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Photography 101

Riley Butler

In the stunning landscapes of New Zealand, photography becomes more than a hobby; it's a quest to preserve nature's majesty. From investing in professional gear to honing skills, enthusiasts strive to do justice to the island's breathtaking scenery, moving beyond cellphone snapshots.

Living among the natural beauty of New Zealand inspires an individual to desire to keep those visual wonders for a lifetime, so photography becomes a necessity for those who are awestruck by what these island wonderlands offer their eyes. 

New Zealand’s scenic wonders deserve better treatment than Snapchat selfies from a cellphone. Consequently, the desire to capture these breathtaking sights is driven to make a monetary investment in photography equipment, and a devotion of time to learn to use it to do justice to what these islands offer the world.

​Finding a camera and its accessories is easy; log-on to an Internet shopping site, compare camera accessories and reviews, then make a selection based on needs, desires, and price.​

Learning to properly use that investment, however, requires study, practice, and the development of the “photographer’s eye”.​

Thousands of books have been published to teach budding photographers how to care for their cameras, properly applying the many combinations of settings from shutter speed to aperture, and the art of capturing light at the right angle at the precise moment for the ideal picture.

 A beginning photographer might want to choose a book that illustrates the proper use of the equipment that has been purchased before investigating journals that will guide in constructing images from angles and lighting.  

After all, understanding the camera that is being used is the foundation for excellent camerawork.

Taking notes of camera essentials, such as shutter, flash, live playback, and zoom rings help novice photographers commit camera operation necessities to memory.

 A beginner will also need to differentiate between the convenient practicality of autofocus and the artistic demands of manual focus that will take pictures from snapshots to portraits.  

Mastering manual focus is the skill that starts beginning photographers down the path of taking control of their cameras so they can express their creativity. ​

New photographers will soon learn that putting an image in focus is not only a matter of adjusting the lens but also involves composition, exposure, aperture, and lighting.

​A good video source that demonstrates the blending of these dynamics of photography is Chris Bray’s free photography course on YouTube.

The techniques that Bray teaches demonstrates the intensity and concentration that is necessary for taking high-quality photos and learning that cameras are not all fun and games.

 Photography isn’t just about knowing how to use your camera and how to use different techniques to create breathtaking photos.  

Any photographer can tell you that photography is an art which requires the development of a “photographer's eye”.  

This is the ability to recognize what is considered picturesque.

The “photographer’s eye” will come to an individual more readily if they lean toward photographing items of their interest.  

For instance, if someone has an interest in interior design, that person will know angles for pictures within a room that will augment the subject and allow the room to frame that subject.

Sometimes a venue could offer so many photo opportunities that a beginning photographer can become overwhelmed.

 For example, Milford Sound, a truly gorgeous Fiordland in the aforementioned New Zealand, is filled with majestic mountains, breathtaking waterfalls, and so much strange and mysterious wildlife that it can freeze a photographer into wondering what should be captured first.

 Although this doesn’t seem like much of a problem, each item would require different settings of the camera, and even a moment’s delay to alter the properties of a scene that made it a photographic moment.

 Remember, when you start your journey as a photographer that EVERYONE learns at different speeds. Resist feeling frustrated or clumsy when other people pick up techniques and show expertise that you have yet to learn.

 Keep a focus on your goals for developing your photographic skills, as it can become a fascinating hobby, whether you hope to make it a profession, or just to capture some frame-worthy scenes. 

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