I remember my first beginning photography class. It was around 1996 at the community college. Digital cameras were just starting to make their way onto the market. Back then, everything was done on film. Learning what the settings on the dial meant, learning composition and then finally developing my own film was exciting and each week, I could not wait to get back to class.
Fast forward to today. While beginning photography classes at the community college are still run the same way, today’s digital cameras require just a bit of different instruction than learning the old film way. Many of the fundamentals of photography don’t change but there is a world of difference between the single lens reflex film cameras and today’s high-tech digital SLRs.
If you are ready to get started in beginning photography and you have a digital camera, here is my advice for finding the best instruction:
Find a course or book that focuses only on beginning photography. The course should focus mostly on topics such as the camera’s parts, simple composition, and proper exposure. I have seen many books and courses branded as “beginning photography” only to lose focus and discuss philosophy and techniques only Ansel Adams could understand. Being overwhelmed with T.M.I. (too much information) can be discouraging and unproductive.
Spend some time asking advice on internet forums that focus on photography. The people that post on forums have been where you have been and are happy to give you referrals and even advice on how to use your camera.
Last, don’t spend a lot of money. If your goal is just to learn how to use your digital camera and how to take a better photo, there are many books and courses that can show you how to do just that for very little money. Some courses, while very thorough, can run up to $1000 or more but they will also teach the business side of photography as well.