A question for photographers
All 3 of you who read this blog.
How did you learn to do what you do? Assuming you’re capable of making the camera give you the results you want, how did you figure it out?
I ask because I have a friend who just bought her first SLR in ages…or maybe ever. She knows terms like f-stop, aperture and light, but doesn’t know what they mean or how they affect her photos. I’ve had quick conversations with her on the phone, but haven’t spent any time with her and the camera taking pictures. No time.
So far I’ve counseled her to read her manual and keep it with her. She didn’t and one day couldn’t figure out how to turn the auto flash off. Sigh. I’ve also counseled her not to try to figure it out all at once. There’s about a million buttons, dials, menu selections etc and that will drive you nuts if you try to take it in all at once. Especially if you have no idea about the basics of photography.
She’s enthusiastic and I don’t want to crowd that or dampen it into frustration. It’s been forever since I learned how to manipulate settings to get what I want. Now it’s second nature and I don’t know what the best approach would be. The books I have are all geared toward 35mm cameras without autofocus and so they probably won’t be much help. I haven’t bought a new photography book in 10 years and the ones I have are specific to landscape and macro, two things she probably won’t be doing.
There’s a possibility of going out with her on Friday to shoot. A mutual friend who also has a ton of experience with photography is going, too. The question is, how valuable will we be without making her nuts or getting in the way of our own shooting. Should we leave her alone and tell her to get a book? Should we guide and coach her? Should we talk her through our own shots? A combination?
So…I’d like to hear from you if you have suggestions or stories about how you learned to take the camera off Program.