Are you the amateur shutterbug who enjoys taking holiday snapshots, entering amateurs' competitions and even making money from it? Find out what you can learn at a hobby photography course. Even within the realm of hobby photography, each one can find his niche. Since photography is all about aesthetic expression, it can be concluded that those who pursue a photography hobby would like to make a statement with each snapshot. It is in his mind's eye that he wants to 'capture a moment in time'. Taking great pictures is more than aiming and clicking - it needs in-depth knowledge of lighting, equipment, composition and a keen eye.
The basics of photography do not lie in the sophistication of the equipment. It lies in the eye of the photographer. To be able to successfully turn your photography hobby into a career, you should be aware of the procedures and equipment that go into setting up your own studio. Training in modern digital and video photography techniques would help a hobby photographer gain a foothold in the basics of camera techniques, lighting and image design.
Camera equipment: The range of cameras and their filters, flashes and other accessories is bewildering to say the least. At the time of writing this article, you can get 15 mega pixels digital cameras capable of capturing full HD (High Definition) movie format - 1920 x 1080 or what is more commonly referred as 1080p are available for less than $500. When this page was originally written in the mid 2000, digital technology was not ripe for the mainstream photography usage. Digital technology now has reached a stage where digital cameras offer exceptional high resolution coupled with gigantic leap in storage - memory card capacity.
The lines separating various types of cameras are getting murkier by the day. The ease of instant preview, excellent image quality, possibility of some very complex special effects using computer software instead of a darkroom and sharing snaps over the Internet has led to the increasing popularity of digital cameras. The software that comes with digital cameras allows you edit, manipulate and organize your pictures. You can let your imagination run riot with the endless possibilities that digital cameras can offer.
Hobby photography equipment
From compact digital cameras intended for the Point-and-shoot kind to more advanced Professional/Consumer (a new word has been coined for this - prosumer) to the Professional DSLR (digital single lens reflex) cameras - the choice is infinite. Most digital cameras offer the capability to record Video - complete with audio, obviating the need to carry a Camcorder. Digital image stabilization or the more advanced optical image stabilization is built into most prosumer cameras to reduce blur.
You will need a minimum of a good sturdy tripod, a UV filter or a skylight filter to protect the camera lens and a well padded camera bag as the basic accessories for your camera.
Photographic Techniques: Control of exposure, composition along with depth of focus allows hobby photographers to experiment with different stylistic approaches and metering light suitably. Understanding metering techniques for different lighting situations is of even more importance when taking landscape photography. The design elements of line, texture, space and shape play a focal point in any good photograph. Critically reviewing the different styles of composition and design will give good insight.
High Dynamic Range Photographs : The dynamic range of sensors like CCD or CMOS in the digital cameras are not as high as that of a human eye (some studies suggest that a human eye under ideal condition has a dynamic range of 1: 1,000,000) or that of film. The range describes the ability to discern between the darkest dark and a brightest object without obscuring details anywhere. Neutral density filters, exposure bracketing and software processing can help to enhance the contrast and create a HDR image.
This can be of particular significance in advertising imagery. Travel photography involves creating a pictorial essay on a location and its culture, people and flora and fauna. Still photography, underwater photography, kite aerial photography and portrait photography are also important areas.
Hobby photographer career
The field of photography is wide and competitive. With sufficient training and experience, you can turn your hobby into a well-paying profession. A home-based photographer can work on subjects as varied as fashion, weddings and family portraits, product photography or nature photography. You can take up assignments for advertisements for various products. A hobby photographer can also cover family gatherings, celebrations and school functions.
The varied vistas that nature offers can be captured in the lens eye of a hobby photographer. Traveling expeditions are a photographers delight - be it the beckoning misty mountains or the cascading waterfalls. Photography can help you create a family keepsake of personal experiences. Wouldn't it be nice to look through old albums and reminiscence about your child's toothless smile or first Christmas party!
Photography hobby courses
An amateur hobby photographer can refresh his skills and even plan to make a career out of it by attending a photography course. Discussed below are some of the areas that would be covered in photography courses.
Basic darkroom techniques: Though digital cameras dominate the scene now,understanding film and black and white printing techniques will help a hobby photographer to adjust processing times and thereby get differing film characteristics. She could then make suitable changes to tone and contrast.
View cameras allow you to compose and focus your image on a ground glass first. This type of light-tight box camera gives you a clear understanding of perspective since the lens and film are not fixed parallel to each other. The 35mm single lens reflex (SLR) cameras use the same lens for viewing and taking pictures. Used with care, these cameras can give you beautiful pictures. Photography trainees would also need guidance on choice of paper, exposure and filtration. Dry mounting and display techniques would enable a hobby photographer with enough technical knowledge so as to be able to push his creative abilities to the limit.
Hobby photography clubs
Becoming part of a hobby photography club may be an ideal way to pursue this hobby and grow along with it. Not only will it help you improve your technical skills, but it would also help you meet people with similar interests and spur you along. Photography clubs usually conduct workshops and guest lectures on specific areas. Field trips and picnics could be ideal for networking as well as picking up good photography tips. Camera club organizations and national photographic societies have their regional chapters at various locations.