My photography journey...

From here in April 2020      -------->

Wasn't sure what the chosen composition was, but felt cool about it when I clicked the camera button. It was a bad composition.

Every weekend (rain or shine!):

   --------> To here in April 2021

Now, I get lots of positive comments from friends, relatives, and traveler blogs. I assume this is a better composition than the one from last year.

From 0 to Now: My Photography Journey Over a Year

Grasp the fundamental concepts of the exposure triangle. This initial phase is paramount, serving as the cornerstone of photography comprehension. Although numerous online resources are accessible for this purpose, limit your focus to a small selection (2-3) to facilitate a concentrated learning experience. Engaging with more than three sources could lead to confusion.

During the first 3-4 months, you'll acquaint yourself with the basics and embark on experimentation. Aperture, ISO, and Shutter speed will become your trusted companions. While you'll encounter failures along the way, consider these instances as invaluable learning opportunities. Personally, I pursued the Sudhir Shivaram course (link provided below) to gain a thorough understanding of these foundational principles.

Tips: Utilize your basic camera during this phase. Refrain from investing in costly equipment. If you're starting from scratch, explore platforms like eBay for a suitable camera. Opting for older models from brands like Canon or Nikon, priced under $300, is advisable. Such equipment offers ample capability for learning.

Don't be disheartened if you struggle to grasp the significance of someone saying, "I capture 95% of my photos in Aperture mode." Your understanding will evolve over time.

Criterion: If you successfully navigate these three months, you're primed to progress to the subsequent phase!

Step out of your comfort zone and embrace new experiences. Embrace unconventional moments and locations – dawn and dusk offer excellent lighting opportunities, along with stunning sunrises and sunsets. These occurrences adhere to a schedule, indifferent to your readiness. Prioritize the ideal photographic time over your personal comfort. Grow accustomed to embracinRg discomfort.

Gear: Enhance your understanding of lenses and their specific attributes, selecting the appropriate one for distinct genres. If necessary, consider acquiring a quality camera. (Valuable Hint: Allocate 60-70% of your budget to lenses and the remaining 30% to your camera.)

Category: Choose a focus such as landscape, street, or portrait photography. Of the numerous options, bird photography stands as a formidable challenge. Personally, I find landscape and street photography more captivating than bird-focused shots. Achieving mastery in bird photography necessitates exceptional patience. Many individuals wrongly assume that possessing top-tier camera equipment instantly qualifies them for bird photography. This assumption is misguided. Bird photography demands substantial patience, time, and dedication.

Composition Mastery: How do you craft compelling images? It's a skill that will gradually develop within you. If you haven't reached this stage yet, don't worry – there's still a significant journey ahead. An array of insightful videos are available on this subject. Personally, I've found inspiration from Saurav Sinha and Andrew Goodal (links provided below).

Learning: Now, delve deeper into the genres that intrigue you and the camera you possess. Broaden your knowledge of your chosen subjects and apply the techniques you've acquired. Be prepared for the intensification of this phase; improvement requires an increase in the number of images you capture.

Step 3 : Presentation and Post processing

After enduring this process for half a year, you should begin to sense the necessity for post-processing. The optimal tool for this task is Adobe Lightroom (available for $9.99 per month). Initiate your journey into post-processing by experimenting until you develop a genuine fondness for it. Basic adjustments like exposure, contrast, and saturation breathe vitality into your photographs.

At this juncture, you'll find yourself growing fond of the images you've captured and will be inclined to share them with friends and family. Frequently, you'll receive notes or comments inquiring about the photographer behind the shot. This is when you realize that your talent is becoming evident. You've triumphed through the subsequent three months of challenges.

Furthermore, your natural inclination will lead you to explore the locales and subjects in your vicinity for potential compositions.

Tip: You'll truly grasp the significance of the statement "I capture 95% of my photos in Aperture mode" as your appreciation for photography deepens.

Step 4 : Compiling your story

Now that you have established a solid foundation, select one or two subjects to focus on and begin capturing them. Master a couple of genres, perhaps a local garden, a railway station, a park, or a specific individual. As you delve deeper, your photographs will naturally start conveying stories. You'll also observe a notable enhancement in your compositions and your ability to operate in manual mode.

Pro Tip: Consider joining a photography club in your vicinity. Observing others' images will consistently inspire fresh ideas and encourage you to adopt novel perspectives. This practice aids in cultivating your distinct style and preferences.

At this stage, you might find yourself reconsidering your equipment choices, feeling an inclination toward investing in pricier gear. However, I must advise caution and financial prudence. It's effortless to overspend on equipment without honing in on the right subjects and shooting times.

Speaking from my personal experience, I opted to grant myself an additional year of learning and experimentation. This period allowed me to gauge how I could further refine my skills before making any significant equipment purchases.

Some quotes from the people I learnt various photography topics from!