The Photography Starter Kit for Beginners

 

Lesson Info

Workflow

Workflow is all the stuff that happens after you shoot the photo, and we're not going to spend a lot of time here, but I'm just going to talk about a few of the things that you want to think about and making sure that you are set up properly. It's relatively a slow process downloading straight from the camera using those USB cables that they come with. It's much easier, in many cases, to get a card reader, so that you don't have to have your camera out. All you need is your memory card. It will Download a little bit faster. If you can plug the card into your computer itself, that's even better, just for getting the images into the computer quickly. Photographers need to be able to look at their photos, they need to be able to compare them, to organize them. The most popular piece of software on the market today, and as it has been for the last several years, is Adobe Lightroom. It's a great program. I won't say that it's the most intuitive, easy to learn program. There's a little bit o...

f a learning curve to get into this, to understand where your photos are and that they're not lost, but once you get this figured out, which might take a class here at CreativeLive, or a book or a class on this, you're going to be just fine on it. The thing that I like about it, is that once you get into this, it's really easy. They have all these different little sliders, everything that you would want to do in photography that's just really quick and easy. Photography encompasses a lot of different styles of photography. I'm more of a Lightroom photographer, which means most of my images need just a little tweak. Pretty much all of my images have been tweaked just a little bit. I usually spend 10 seconds or less per image, working on my images. That doesn't mean I go change all of my images, only the winners get changed by those little 10 second tweaks. However, if you take a photograph like this and you're thinking, "That's not quite good enough. I think we need more birds there." (laughing) For this, where we're duplicating and copying a bird, we need something that can do a little bit more. So Adobe Photoshop is the industry standard when it comes to image manipulation. If you have a very creative thought process, and you want to create things that you can't capture in camera, Photoshop is the program to go to. There are a number of other very good programs, but this is the industry leading standard as far as what you can do for manipulating images. I find Photoshop useful for a few things, but I like trying to shoot straight in the camera. I don't need Photoshop for very many things at all anymore these days. I prefer Lightroom, but they're both valuable programs. If I had to give somebody advice on what should they buy, they should buy Lightroom as soon as they buy their camera and start figuring that out. That is very, very helpful because it's a cataloging system. They're going to stay organized with that, but you'll also be able to do most development things. Maybe after a year in photography, and you've got a lot of the camera stuff figured out, then you might want to either the basic Photoshop elements or the full-in Photoshop if you want to get into that style of image manipulation. You don't want to lost your data. Do not store your photos on your computer. That sounds really strange, but don't keep your photos on your computer. How many of you have photos on your phone right now, where that's the only place they are? If your phone is stolen or broken, those photos are gone forever. Photographers, get into backup and so because every hard drive will fail, whether it's a portable or a desktop style hard drive, you need to have everything on a second hard drive. Because really bad things sometimes happen, you should have them on a third drive, stored in a separate location. If you do not have this sort of set up, you are setting yourself up for a catastrophe. Every six months, on the little photo blogs that I go to, I read about some photographer, some lifetime, 20, 30 year photographer, that has lost their entire collection of work because they didn't follow the scenario and somebody broke into their house and they stole all their computers, or there was a fire in the house. You got to have your photos someplace else. An online storage, that's an option, if you want to do online storage. I'm not real happy with how fast they transmit. I have a lot of photos and it doesn't work real well for that, so I have a physical hard drive in a secret location and then I rotate it out every once in a while. If you're not doing that, think about how you would feel having everything you've done up to date gone. I would be devastated. So, ending on such a happy note like that (laughing) let's see if there's any questions about the workflow or any of those other issues that we've talked about. I have people who are now paranoid online saying, "Oh no." (laughing) This is true. I mean, it really is smart to focus on your backup system, absolutely. We do have some questions. Grab a mic if you do have, in here. One that came through and had votes is from Peter Avadeer who says, "What are the low and high options in motor drive." So, it depends on the camera, but low is a lower speed option. It's usually three frames per second. That's usually the option. The higher is usually the maximum that the camera can do; six, eight, ten, twelve, fourteen. It depends on the camera. In some of the higher end cameras, you can go in and customize where those numbers are. If you said, "Oh, I really need seven frames a second," you might be able to dial that in with some of the high end cameras. Alright, just to make sure that everyone is understanding RAW and how it works, Arvin Serpod said, "Can I keep my light setting on cloudy all the time and change the light settings if I'm taking my photos in RAW file format? Does this affect the quality of the photo?" So if you are shooting RAW, you can leave your white balance wherever you want. Now I tend to like to check my camera every once in a while, just to see that things look right, and so I tend, if it's a cloudy day, I'll put it in cloudy. If it's sunny, I'll put it in cloudy just because I want to get good feedback when I'm out working in the real world. But ultimately, if you shoot RAW, you can adjust it later. You don't have to do it in the field because you can do it later. The question is, would you rather do one step out in the field or 100 steps later on. If it's easy and convenient, do it in the field. If you get it wrong, don't worry about it, fix it later.

