Life around continues to promote effective self-education. This week, together with experts, we are finding out what skills to develop, what books, magazines and blogs to read, as well as where to go if you want to study the history, theory and technical fundamentals of photography.
I very often hear the same question from new and old acquaintances: which camera to buy? Always in response I can not restrain the mental sarcastic laugh. When I start figuring out why a camera is needed, as a rule, I hear something like “I want to take a photograph”. Further, this stupid joke climbs into the head, in which the photographer decided to become a dentist and bought a drill.
Of course, it’s difficult to shoot without a camera. But first, to understand whether you will actually shoot, the camera in the phone is enough. He is always at hand, and domestic non-stop scenes that surround us around the clock are most convenient for them to photograph. My experience says that a rare person will become more serious in taking photographs only because he has a big cool camera that he’s even reluctant to take with him on vacation.
Another thing, if you are attracted to some specific type of shooting, for which the phone is not suitable, for example, studio, it is better for her to learn. There are excellent basic and advanced courses, but they require investment. You can limit yourself to online video. There are not many of them, and they are not so easy to find, but there are amazing ones - for example, a film about portraiture in the Illuminating The Face studio. If you don’t have a camera, you can first ask your friends to drive them.
What is a photograph and what does it consist of? Photography is a drawing of light. Therefore, the main thing you should look at when deciding to take a picture is light. Where is he, is he good, and if bad, is it possible to somehow improve him. A photograph consists of objects, plans and background that make up the overall composition. Each factor is very important. It is difficult to take a beautiful portrait if you do not think about the background. It’s difficult to take a landscape photo if the objects in the foreground block what you want to shoot. During the shooting, you need to think, you need to watch, you need to try.
The general advice, of course, is practical: if you want to shoot, shoot. As much as possible. All. Search for your genre. I want to shoot portraits - start with friends. Landscapes - start with places you walk past every day. See your photos. See other people's photos on topics that appeal to you. To hone your technical skills, try repeating the techniques you like. Try to get the opinion not of friends, but of photographers. However, you can show the work to everyone.
And the last one. Before you start shooting, it's better to think about it. Because beautiful photography is not bad. But a beautiful photograph in which there is an idea, a statement surpasses just a beautiful one by many levels. She has a chance to be remembered and to get out of the number of millions of others captured in the more than a century-long history of photography.
teacher BVShD, photo editor Life around
PHOTOS CANNOT BE TEACHED. You can hone the technique, but putting light on perfectly doesn’t mean having your own vision. The vision is formed from existential and photographic experience, intuition and interest in the subject. It’s not enough to do several frames every day for social networks, you need to take photos consciously. It’s worth starting with an attempt to understand what problems worry you and how they can be investigated through a photograph.
There is nothing wrong with wanting to dojust beautiful pictures, because looking at a photo with a harmonious composition and bright colors is nice at the neurophysiological level. If you want to have fun and not reflect, then why not? Photography should not be torment. Everyone can make a beautiful, but secondary photo: for this, basic technical skills and a sense of composition are enough. At the same time, the original idea, the interaction of the photographer with the world, work with the captured material is more important than the aesthetics of individual photos. A keen interest in everything around, patience and the ability to contemplate will help the photographer not produce meaningless pictures of sunsets and sunrises.
It is important not only to shoot and reflect, but also to look at what others are shooting. The more often you look at a good photo, the better. Find 5-10 authors whose work is close to you ideologically and aesthetically, and disassemble their work critically. The ideal option is to look at the original prints in galleries and museums or flip through photo books (not to be confused with photo albums), depending on what form the author prefers. Subscribe to Instagram photo galleries and galleries instances, browse tumblr-sponsored blogs (e.g. Paper Journal, in a clearing, Fotografia magazine) and online magazines. Do not limit yourself to photography, study classical and contemporary art, read fiction and do not forget about cinema. I met people who believed that their creative genius would suffer if they studied the work of other artists, and deliberately isolated themselves from external visual stimuli. In fact, they invented a bicycle. This can lead to a cursory look at the subject of interest or an inadequate assessment of one's own practice.
In the creative process, listen to your intuition and the opinion of several knowledgeable friends (photographers, photo editors, curators, critics, teachers) whose taste you really trust. But still, the most important thing: shoot only what you care about.
What to read
Susan Sontag"About photography"
A collection of essays by the writer and art critic Susan Sontag, which has already become a handbook for those interested in the history and theory of photography. Paired with the book by Roland Bart "Camera lucida. Commentary on photography" is a mandatory minimum for those involved in this topic.
Kristen LubbenMagnum contact sheets
The famous photo album created from 139 original contact lists of the best photographers of the Magnum agency. A good opportunity to see the photographic process from the inside out or to better understand the history of a single famous photograph.
What to watch on the Internet
Skillshare Photography Classes
An excellent resource with master classes in creative disciplines, including photography: from shooting food for Instagram and the basics of street photography to the fundamental course on Photoshop. The first two weeks of use are free, then you will have to transfer 10 dollars a month. All lessons are in English, for each author writes a task that can be done and sent for verification. From the pros: the classes are small, mostly for a couple of hours, but they tell the most important and applied. Each has an introductory video that makes it clear whether or not to watch the course.
Project "Photo Department"
A project for all interested, within which a fund, gallery, bookstore, educational courses and a magazine are united under the general idea of the development of Russian photography. The resource is created on a non-profit basis, so updates do not happen as often as we would like.
Bird In Flight Online Magazine
An ambitious project, created a little over a year ago on the basis of Depositphotos photobank, tells not only about photography, but also visual culture in general. From the most useful: a selection of almost two hundred photo projects from around the world - from Israeli bomb shelters and Soviet stops to African residents, Russians on Brighton Beach and the Arctic.
Lynda Online Courses
Another storehouse of instructional videos for those who do not have the ability or desire to learn useful skills in courses. Unlike Skillshare, here the classes are more thorough, conveniently divided by levels of training, topics and even equipment that the student uses. There are classes devoted only to composition and light, and there are several cognitive documentaries. It’s all worth it, though, $ 25 a month. There is a 10-day trial.
Lens Culture Magazine
One of the most influential world publications on art and media, which will help to keep abreast of the latest trends in modern photography.
Beginner Tips from Magnum Photos Photographers
35 photographers from the leading Magnum agency give some advice to anyone just starting to get interested in the topic.
Where to study
Photoplay School of Contemporary Photography
A large and, perhaps, one of the best photo schools in Moscow, in the schedule of which there are almost fifty basic, specialized and thematic courses for any level of training. Their professional photographers and teachers like Andrei Rogozin, Vlada Krasilnikova and Sergey Maksimishin are developing, the school has launched many Moscow photographers. In addition, lectures and small master classes are often held here, for example, on working with a model or creating your own photo book. If you can’t study at school, there are several distance learning programs for the basics of photography and processing.
Where: Kalanchevskaya Street, Building 17, Building 1
Cost: Basic express course - 9 500 rubles; Professional program "Photographer in Fashion Media" - 99,000 rubles; lectures on history and modern trends - 550-750 rubles
A division of the Moscow House of Photography, where photography is taught more as an art than a commercial profession. The three-year program is designed for those who definitely want to connect their lives with photography; it is free, but you need to go through a competition and pay a technical fee once a semester. For all the others, there are several short programs at the school and the opportunity to master documentary shooting, manual black-and-white printing and video art.
Where: 2nd Krasnoselsky Lane, 2
Cost: course "Fundamentals of Photography" - 42 000 rubles; The Art of Documentary Photography - 12,000 rubles; main program - free
Set: from June 1 to September 1, applications for the main program, courses - year-round