Some Advice for New Photographers

1/1000 sec at f/9 and ISO 400

Recently a reader wrote asking one of the timeless question that all new photographers ask: Would newer, better equipment improve my photographs?” Since I get this kind of e-mail from time to time, I wanted to share my response with any readers who might have a similar question. Please keep in mind that this is not the answer but is instead just my answer. Feel free to ask other photographers their opinion and at the end when all is said and done, make up your own mind based on the knd of photographs that you make.

To answer the question: Maybe but maybe not. Ultimately it’s the photographer who makes the picture, not the camera. The most important photographic accessory is the one between your ears.

The best thing you can do is practice. Make a picture every day; that’s actually harder than it sounds. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes because that is how we all learn.

Don’t chase perfection, instead work on improvements. Tackle a subject that you think is hard, like macro photography or infrared photography. And don’t look at the most expensive ways to accomplish these things; instead look at the cheapest ways such as using on-camera IR filters or close-up filters.

Don’t be afraid—the ole fear factor again—of purchasing used gear form eBay, Craig’s List or from friends. I’ve had great luck purchasing used gear from KEH Camera and even Japanese camera stores via eBay.

Visit this blog from time to time or better yet subscribe. (No spam, I promise.) It has many basic tips, with a different theme for each day of the week. There are several hundred hundred posts here. Find something that grabs your attention and learn more about it from publications, such as Shutterbug and don’t forget your local library.

PS. If you’re wondering about the above image, it’s a digital recreation of one of the first photographs that I ever made when I was eight years old, with a Kodak Brownie box camera.

Author: Joe Farace

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