Ongoing Learning

I subscribe to and read two photography magazines, Shutterbug and Outdoor Photographer.  The reason I subscribe to two magazines is the variety of topics covered in each magazine is never the same.  Both magazines contain articles written by photographers, are available on newstands or subscriptions, and are published monthly.

Shutterbug often has the following articles; equipment, the newest gadgets at the big shows, specific marketing tips from professional photographers, an issue highlighting a specific style of photography (wedding, commercial art, studio, etc), and an honest evaluation of equipment (printers, lights, cameras, and software).  Outdoor Photographer (OP) is just as the title says, mainly for the landscape, wildlife, and nature photographer.  The articles range from the images of a particular subject (birds, for example) to which 3 lenses the professionals use most and why.  The evaluations of equipment in OP are not as detailed as Shutterbug, as they are often a quick one or two page overview.  As a consumer and a photographer I prefer to have a detailed evaluation in order to make a well informed purchase, or even a rental (I have not yet rented a camera or lens, yet.  I plan to in the future and will discuss it in another blog entry.)

Magazines are not the only way to continue learning about photography.  There are  books which can be purchased online, or checked out if you have a library in your town. I currently am reading the book Digital Wedding Photography by Kenny Kim.  In the book Mr. Kim gives a lot of great recommendations on lenses, composition, lighting, and how to make the wedding images which accompany the text.  To me any magazine or book that is focused on photography needs to have great images that go along with the written words.  Otherwise I am left wondering if the book wasn’t written by a photographer or only by someone with an interest in photography.

Videos or DVDs can be helpful in advancing your knowledge of photography.  I have been sent a few over the years to preview and then buy.  I preview them and look at the price, often to return the video.  I return the videos or DVDs because I am not able to afford them at the time.  There are high quality videos and DVDs out there on a variety of subjects; lighting, landscapes, glamour/nude, creating a home studio, and more.

I prefer to go out with my camera and see what I can create on my own.  This is after I have done some reading of the articles, books, and online resources (too numerous to mention in this blog, will be a future blog entry).  I use my DSLR on either aperature priority (P) or manual(M) the majority of the time and shoot RAW.  I find that learning through the combination of reading, viewing, and then doing works best.  That is why I always enjoyed being in a photography club or having the time to go out and make a variety of images.  Keep learning more; about your camera, other techniques, other photographers,  and your style.


About Douglas Wilks Photography

I am an advanced photographer who lives in western Montana. I create a variety of strong images using a DSLR, computer, and digital software. I am available for hire for full time, part time, or projects. Most of my images are of landscapes, still life, and events. I am always looking to improve my skills, network of friends and professionals, and portfolio. I look forward to creating new friends, contacts, and others who are interested in photography.
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