Photography Tutorials and Self-Help Books
Online photography schools, self-help books and photography tutorials provide opportunities for amateur photographers to hone their skills without enrolling in professional photography schools.
Because different people have very different learning styles, the best type of learning tool is one that suits the learner’s particular style. While some people learn well from self-help books, others require the guidance of online photography workshops. Each type of instruction has its own advantages and disadvantages.
Self-Help Books for Learning Photography
Libraries and local bookstores usually have a wide selection of self-help books that offer instruction in photography techniques. While some self-help books offer general photography tutorials for beginners, others deal with specific subjects or highly advanced photography techniques.
Well-written self-help books can be wonderful reference guides for the budding photographer. Of course, the key to successful learning is to choose a book that is clearly written in plain language. Photography tutorials that use highly technical terminology can overwhelm and confuse readers.
Photography tutorials in self-help books require self-management skills on the part of the reader. Unlike photography schools and workshops, self-help books cannot provide support from instructors or other students. Without support, some readers may not finish the self-help course. However, if readers are well-motivated and self-help books are well written, photography tutorials can be effective.
The other advantage to self-help books is the cost. Self-help books are rarely as expensive as online photography schools and are free if borrowed from the library.
Photography Tutorials in Magazines
Photography and camera magazines often print photography tutorials. In general, a photography magazine is aimed at experienced amateurs or professional photographers. Consequently, these photography tutorials may not be suitable for a beginner, as they often deal with advanced camera techniques.
Photography Tutorials Online
Online photographers have access to photography websites, forums and newsgroups. Photography websites often include Frequently Asked Questions that explain basic photography techniques. Some of these websites may also include photography tutorials.
If you’re looking for online tutorials, online forums or photography newsgroups are the best sources. They allow the reader to contact experienced photographers when they need help.
Online Photography Schools
Online photography schools and distance education courses allow photographers to receive professional level training at home. Online photography schools may be completely virtual or they may be provided by traditional colleges and universities. The New York Institute of Photography, the oldest photography school in the United States, has an extensive distance education division.
The cost associated with online photography schools varies considerably, depending on the nature of the school and the course selected. Courses offered by accredited institutions such as the New York Institute of Photography cost more than online photography tutorials offered by individual photographers.
Online photography schools offer a wide range of courses and photography tutorials. It is quite possible to earn a professional photography degree from online photography schools. Online photography schools also offer individual courses and workshops for students interested in learning specific camera techniques without having to get involved in a degree program.
Not only can students communicate with their instructors, but they can contact their classmates through online forums. For people who learn best when working with others, online photography schools afford many opportunities.
Brick-and-mortar photography schools provide seminars and photography tutorials for amateur photographers. Costs vary depending on the nature of the course. For example, a four day trip to the coast for a workshop on underwater photography will cost more than a one day seminar on black and white photography.
In addition to college photography seminars, continuing education programs and community programs may offer photography tutorials and courses. Photography clubs can introduce amateurs to experienced photographers who are often willing to pass on tips and techniques.
Finally, a good camera store is an excellent place to meet other photographers. Both customers and store staff may be able to offer advice on photography, recommend self-help books or even have information on online photography schools.
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