Author: Amy Novotny
Photography workshops and classes are a great way to learn general photography and various types of photography, such as landscape, macro, portrait, etc., in a condensed period of time. Arizona Highways Photo Workshops hosts many workshops that provide this service as well as help people meet other photographers that they can later use as resources or as buddies to go out shooting. At times though, it is nice to learn little tidbits of information on a daily basis or to seek out opinions of other photographers who have “been there and done that.” Social media is a great way to achieve this goal.
Two social media groups on Facebook provide a great resource for photography information. Both the Nikon Digital Camera and Photo Enthusiasts and the Canon Digital Camera and Photo Enthusiasts groups allow for great discussion of photography or camera gear for their respective brands. As a Nikon user, I belong to the Nikon group and peruse the group site daily. There are strict guidelines for posting on the news feed including limiting photo uploads to three per day, listing the shooting details of each image and providing respectful comments and criticism. The site monitors do a great job in removing visitors who violate these rules.
This site has served me in several ways: providing me ideas on composing photos, helping me learning camera settings for different types of photography outside of my comfort zone, and helping me choose new gear to purchase. Originally, I joined the group in hope to hone my skills in various types of photography since I started out learning landscape photography. A friend had recently asked me to take senior portraits of her daughter and my brother’s wedding was fast approaching. I needed ideas on lighting, location and camera settings. The site contained many photos from contributors all over the world for senior portraits both indoors and outdoors as well as other creative portrait photography. I came away with many ideas and had success.
When I decided to upgrade my camera from a Nikon D5500 to something with more versatility, I debated going to a full frame or remaining with a cropped-sensor camera. Since many people had posted questions regarding this, I searched the group site and found many posts on the pros and cons of each camera type from users in addition to academic articles about the differences. Once I narrowed down the sensor type I wanted, I had to decide on the best camera for my needs and budget. I posted a question on another user’s post for the first time and received a nice response. This was encouraging, as the turnaround was quick from a couple photographers who had both cameras that I was interested in and could easily offer advice on each.
Lastly, I wavered on a lens and had read many technical articles on the old and new version of the Nikon 24-70 mm lens. I still couldn’t decide, so I posted the question on the group site to see what photographers had found through their experiences. The response was wonderful and informative. I felt no hesitation in the decision I made after that and greatly appreciated the service this social media site provided.
The benefit to this site is that I can interact as much or as little as I want and still learn. While I still feel that in person workshops and classes are the best way to learn a type of photography or learn how to photograph a location, these social media groups are a great supplement to further anyone’s photography.