Any camera can be intimidating for the budding photographer and this is especially true with a new DSLR. All the buttons and options, terms such as aperture, depth of field, white balance and custom functions all conspire to overwhelm and confuse those new to photography. It seems like you need to have some sort of specialized training or qualification to use the thing successfully.
But nothing could be further from the truth.
Photography is really very simple and you don’t need to understand white balance to capture spectacular images. To be sure, it helps to be aware of what your camera is capable of and the relationship between aperture and depth of field, but photography is an art, not a science. It’s a common mistake for enthusiastic newbies to get caught up in camera and lens technology and this takes their focus off what is really important – what you see.
The crucial part of photography has nothing to do with custom functions and happens before you even lift the camera to your eye – the ability to see a composition or recognize an opportunity. Make no mistake, knowing what effect the ISO setting has in the photographic process is of course important, but that or anything else isn’t anything you can’t learn from your camera’s instruction manual, the internet or in casual discussion with a more experienced photographer over a cup of coffee.
However, to engage in a little more creativity and leverage your artistic ability and opportunism, it is of benefit to know a little more about how the technology comes together. So take your time with your camera and experiment using a bit of trial and error.
One of the great advantages of shooting digital is the ability to easily take as many photographs as you like and delete them later. For example, invest an hour or so of your time in Aperture Priority mode and see for yourself what effect the different aperture values have on your images. You will be surprised how much you can learn just on your own and the best part about it is that all it costs is a cup of coffee while you sit in the coffee shop on a Sunday morning, play with your camera and take a few notes. Perhaps the best part of this approach is that as you learn you will develop your own unique style and way of seeing the world through the viewfinder.
The Seoul Photo Club is a valuable resource for photographers anywhere in Korea, a place to share ideas, get advice and learn a little about the art of photography. Our members are always ready to lend a helping hand to those wanting to get their heads around different aspects of photography.
After all, everyone was in the beginner’s shoes at some point, and we’re all prepared to pass on the free advice we got when we were there. Get out there, experiment, seek a little feedback and above all keep shooting.
The opening of the Seoul Photo Club/Expat Living exhibition “This is Korea” on Saturday evening was a great success. Many thanks to all those who came along and contributed. The exhibition runs until mid-October at Gallery Cafe Ohoo in Hongdae, so if you haven’t checked it out, drop by to enjoy the pics and perhaps a quiet cup of coffee as well.