Join Ben Long for an in-depth discussion in this video Understanding output options for photographs, part of Introduction to Photography.
- At some point you will have some images that you're ready to put out into the world. In the old days that meant making prints and finding a way to get them in front of people. Printing is still a great way to exhibit images, but nowadays you have many more options. When you're just starting out as a photographer, getting feedback from other people is very important. It's difficult to maintain confidence in your own work without feedback from the outside world. Showing your images to other people will not only give you the chance to feel like you're succeeding with your images, it will also help you understand what people respond to.
It's often very surprising to find out which images people like and which they don't and why. Other people's preferences can be very different from your own tastes, and learning what resonates with other people is a great way to improve your own work. Photo sharing and social networking sites are great for this type of feedback, and many photo workflow tools have commands for automatically exporting to all of those services. However, those sites aren't necessarily viewed solely by photographers so you won't always get educated criticism of your images.
Dedicated photo sharing sites such as Flickr allow you to post images to specialized groups where you can engage in more in depth the discussion about posted images. Even better than an online photo site is to find a photo club or group where you can have live group discussions and critiques. Such critiques can honestly be painful sometimes, but learning what works and what doesn't and discovering how other people see is the best way to improve your photographs. Traditionally a photo wasn't finished until it was on paper because this was the only way that someone could view your print.
Personally I still think images look better on paper than in any other form, so I take the printing of images very seriously. Printing is a complex topic though, so we have an entire course about it, which I'll point to you later. It has never been easier to disseminate images and certainly never been less expensive. It's hard to improve in a vacuum, so start exploring photo sites now to see what other people are doing and to begin the process of getting your own images out into the world.
Then it's time to take to the field and examine the rest of the factors that influence the quality of your photographs, including light metering, focus, composition, and flash. Ben also introduces techniques for shooting portraits and shows what you can do with an image editor in post. Last but not least, he'll provide a roadmap for learning more with the lynda.com extensive library of photography training. The path to becoming a better photographer begins with the first step. Start here!
- Exploring cameras and lenses
- Understanding media
- Controlling exposure
- Composing with autofocus
- Shooting portraits
- Understanding form and geometry
- Exporting and editing digital images