Photography is one of the most loved and preferred hobbies in the world. The idea of heading into the world, armed with nothing but a camera, and capturing the beauty of the entire world around you is something that only a hobby like photography can give you. At some point of time, in most people's lives, the need to buy that camera and capture those wonderful sights hits us really badly. We get this uncontrollable urge to go and buy ourselves a nice camera and hit the road. However, photography isn't just about pointing a camera and clicking - it is a lot more technical and that is probably the reason why most people tend to give up on it after the initial excitement runs through.
How do you develop the love for photography to a level where you enjoy working on it every single day? The answer is simple - by going about it in a systematic way and progressing slowly as you learn, instead of heading out there with little or no idea of how to do what you want to do. The hobby can be extremely expensive too so if you are planning to go out there and buy yourself the equipment, you had better be sure of your commitment to the hobby.
The Tools of the Trade
Whether you are an amateur photographer looking to start off or someone who has handled cameras before but wants to increase the amount of time you spend on it, you will need a good starter camera. For those who have never had a camera in their life or who are not accustomed to taking regular photographs, a basic point-and-shoot camera is what you need to buy. These cameras come mainly with automatic modes that do the work for you. With the introduction of digital technology, you can click hundreds of photographs without worrying about spending more money on film or development.
These point-and-shoot cameras handle the technical bits for you, allowing you to indulge in photography without too much to do. You have certain pre-set settings on the camera and basic buttons allow you to choose between those settings and giving you a decent amount of control, more than you need at that point of time, over your photographs. For serious photography, though, these cameras do not have the kind of capability you might look for.
The main difference between a good Single Lens Reflex (SLR) camera and a regular point-and-shoot version is that the SLR camera allows you to see and shoot the same view that you get from the view-finder. Basically, when look through the viewfinder of the SLR camera, you see what the lens sees, which isn't the case with most point-and-shoot versions. The other important difference between the two is the range of settings that an SLR camera allows. You can fine-tune your pictures to the last degree, using the buttons and tools that are provided to you on the camera. These are the same tools that are on a regular point-and-shoot camera as well, however the difference lies in the customizability of these features, which is where your photography hits a whole new level.
The other pieces of equipment that you need are based on the subject you are interested in. Flashes are required if you are going to be in poor light conditions while you might need different kinds of lenses based on your location, your subject's location or even the kind of subject you are trying to catch in your shots. A tripod and light-metre also comes handy, especially to keep your camera steady and to make sure that you have the right light to capture your subject, respectively.
Learning about Photography
It is important that you do not jump into photography without learning about it first. The reason is that you are going to end up spending a lot of money to buy digital camera accessories and equipment, only to find out that you aren't really interested enough to go about learning the finer points about the trade. Also, to take better pictures, you need to know exactly what the camera does and why. If you do not understand that aspect of things, you are unlikely to know how to wield your camera in the best manner possible to achieve the best results for your work.
Learning about the properties of light, colour and distance is extremely important for you to understand how to improve your quality of photography. In fact, you will even need to learn about ways to manipulate the images you've clicked, later, on software designed to edit photographs. This helps you take care of minor glitches that might not be, otherwise, manageable when you are out there taking those pictures.
Once you have all the information you need, you will know whether you are really interested enough to spend your money on the equipment. You will also be able to find your way around a camera and advance to the higher levels of the hobby, ensuring that you have the skill to take on bigger and more ambitious subjects. Once you get into the habit of taking photographs regularly, there is no limit to what you can do and where you can go to feed your hunger for this fantastic hobby. Travel, meet new people, explore new places, try things like Kite Aerial Photography -KAP and push your limits to make sure that photography allows you to keep all those memories with you for a very long time.