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A quick question.

Kayleigh 8 4 England
3 Nov 2012 7:23PM
After seeing all the amazing images in the gallery here I wondered if a photography course was a necessity, have all the great photographers on here had formal training or have they like me started out stumbling through almost blind.
I cant seem to improve.

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martin.w 16 517 22 United Kingdom
3 Nov 2012 8:32PM
A quick answer is no I have had no formal training. I started with a compact and moved on to an SLR (both film) as my interest in photography grew. Mostly landscape as I live near the Peak District, but I found joining a camera club helped a lot as by entering competitions with all sorts of subjects I was able to improve and develop an eye for a photo....at least I hope so. I have attended the odd two day course, but that was mostly just an excuse to just take photos....though to be fair I did learn a lot about the processing side of things in digital...as working on the computer is not one of my favourite things Wink
Jestertheclown 9 7.7k 252 England
3 Nov 2012 8:35PM
I've had no training either.

I've simply been practicing for about fifty years.
edtaylor 6 104 United Kingdom
3 Nov 2012 8:37PM
Nor me. I have been learning all of my photographic years.
User_Removed 14 17.9k 8 Norway
3 Nov 2012 8:40PM
Looking at your PF Kayleigh, I would say you have the most important 'bit' under control - and that is 'Composition'.

Understanding how a camera interprets light as IT see it (as opposed to how your eye show light! Wink ) - will take you to another level I feel.

As Jester kinda implies...

Welcome to the club!! Grin
tezquirk 6 27 United Kingdom
3 Nov 2012 9:42PM
Im not a great photographer " YET " Smile But i started with a compact camera about 2 yrs ago then moved up to a bridge camera for about 6wks then got my first D-SLR nearly a year ago , I have had no training what so ever , So far i have learned what i know " not much " Smile through watching videos on You Tube & Looking through magazines etc , And here on EPZ Smile .. I find the more you practise the better you become .. Smile
3 Nov 2012 10:06PM
I did some basic film photography when i was a teenager at school, but apart from that my photography and photoshop 'skills' are largely self taught
ether 6 23 England
3 Nov 2012 10:49PM
While I not sure I'm a great photographer yet

I'm with Jestertheclown

Practice Practice Practice and then look at your pictures and work out what worked and what did not
4 Nov 2012 12:35AM
I was in my school camera club a long time ago, where I learned the basics of dark room work. Eventually drifted away from photography, then returned about 10 years ago when Digital became the in thing. I decided to learn photography properly this time around, having
only had film point & shoot cameras previously. Progressed rapidly through compact, then bridge cameras, bought a DSLR, added a few lenses and signed up for a few formal courses. I started off with HND Photography part-time over 3 years and overlapped the last couple of months with an iMedia course which took in Photoshop, Flash Animation, Dreamweaver, Video Editing and DVD Authoring. Having passed my HND I then enrolled for a BA(Hons) course in Creative Imaging which I completed successfully after dropping out for 2 years due to illness. Graduated aged 61. Along the way I also was granted Associateship of the Royal Photographic Society (ARPS). You can see some of my work on my website www.irishancestry.biz do please follow the Facebook link to view the lite version of the website. I would hope to proceed to gaining FRPS status (someday!). Having said all this, I still consider myself a beginner with lots to learn - I'm currently working on Digital Art techniques, and also on improving my basic photography. So the previous answers were from members who self-taught and I went for the intensive guided route. Whatever floats your photographic boat! I would say, taking part in a formal course will push you into areas you may not have gone of your own free will. The one area detested by everyone is Business Studies, but then again, if you're taking formal qualifications, it's assumed you're intending to become professional, and you are obliged to undertake the business training. I was compelled to complain about the business studies requirement in my capacity as class rep, and was informed that it is a compulsory requirement imposed by the government. If you try self teaching, you could faff about and waste a lot of time. If you go on a course, you could rebel against being ordered what to shoot. I was at school for 7 years and when people asked me what i liked shooting I had to reply that I didn't know. I was so busy shooting to a study brief and writing up the results, that I hadn't time to find out! It's only now that my studies are over that I can say I'm into landscapes, particularly involving Pagan and Early Christian burial sites and Church Architecture (mostly!)
puertouk 6 1.1k 17 United Kingdom
4 Nov 2012 10:14AM
It does not hurt to get some lessons. Maybe you may be doing certain things wrong that you think are right. We are learning all the time, which makes photography even more exciting.

There are a couple of people on here who run photography workshops and Im sure it would not hurt by going on one for a few days. You get out of your comfort zone by going somewhere totally new and hopefully gain valuable experience from doing it.

You need to be out in the field, so to speak, not stuck in a classroom. Experienced photographers may think they are doing it the right way, but as time goes by, they themselves sometimes realise that they have been doing something wrong for many years, until someone points it out to them. Theres only one person who is perfect and hes not alive!
Kayleigh 8 4 England
4 Nov 2012 12:10PM
Thank you all for the advice,
I am not looking for a career in photography just to simply improve my images. I will look around for a photography course as its understanding how the camera works I have difficulty with I am not good with technology and at 51 find it hard to learn new things.
I agree its best to go out with someone who can show you where you are going wrong or to just point you in the right direction.
I don't really want to learn about the processing side of things I can do the basics like crop and resize but I am not interested in altering the image like changing the sky and photoshopping the image to the extent it doesn't resemble the original.
Carabosse 15 41.0k 269 England
4 Nov 2012 12:16PM
Have you looked at any of the technique articles on EPZ? Smile
Kayleigh 8 4 England
4 Nov 2012 12:27PM
Thank you for the link Carabosse I will have a look through them.
I have just done a quick search and found a little informal camera club local to me that meets every other Wednesday so I will pop along to see what they do..
User_Removed 8 4.6k 1 Scotland
4 Nov 2012 12:59PM
No formal training - and no courses of any kind in the first 50 years of my photography. Have gone to a few lectures or practical tuition sessions in the past 5 years and would thoroughly recommend them if you can find good ones.

In general terms, once a new photographer has assembled the basic kit, I would go as far as to say that the next 1000 would be better spent on (good) training than on a couple of new lenses.

But beware of the conmen. I have come across one or two failed professionals who are trying to salvage the remains of their careers by running training courses or "guided" excursions.
Kayleigh 8 4 England
4 Nov 2012 1:13PM
Yes LeftForum there was a course local to me quite expensive they ran the course from their house but was working from a book you had to buy and they also wanted you to buy another photo editing system not elements 8 I have already got.

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