This week's blogger Julian (student Biosystems Engineering) shares his hobby: photography.
Now the Corona measures become less strict, the country is slowly starting up again. These months were supposed to be busy with a lot of photography jobs. However, because of Corona they turned into an empty agenda. Even now my main hobbies are postponed for some time. Scouting (which is on-hold for activities of 18+ members), travelling (closed borders, travel uncertainty) and occasion photography (no events, parties or other happenings these days). Therefore I decided to turn the last one, photography, into a Corona-proof hobby.
For years I have been photographing all kinds of activities and requests. It all started with borrowing my mums camera, after a while I bought my own camera, a Nikon S9000. In my final year of my high school I bought my first DSRL camera, a Nikon D5200. That was the moment my hobby took off pretty fast. Thus far during my time at the WUR I made several board photos, ran two times around at a drag night and captured moments as a CREW-photographer at the AID. Besides, I took thousands of photos for Heeren XVII, my study association, and did several other (small) photo-jobs. All to make people smile by giving them a capture to reminisce. At the very end of 2019, I bought a new camera, a Sony A7 III, to further improve the quality of my photos. This was quite an investment but absolutely worth it in order to capture the best moments for the person in front of the camera. However, Corona times kicked in and wiped out all planned activities. As a photographer this means no large events, no parties, activities or gatherings to photograph until who knows when.
Enough about the past and ego-tripping. During Corona I got a bit bored and picked up my camera and started to play around. The results you can see on this page and on my Flickr account. Below I will share some of the tips for beginning photographers to get started and capture that perfect moment!
1. Don’t worry about the equipment
You might be worried about your equipment, please don’t! The camera is only a tool, the photographer is the person who creates the picture. You’re in charge to handle the tool right and create the result. Cameras of smartphones are doing well nowadays and are good to make your first steps.
2. Check the setting
The basics you can read everywhere on the web. Starting with fully-automatic, look at which settings the camera takes and try it yourself next time. It’s good to know which settings are doing what and have an idea of the parameters. Thinking already, oh help? Decide for yourself how far you want to take care of these settings and parameters. A camera can take care of the settings automatically as well.
3. Try out and find your style
Colourful, black-white, abstract, realistic, nature, city, micro, macro, bird view, frog view, etc, etc. Every photographer has his/her own style. Sometimes you know directly who took the photo when a new photo pops up. Just play around with your camera. Find out what you like in a photo and what you don’t like in a photo.
4. Don’t worry about quantity
It is sometimes better to have a click extra to try out a slightly different setting instead of missing the moment. Don’t worry about how many photos remain in the end, as long as you covered what you wanted to cover. I can easily end up with 800+ photos after 4 hours at a party, delivering only around 200… (Not recommended when you use an old-school analogue photographing by the way!)
5. Think a step ahead
The environment changes all the time. Is the weather changing in favour or not? What will the light(s) do? Will the subject move to another position? Do I have to move to have a better position? How about the parameter settings? To get the perfect shot you have to think a step ahead and prepare or wait for desired picture.
6. Mind the detail
Probably, you are spending most of the time in your room, staring at web lectures or distracted by a streaming service. Have a look around! I bet you see funny details you and others might miss in the daily rush. Don’t forget these details, as they contribute to the whole atmosphere. Maybe the nature is taking over your dishes, or when you arrive at a side street which covers a whole new world. Of course, there are interesting photographs to find on Google with more than 1.000. … .000+ photos. But there is more to see than only that particular mass-picture. If everybody looks into the same direction, turn around for a different shot!
7. You need to go to...
You can make photos almost everywhere. Besides indoors, try to take the roads outside that you never took before in your city or town. When you make a longer trip, you could plan a “knooppuntenroute” for biking like Thijs does, or go for a nice “klompenpad” route which will take you across several unpaved routes across the fields. Of course, you’re free to go to mass-picture hotspots.
Motivated by reading this? Get of your seat, grab your camera and go for it! I hope these basic tips motivated you to have a different look at the world and start experimenting. For myself, I hope I can start as occasion photographer again soon. If you have any questions, feedback, or if you are looking for a photographer, feel to contact me via Flickr, Facebook, LinkedIn or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
I don’t know if I’m a good photographer. People say so, I’m only trying my best.
Do you have a unique, fun or exciting hobby you would like to share with us and the rest of the WUR community? Send an e-mail to email@example.com with a short story and some photos and maybe you will be featured on this page!