Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Free Resources for Learning Digital Photography

Photography can be a frustrating activity sometimes. In large part, this is because in order to do it well, it takes equal almost an equal amount of study and practice. Most people simply don't have the time for both, and so they either focus on one or the other. For example, there are some would-be photographers who spend an inordinate amount of time reading books and other sources of information on the subject. In fact, they're spending so much time reading that they never even make it out into the field to practice their newly-learned techniques.

And then there are the would-be photographers who are just the opposite of this. They are always snapping photos of different subjects and experimenting with different settings, but because they don't ever spend time with a book, they never learn what's really going on with their photos. As a result, if they have a problem in a particular area, they have a hard time discovering the cause of the problem and fixing it for future photos.

In order to be the best photographer that you can be, then, it is important to do a little bit of study as well as field work. I think most people have the field work part of the equation down pat. You just grab your camera and other equipment and head out the door. Finding good study materials regarding photography can be little more difficult. Here are two suggestions:

Those who do not study up on digital photography usually don't have enough time to do so. That's why podcasts are such a great resource. Podcasts are simply MP3 audio files that have been recorded and posted on Internet websites such as Podcast Alley (www.podcastalley.com) or the Apple iTunes store. There are some wonderful podcasts that pertain to digital photography, including one called Tips From The Top Floor. This is an excellent podcast that is usually only 5-10 minutes long. The host doesn't waste a lot of time with small talk; instead he just gives you useful tip after useful tip regarding digital photography. These tips don't involve fancy equipment -- you can start using them right away.

Digital Photography Forums
Forums are Internet message boards, and are an excellent way to come in contact with other people who share your passions. There are forums for every hobby or calling under the sun, including digital photography. The best thing about forums is the fact that your can post your own messages (after a simple registration process) and then get precise answers or suggestions regarding photography problems that you are having. The answers usually come from more experienced members of the forum, so you'll be getting suggestions from people who have "been there, done that." Another benefit to forums is that you can find one dedicated to the type of photography you are most interested in, such as sports, weddings, portraits, etc.

These two resources can help you learn about digital photography on your own time. There's no commitment (you can come and go as you please) and no money involved (both resources are free). So get out there and start learning about digital photography today!

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