How to learn to photograph

I will say right away: you cannot learn the art of photography. How impossible it is to become a genius, how impossible it is to become talented – if you were not born with this (and we, mediocre, the vast majority), then this is simply not your destiny.

But I’ll add right away: it’s real to learn how to shoot at least better than those around you – then you can even show photographs (many at this level call them “works”) with pride to show colleagues or relatives, modestly declaring that “everyone can do it.” To do this, it is enough to have the baggage of self-criticism, good analytical skills and the ability to listen and accept someone else’s authoritative opinion. And the recommendations will always remain general.

Learn to observe. Just learn, because without this all subsequent instructions lose their meaning. Do not walk down the street, staring blankly in front of you – stare around, notice everything interesting and unusual. Remember that one of the main tools of a photographer is contrast: colors, shapes, relationships or expressions.
Get used to the fact that you do not know how to shoot. If you are just starting to shoot, but already many of your photographs seem brilliant to you, then you are not very self-critical (there is a possibility that you really are a genius – but the probability is very small, and most geniuses take amazing shots no more often than one of them. thousands, and truly brilliant – out of a million). Learn to criticize yourself, look for flaws in the frames and eradicate them, find advantages and leave them on your note in order to further introduce masterpieces into production. Purely psychologically, such a position will set you a lower bar, from which there is only one way – up.
Learn to frame. You’ve probably read Kodak’s guide for beginner photographers – so try to put these most common techniques into practice:
build the composition correctly, avoid imbalance between parts of the photo, do not allow one part of it to be outweighed (for example, it is not recommended to shoot two people close-up, shifting them both in one direction from the center, but on the contrary, place the center of the frame approximately between them)
apply the “golden section rule” (the frame is divided into three equal parts vertically and horizontally, key elements of the frame are located at the intersection of conditional boundary lines)
remember that the central object of the frame is always static – for dynamism, always avoid placing the horizon along a conditional line dividing the frame in two (so, if you shoot a sunset over water and want to accentuate a beautiful sky, give 2/3 of the sky, 1/3 of the water, if you more occupied by reflections, then vice versa). Keep in mind that even a static frame (for example, a sunset) still has dynamism: the human eye moves along it, starting from the center of the composition to the periphery – the direction of movement is controlled by the photographer
build a frame using simple geometric shapes that are visible to the eye: a triangle, square, circle, etc., which are formed from the subjects of the shooting

Photographer’s hand preparing her/his camera before assignment

learn to look not only at the subject, but also at the background and, in particular, the edges of the frame and immediately remove distracting details when shooting – then it will be easier to edit
Look for interesting shots and angles, try to level out the shortcomings. You can read for as long as you like how to shoot a portrait, but at the same time always shoot a person with big ears in front, from which his antennas will be visible from afar.
Get rid of the film. No matter what others say, start shooting with a digital camera. So you will spend much less money and you will see the result immediately, and there will be more opportunities for analysis and finding flaws.
Forget old advice. Most often, beginners are literally brought to the point of complexes by the advice “you can’t shoot against the sun”. It is not true. If it were not possible, portraits would not have been obtained against the backdrop of sunset.
Do not believe the nonsense from the forums. Most forum regulars are IT departments of various companies and bored office workers looking for entertainment or communication, there are very few talented photographers there – they are not engaged in crawling through the forums, but taking pictures. Finding a worthy interlocutor who can teach something is almost impossible there.
Forget the fairy tale that if you buy a good camera, you will start to shoot well. This is so far from reality that it is difficult to catch even marketers in spreading this myth. Please note that if you are going to get involved in photography for a very long time, you will have to change more than one camera (in medium models, the resource is usually designed for 20-30 thousand shutter releases, in cheaper ones electronics often fail), buy something simpler and more versatile – then later it will be easier to understand what you really need.
Improve yourself. If you have learned something, and work it out in practice, do not stop there – go ahead. Read the news, search.