Photography, a great hobby

Published 7:00 am Friday, April 4, 2014

In the spirit of staying ambitious, it’s good practice to learn new things and remain a student of the world around you.

Photography is a great hobby that reinforces this thought. It encourages us to look at the world in a new light. As we frame each image, it ensures we take time to study what is often overlooked.

As photographers work to capture natural beauty and fine-tune their images, they are also improving upon themselves and their ability to see — to really see.

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Plus, it’s easy to get started (if you haven’t already).

These are the basics:

1. You don’t need a fancy camera or editing software to get started. Just practice by editing the photo before you even snap the picture. This means thinking your photos through and eliminating unnecessary elements. I promise developing a good eye with a cheap point-and-shoot camera will go miles further than an undeveloped eye using expensive equipment.

2. Experiment. Try out different compositions to determine what looks best. Although it tends to stick better when you learn for yourself, centered photos feel static and less interesting (careful though, you don’t want them too far off-balance either). Try using the “Rule of Thirds” as a good foundation for any snapshot.

3. Exposure is the degree of lightness and darkness in an image. With a more advanced camera, the over or underexposure is controlled by adjusting the aperture and shutter speed. However, it can be adjusted for a basic point-and-shoot by moving the light source in the room or waiting until a different time of day.

4. At least one element in the image, no matter how small, should be crisp and in-focus.

5. For added detail, look for patterns in the environment and incorporate them into your images.

The cool thing about photography is that it teaches life lessons and accommodates our creativity. It just depends on the level where you are most comfortable.