Hello, Internet! And welcome to Totally Awesome Photography Advice™, the show where Yours Truly gives you totally awesome photography advice and only the best photography advice. For the first installment of this would-be long-running series (assuming our ratings don’t plummet first), we will be discussing the absolute basics of the art form because where’s a better place to start than the beginning?
Just follow our Totally Awesome Beginner’s Three-Step Guide for Photographers™, and even you can become a complete expert in no time because you don’t need “experience” to spell “expert.”
Step 1: Find a camera
This step is deceptively the easiest, but really it’s the hardest choice to make. Picking a camera is like choosing a spouse: you two will be together for a long time. But how to make such a decision? Should you pick a camera based on your personal needs, skill level, budget, or simply how it feels in the hand? To that I say, “What are you talking about?” If you’re really going to take photography seriously, you must pick the most expensive camera money can buy. After all, the more money you pay for a camera, the better your photography will be. And what use is a camera without a lens? Are you going to ask the same questions you were asking yourself before? Of course not! The same principle still applies, and real photographers need more than one lens. You need at least six lenses at hand at all times even if you’ll never need half of those because having more lenses makes you look more serious and way cooler than the poor chumps with one. Tallying up the price tag, you shouldn’t worry at all. It’ll only cost you an arm and both kidneys or half the price of an iPhone.
Step 2: Actually take the picture
If you have ever listened to a photographer talk about taking picture, you may have heard terms like “composition,” “lighting,” and “exposure” thrown around, making the simple act of pressing a button a very demanding task. So are you expected to take your time, observe your surroundings to find the most interesting way to frame your picture? What kind of idea is that? Everyone knows that the best and only place to place your subject is dead center of the frame because that’s where the eye goes first. I got places to go and things to do. I don’t want to waste time looking at anything other than what is immediately important to the picture and putting an ounce of effort into the task at hand. Furthermore, the more blur you have in a picture, the better it will look. Don’t ask me why, that’s just science. Even better, make the whole picture blurry to guarantee yourself a beautiful result. After all, nobody can tell how bad something looks if they can’t see it at all.
Step 3: Edit the picture
Unlike popular belief, editing software like Photoshop should ideally not be used for making an already decent picture better, adding something of value to the final product, or producing astonishing works of art. If you’ve already taken a good picture, don’t bother. Photoshop is exclusively meant for correcting your mistakes and terrible pictures. However, some rational people say that you could edit to the point of overdoing it. Who said you could have too many edits? The more edits, the merrier! In fact, you should have so many edits that the end result looks absolutely nothing like the original. Change the contrast, change the brightness, max out the saturation, and change all of the colors for the fun of it!
And now, the final ingredient: filters. Most photographers will tell you to use filters sparingly when editing or preferably, none at all. However, if Instagram has taught me anything, it’s that no picture is complete without a filter. It doesn’t matter which one you use or how it will affect the experience of viewing it. Just slap one on even without reason. And, with the power of freemium Photoshop alternatives, we can add not just one filter, but all of them. More filters will always guarantee better pictures with no effort at all. And voilà!
This has been Yours Truly for Totally Awesome Photography Advice™, and you’re welcome.