As a beginner where do you start as a photographer?

Starting photography can be a very daunting task, I can tell you this from first hand experience. I have been taking photographs for a number of years now and what I love about photography is that there is always something new to learn, not only about the constant new technology coming out, but also about ourselves and our ability.

When I started guiding, for the first year I didn’t own a camera, because I wanted to focus on my guests and find my own style of guiding and become comfortable with it.

As time went on, I got more comfortable and had some pretty incredible moments in the bush, but had no way to capture them and keep them as memories, so thats when I decided that I would invest in my first camera, a little point and shoot(nothing wrong with it), nothing fancy at all – remember the best camera you have, is the camera you have on you.

The more I used it out in the field the more I started taking photographs and the more my passion for photography grew. It got to the point where my little point and shoot just wasn’t cutting it, I wanted to capture animals in motion and expand my knowledge.

So, I saved up my money over a couple of months and decided to invest in a decent camera setup. The day finally came and I was extremely excited to open the box and get shooting. Shortly after opening the box, connecting the lens to the camera and inserting the memory card, I realized that I actually had no clue as to how my camera worked.

My mood went from extremely excited to complete sadness as I had invested all this money in a brand new camera and had no idea how it worked. Looking through the manual I felt very overwhelmed. It was just after this moment that I decided that I would do everything possible to learn as much as I could about this piece of equipment I had just purchased.

Now, there are many ways to learn how to take photographs and how to understand your gear, from online tutorials and tuition to Youtube to practicing via trial and error to going on a photographic safari. Our safaris that we host at Wild Eye are designed for anyone and everyone, photographer or not, beginner or professional.

Being a full time guide and having just spent all my savings on this new camera, I went the route of Youtube and trial and error. I spent many hours and yes, at first I was overwhelmed and felt completely lost but the key is to break it down. It sounds simple, but believe me when you are sitting there with camera in hand it is very overwhelming.

The best advice I can give any beginner is to divide it up into different sections, small chunks, for example: The exposure triangle – ISO, Aperture, shutter speed.

Understand how each one affects the other, understand what each of those three means, once you have an understanding of how they work with each other and how you can manipulate each one to get your desired result you have already taken a step in the right direction.

I am a very practical learner, so I learn better from being around other photographers and listening to how they took specific shots, it’s how I have always been and it’s what I like to do when I am out on safari, is to express the way that I learnt and adapt into a manner which I can translate it for each individual so that by the end of a trip each guest – beginner or pro, has an even better understanding of their gear.

We do also offer online tuition, be it learning about your camera gear and what it does or post processing images, myself and the rest of the Wild Eye team is here to help you.

My best advice I can give you is to not be afraid to ask questions and to start!

If you have any questions please let me know in the comments…

Until next time,

Trevor

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