Every day I look at dozens of professional photographic websites, and in turn hundreds of images, many of them mediocre, and often not as good as "Uncle Harry" might capture. It's not because the artists don't care, aren't passionate about the craft or aren't trying hard. I believe it's because they've taken too many shortcuts in learning the craft.
The legendary Don Blair always stressed the importance of learning the rules. However he broke them all the time. He used to tell photographers, "Only when you understand the rules, do you have the right to break them!"
I found a whole series of old videos from Tamron's Ken Hubbard. I chose four of them to share together, saving you the challenge of searching through Tamron's YouTube channel. Each is slightly over a minute, but there's a lot of great photography basics in this archived "Know-How" series from 2010.
Yes, they're six years old. At this point I can actually see a lot of you rolling your eyes and having that "Skip's gone mad," look on your face, but just trust me. I picked four videos, starting with the one on Macro, because over and over again I'm seeing some terrible ring shots and attempts at close-up flower work from artists who need help. Next up is a short clip on wide angle and telephoto. Again, because many of the images I've seen suggest the artist didn't think through the lens choice for the image. While I know it's also possible they didn't have the depth in their choice of gear yet, that's still no excuse for not capturing the best images possible for your client.
The next two are all about composition and even a reminder about the rule of thirds. Again, there's some helpful content here, but you need to keep an open mind. And, if your skill set is way beyond the basics, because you know what you're dong with a camera in your hands, then feel free to share this with somebody just starting out.
Remember as you're watching these videos they're six years old, and while the "Know-How" information being shared is timeless, in just the last two years Tamron has introduced a whole series of outstanding lenses not mentioned in the videos. For example, the four lenses below with the new SP 35mm, SP 45mm, SP 85mm and SP 90mm. Click on any of the four to link directly to the spec page for more information.
Finding a Tamron dealer nearest you is just a click away. And, don't forget the schedule for the Mobile Learning Center on the road this month in Palm Harbor, Florida, Fort Worth, Dallas and Arlington, Texas. If you're in these areas here's a chance for you to test drive the new lenses for yourself, and get to know the members of the Tech Team. You need to bring them into your network! Just click on the picture of the van to the right for times and locations.