photography for beginners - free eBook! [fort collins photographer] - Darah Soria

If you've been wanting to learn more about photography, but can't attend classes, then you're in luck! The book that I use to teach is available for free to people who are interested in honing in on, and improving, their photography skills! I have taught both beginning and advanced photographers throughout my time in the business, and nothing makes me happier than seeing others grow their understanding of photography. I wrote this book to help individuals who use DSLRs, but their cellphones too!

a free photography guide book for both DSLR photographers AND cellphone photographers?!

Yes! I get that there is some stigma and pompous attitudes towards the rise of the cellphone photographer, however I am not one of those who shuns people for using their phones. Phones are capable of some incredible things these days! I do shoot using a DSLR, but I admittedly use my phone a lot too. If people are paying me then of course I like to bring out the big guns. But for pictures of my dinner, or pictures of my kids that are super in the moment there isn't always time for me to setup my big camera.There is a little bit of technical information for those shooting with DSLRs, but the majority of the book teaches technique and more skill-related stuff. You don't need something fancy to be skilled, you need to have a good eye and ability to focus in on detail. I'm a huge fan of artistic photography - and I don't care what kind of camera is used to create it. If you want to learn then now is your chance!

This book is over 30 pages of free information - no credit card information is required. Just an email address where I can send the PDF to!

what's covered in the book

I cover a wide range of topics that beginners might be curious about. There are also short projects in the book to help you along the way. These aren't challenges so much as they are just a means for you to test out some of your newfound skills.

CAMERA SETTINGS FOR BEGINNER PHOTOGRAPHERS

These are settings that can be used by beginners just so that they are not overwhelmed with all of the different bells & whistles that came with their camera. I completely understand feeling confused and discouraged by all of the different things you can do, and not knowing what to start with. Start with technique, I say, and learn the technicalities as you go. 

2-DIMENSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHY

2-Dimensional photography is where the projects for this book begin. We start with 2-dimensional together, because it requires some creativity to find anything 2-dimensional that is worth shooting. It allows the photographer some time to just get comfortable with the shutter speed, aperture and ISO settings without having to learn the ins and outs of additional techniques.

HOW TO IMPORT & EXPORT YOUR PHOTOS

A video is attached to the book which will give a demonstration of how to import & export your pictures using Adobe Lightroom. This is a similar process in Camera Raw, Photoshop and other programs, but again - start with small editors rather than trying to learn too many things at once. This is why the book recommends a program like Lightroom or Camera Raw. There are also editing programs in your phone - including Instagram which have similar histogram editing capabilities.

EDITING IN BLACK & WHITE & WHY YOU SHOULD USE IT WHILE LEARNING

Editing in black and white to begin with is absolutely important for beginning photographers. That is because when you start using color, you are also in a place where understanding color theory and how to edit pictures in color complicates the process even further. There is plenty of time to get into color later, and a photographer can always re-visit the pictures to play with them later, but while trying to just become comfortable with manual controls they can subtract from the learning experience.

TYPES OF PHOTOGRAPHY

Photography is used for a broad range of purposes, and figuring out where your superpower lies as a photographer takes time. This is why I cover various types, and offer some insight into them. In the amount of time that I have been shooting, I have covered everything from public relations & professional events, nightlife and clubs, portraits of both people & pets, landscape (admittedly not my forte), street and more. I appreciate any kind of photography, but have found that my true talent lies in portraits of humans!

3-DIMENSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHY

Once the photographer has become comfortable with 2-dimensional photography and has an idea about the types of photography that exist, then it's time to start trying out some 3-Dimensional shooting skills! This is where photographers graduate from boring old 2-dimensional photography and can start taking some still photographs of things that they enjoy - cars, flowers, food, you name it! This project covers still photography.

PHOTOGRAPHY COMPOSITION (FRAMING)

Composition and framing is learned about immediately following 3-dimensional photography and a project is made out of just this. This shows photographers where exactly they should be setting the edges of their pictures, and how they can improve their skills with some basic, but essential techniques.

CONCEPTUAL RELATIONSHIPS IN PHOTOGRAPHY

Conceptual relationships in photography is where things start to get tricky.  However, there's nothing too scary about it because it offers photographers the chance to learn about relationships that they may not have noticed before. Relationships aren't only demonstrated through animate objects, but through frames within frames, colors, juxtaposition and much more. Here photographers learn about where to find these relationships and how to integrate them into photographs, giving their work a fine arts twist.

PERSPECTIVE & VANTAGE POINT

Perspective and vantage point come in many different forms and together - with their powers combined - they are what allow viewers to see what the photographer sees. What the photographer sees is often different than what others may be seeing with their own two eyes and is what makes photographs unique. It's important to note that photographers who use this book to improve their skills shoot only at 50mm, because it is closest to what the human eye can actually see. When shooting at a fixed focal length photographers are required to get closer to or further away from their subjects - this is where they practice those skills the most.

PASSAGE OF TIME

Students are given the chance to represent their own perception of what passage of time is, and how it can be crucial to a photograph. This is an uncomplicated way of teaching student photographers how to add something extremely special to their photographs - timelessness!

NATURAL LIGHT TECHNIQUES

Throughout the courses that I offer and my method of teaching I teach photographers to stay away from flashes - again it's just another complication in photography that can be learned later. Learning to shoot without it forces a photographer to use their eyes to pick up on pockets of light and other natural lighting scenarios. Here I cover a variety of different situations that a photographer may find him or herself in.

LONG TERM PROJECT PLANNING

This is where photographers begin to separate their work from the works of other photographers. This is what makes a photographer stand out, and gives them notability. I have personally done several projects which are what separate me from others, and once a photographer has learned a bit about what they enjoy shooting they can start working on a project. For others this project may come naturally as they realize what they enjoy taking pictures of the most. Once they  know, they will notice a large portfolio of similar works that they have done.

NOTABLE PHOTOGRAPHERS

This section is somewhat of an attachment to the long term project planning piece, as it shows what some other photographers have done, and what their niches are. These are some of my personal favorites who have truly inspired me and other photographers who are trying to learn. They have influenced my own personal take on creativity and style, and I hope that they can help other photographers as well!

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