IMO I think it's better to attend course to understand the basics if you can afford.At least you have the right to ask and they are more structured in providing the know hows. There's some info in the workshop studio/model section. Mentoring not a good choice, must do a search on mentor's character, even then it may not match and no obligation or committment from the other party. If you are "lucky", your psychological age may be drastically reduced to an infant through humiliations with constant reminders of "spoon fed" or "do a search" response.:bsmilie: Chances of hitting the right "note: quite high in here :bsmilie:
Self learning is the best. You remember and learn much better through experimentation, pain of screwing up a moment than a didactic teacher in classroom. And i enjoy the process.
But with a (good) mentor i would think previously i would have picked up much faster. Took a week or so before i got my cam basics, still learning as i shoot. As to the worry of being spoon fed, i think that is entirely up to the attitude of learning.
Try Phil Date photography, or pm eastwest (same guy). His courses are fantastic, very easy to learn, he used to be a teacher, so he can get his points across very well. For course info please see http://www.pdpforum.com/forumdisplay.php?f=26. His website is under renovation at the moment so I'm afraid that its not working.
1) to be honest, you probably do not need photography classes to learn about photography. the national library (yes, the one that is not used enough, yet is everywhere) has loads of photography books AND magazines that will give you a rough idea as to the technicalities, and stuff you can do with your camera. and as a bonus, you get to look at nice nice pretty pictures while you're at it, especially for the magazines.
2) shooting and being self-critical, is enough to a certain point, i suppose. posting on clubsnap, and listening to constructive comments, and taking them positively, and thereby applying what you have learnt in the future, is probably just as useful, if not more useful than a photography teacher. but in a sense, you cannot compare the two, they are like apples and oranges.. though i suppose with the right attitude and effort, you will get there eventually, is just two different paths. the newbies here (well self-proclaimed newbies, some of them are really good if you ask me) organise outings now and then, you can also join them. as an added bonus you can make friends too! as it is usually a large group, you do not have to worry as much about.. funny going ons happening. though be careful at all times. same applies.
3) that said, if you find that you do not have the discipline (and there is nothing wrong with that), then perhaps you could sign up for courses with some of the photography clubs, sometimes they advertise here on clubsnap, then you can just ask for more details.
hope this helps. from personal experience, i have never attended any photography or photoshop class.. not because there isn't a need to.. but i just prefer learning things myself. cheers
As others had mentioned, go to the library, internet and/or join external classes. Join the various outings organised here in CS to learn and exchange new ideas and try various equipment.
Learn about the meaning of aperture and shutter speed and ISO and how to control them on your camera. Don't use full-auto mode. Shutter or aperture priority at least and also take lots of pictures. The more you take and analyse your own pictures the more you improve.
And your Dad would be a good person to ask critique from. With his wealth of experience he could tell you which pictures are good and how to improve the bad ones, in terms of technique and/or composition. If he is very busy, select a few which you think are good and a few which u think u can learn from and ask for his opinion. So he does not have to go through so many pictures.
I'm currently doing a basic cse at SLCC. Very informative and instructoris very patient and lesson are not constraint by time, we usually have a 3-4hr class rather than the 2 hours "advertised". It is $210 for 4 lessons. I think you can do a search for stanley lim color centre or go to ******* forum and look for joanne.
Just sharing my experience, I am basically self taught. Had long wanted to learn photography but only I had started working I can afford to get myself a SLR with the lenses I wanted. After long research mainly through the internet, I got myself a Dynax 5. Learn most of the techniques through the internet and also photography books at bookstores and the library. Also found a colleague that was interested in photography and we exchange ideas. He got himself a fully manual SLR and a fully manual Medium format camera and that forced him to do all the exposure calculations mentally. Furthermore, he does mostly slides. As a result, his eye power metering skill is much better than me.:embrass: I also scan in my photos into photographic websites and let others criticize. One good website I recommend, other than clubsnap, is photosig. There you can post all the info like the settings, lens used etc and let others criticize on what to do to achieve better effects. You can also view other photos, get technical tips and also composition ideas.
Nowadays learning photography is even easier than my days as with the affordable DSLRs around. Firstly the cost for film development is removed, so you can practice a lot more than old times, and also the infomation of the settings for each photo is automatically recorded. Use to carry around a notebook, the paper type, and had to write down the settings after each shot so that I can see the result of different settings after the photos are printed. Did not do as much photography for the past 2-3 years as was busy with other commitments and also find film developing cost quite high. Just got myself a DSLR and hopefully be able to pick back the skills that had gone rusty.
So read more, practice more, find a good photography site and don't be afraid to post your photos. Happy snapping. Looking forward to see more great pictures around.
I never seem to be able to be self-critical. I can't tell if my photos are nice or not! I am trying to, but hard. :cry:
To TS: Self-taught would be a cheaper way and you actually can get to learn more. Just practice, practice, and practice. Read some books if like books. Not forgetting the book, Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson.
theory: the basics are mainly... understanding the different camera parts and what they do, exposure-iso/aperture/shutter, composition (rule of third, etc...), white balance (colour of light), etc...
practical: get a camera, stay at home or go out for a shoot. don't be scared to try out any feature that the camera may offer you. upload to the computer, evaluate your photo or ask for critques.
theory materials and information are readily available in the library or if not the internet, they can also be found all over the internet. it's possible to self learn photography. with the help of a mentor, it sure does help with the progress.