests and beauty of people and nature. Thus, your hobby makes you feel relaxed and makes you more responsible and sensible person. In fact, you start finding beauty in anything and everything.
Like any other art, photography also requires lots of time to be invested, especially in observing people, places, birds, animals, happenings, etc. So it’s obvious that the chances are more for you to come across different lifestyles, cultures, personalities, struggles, social issues, luxury, poverty, romance, relationships, etc. in our society and nature those may not be so visible and clear to you when you are leading a busy, programmed routine. Seldom, we get into the details but it’s got a power to make you sensible to such things and you grow very fast and master the art of grabbing such minute details. Thus, gradually you develop a skill of social awareness and responsibility.
In short, it makes you feel about the intent of life and gives you a message that people are different, lovely and we are very small in this gigantic universe. You understand the fact that treating all the living beings and nature equally and with respect is the key for a successful and happy life. In addition, you will gain self-esteem because now you can understand people and animals better than before J
How to start: There are many online tutorials to understand the basics and technical part of it. Refer those tutorials or consult with a photographer you are known to before buying a camera or lens. Just like our computer peripherals, there are configurations and compatibility stuffs to check before you buy.
What should you need to start with it?
The list can very long such as a camera body or two, 3-4 lenses for different purposes, a tripod, filters, remote control, extra batteries, expansions, flash units, soft box, bag, rain cover, memory cards, etc. However a single camera, one wide angle lens and a zoom lens are fair enough to start with.
Picture quality and shooting modes
It’s always better to click in RAW format than JPG. There are many modes in your camera. Each one of them has its own use and you can learn how and when to use it. Very commonly used are Aperture priority (A in Nikon and Av in Canon), Shutter specific mode (S in Nikon and Tv in Canon) and the Manual mode (M mode). There are also a set of preloaded modes for different situations like sports, night, auto, portrait, etc. The best way to understand how to tackle with your camera settings is to refer the magical triangle. Just do a Google image search for “photography magical triangle.”
Processing and editing
Use your favourite editor or the one recommended by your camera vendor for processing, enhancing, converting and editing. The thumb rule is - Do not use too much of graphical illustrations and enhancements that will tamper the genuineness of the picture. There are many editors like the very famous Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom, GIMP from Open Source Community, etc. I personally use GIMP-UFRaw combination in my Ubuntu machine for exposure, WB and colour correction. No big edits :-)