“This is a great starter class. I thought I understood how shutter speed and aperture worked together, but this class made it come together in a matter of minutes. I'm already taking better pictures and this is just the beginning!” -Jennifer Manley, CreativeLive Student


Learn how to take the kind of photograph you’ll want to print and pass on to the next generation. John Greengo is back to teach this updated photography for beginners class. You’ll learn the principles of good beginner and intermediate photography and get the skills necessary to create amazing photos. 

Advanced cameras are available at modest price points, but learning how to use them takes an investment.

  • Learn the the most essential functions of your camera 
  • Gain confidence in putting new functions into action 
  • Get the swing of basic photographic terminology 
  • Feel prepared to move on to more advanced classes 
  • Gain a solid understanding of must-know lighting and composition techniques 
  • Lean to position yourself and your subject to capture the best photo possible with the camera you have – no additional gear needed 
If you want to take more memorable and inspiring photographs of your travels, your friends and family, or the great outdoors then this photography for beginners class is for you. Learn how to make average pictures amazing photographs and gain the ground necessary to continue your photography education.  

“This is a super introduction to photography for anyone who really wants to learn how to understand and begin to use the camera to its full extent. John is an excellent teacher, very easy to follow, with great graphics and examples.”  -Sarah, CreativeLive Student  

 
 
 
 

Reviews

  • I am a pro photographer in my dreams, where I know the in's and out's of my camera; however, reality proved differently, as real life would tell you, I was a deer caught in headlights just looking at my new 7D Mark II. I am a photographer enthusiast without the skills, but a lot of love for the moments one, or the profession/hobby of it can capture. I mostly shoot my husband, friends, and community surfers in the lineup, and of course, my children, who rarely sit still. Thus, I switched from Nikon to Canon, venturing on the 7D Mark II for the grand reviews of how stellar of camera it is for action shots (surfing, and kids, this was a no brainer). That said, and overwhelmed with the way beyond my skill set, but noted desire and aspiration to grow, I made the purchase, and sought help rather quickly as I wanted to feel confident with what I was utilizing to capture the best memories possible. I came into this John's courses knowing the "on/off" button, and "auto" shoot mode. I came out of the course feeling like the pro in my dreams, and ready to shoot manual. John's teaching style is on point, and his detailed visuals are a huge plus. My first shots post this photography kit course, I thought were great for my first educated shoot, and shockingly, I even received and email from one of the sponsors of the surfers I captured, asking if they could use my image for their sites and publications. Not bad for a newbie. Though, my intent was never a business purpose, I did not know if I should charge a small fee, or give it for free. I don't mind free as it's not my business, yet I don't want to ruin it for any professional photographers in town doing the same thing that are charging. Perhaps another course to help me with that. I highly recommend courses by John Greengo! Thank you so much, John!
  • I'm not sure my first review posted. But I LOVE this class! John Greengo is a great, engaging teacher who is really adept at representing the concepts visually and excellent at explaining them verbally. I love how he goes through examples with photographs he has taken. Even though I only have a Nikon Coolpix digital camera, it does have Manual, Shutter priority, and Aperture priority modes. Through his class I've gotten a really good sense of how to balance ISO, aperture, and shutter speed. It's a great overview for me especially since I am new to photography, I can play around with some of these settings, and I have a greater understanding of what I might need in a higher level camera in the future. Money well spend! (For $29, this is an absolute steal). John Greengo is an awesome teacher and I hope to take more of his classes in the future!
  • John is extremely articulate and is a great teacher with lots of visual aids and metaphors to help understand photography. I have been doing photography for a few years now and this class was a tremendous help in boosting my knowledge and refreshing my memory in multiple aspects of photography. The graphics that John uses are helpful and he even goes through images and asks which settings would be best to use and will go through the why. He makes things easy to understand and is very clear about the information he provides. I am so glad I took this course and I would highly recommend it even to an experienced photographer. Thank you John Greengo!