This holiday season you may find yourself with a bit of spare time in between unwrapping presents and eating large meals. You might even have received a camera as a gift and you’re wondering where to start!
Well here are a few Wikipedia articles for you to browse that will help you establish a technical understanding of photography, as well as provide some history and inspiration.
I’m not going to lie, some of the articles are too technical to be super enjoyable. They seem like they were written by and for photographic scientists. And while I’m sure they’re academically thrilling they’re not always the most enjoyable to read (but I mean we are talking about encyclopedia entries!). Anyways I would suggest skimming, checking out photos and trying to make sense of diagrams as a good place to start.
So let’s take a peek at some Wikis! We’ll start at the top.
Photography – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Photography – This is the main wikipedia article. A great place to start if you’ve never browsed a photography book before! At the bottom of the article you’ll also find an extensive list of sub articles.
Technical Stuff: How cameras work and important photography concepts
Aperture – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aperture – Basically the hole that controls how much light goes through the lense. Proper control and understanding of the aperture allow for various creative effects.
Shutter Speed – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shutter_speed – Another way of controlling how much light hits the sensor. You could think of this as how fast the camera blinks. Again proper control allows for various creative effects.
Film Speed – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Film_speed – Film speed (more commonly known with digital cameras as ISO), along with aperture and shutter speed are the 3 ways of controlling the exposure of your image.
Exposure – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exposure_(photography) – The article doesn’t say this exactly but exposure is basically how the above three points interact to create your image.
Depth of Field – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Depth_of_field – We often get asked how we make our subjects pop out of our photos (blurring the foreground and the background). This article explains that concept.
Rule of Thirds – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rule_of_thirds – A compositional guide to interesting images
Interesting Techniques To Try
Motion Blur – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motion_blur
Night Photography – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Night_photography
Panning – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panning_(camera) – Can be used to achieve shots where the background is motion blurred while your subject is less blurred. Think race car photography.
Panoramic Photography – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panoramic_photography
Time Lapse – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time-lapse – Taking many photos over a length of time to show changes over time. Think flower blooming.
Zoom Burst – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zoom_burst – A fun thing to try with a zoom lense!
Macro – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Macro_photography – Closeup photography
Types of Photography
Photojournalism – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Photojournalism
Wikipedia’s list of photographers is too long to even attempt going through, instead what I would suggest is heading over to Photography Now – seeing which photographers catch your eye and then searching for them on Wikipedia if you feel so inclined!
But remember, don’t spend all day reading about photography, go out and make some photos!