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Photography Tip - Education ladder

Learning photography is like learning any skill or form of art; you start with the basics, build up until you reach an advanced level and acquire the necessary skill set & tools.

I see many beginners & photography newbies looking at high end fashion & magazine editorials trying to replicate the style of the image.

To those individuals I say, have you ever seen a painter build up their skills by trying to replicate the works of Van Gough or Picasso? Definitely not. They start their education with the basics.

What is the most basic element of photography? Light of course. Light shapes your subject & defines its colors.

To understand light is to study & understand its characteristics; intensity (brightness), direction, quality (diffused / harsh) & color (temperature).

The best approach to understand & perfect intensity, quality & direction of light is by shooting in black & white; stripping an image of its colors. This helps the eyes focus on elements such as contrast, brightness, darkness and the way they work together in harmony.

Once those elements are perfected, one can turn their attention to color (unless you decide to stick with black & white photography ... which is totally fine!). :)

Color temperature is all about mood; creating a warm or cold feeling to the photograph as necessary. Colors should also be plausible & harmonized (e.g. color temperature of a light source should match that of the highlights on your subject).

The human eye is well trained to spot odd lighting & color, so trust your instincts & seek critique whenever possible.

Once you've mastered control over light, you may now look at more advanced topics such as composition, depth of field, color palettes & post processing.

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