First thing first. Being a photographer is a long journey. It takes time. A person who dreams to have the profession must go through lots of steps before he can be known as a photographer, a person who makes an art by using light as a medium.
One of the first steps is buying a camera, either DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) or Mirrorless.
Then, let’s say, you get your first camera, then what will be the next step? Reading photography theory? Going to a photography class?
Well, I choose more simpler action to do. Read your camera manual book. Yes, a new camera whatever its brand or type will be accompanied by a printed or digital manual book. Take it or download it from the producer website and spare some time to read.
Read it carefully and make sure you don’t skip any sections.
A manual book contains knowledge which is useful for all photographers, not only beginners but also pros.
You may find in your camera manual book
- how to operate the camera : a digital camera is a mini computer full of feature, button, and functionality. Without knowing how to operate the camera, then you will never be a photographer
- the troubleshooting: life of a photographer is full of challenge and one of the annoyances is when the camera has a trouble. Reading troubleshooting section in the manual book equip you with potential solution for the trouble. This can be a life safer
- basic techniques for capturing moment: most of nowadays digital camera have features created based on what people usually do in making photos. That’s why a manual book usually contains an explanation about how to photograph object using basic photography techniques, such as bokeh or freezing.
If you are a beginner, then this kind of knowledge is priceless. You don’t have to take a course if you just want to make a blurred background photo as the manual book will guide you to use a “portrait button” which set the camera on right aperture.
If you face a situation when your camera shows an error code, you don’t have to be in hurry to go to a service center. Some error messages are caused by small troubles like leaked battery or lens are not properly attached to the camera. This type of problem can be solved by yourself, unless you don’t know it.
Besides, a photographer must know the characters of their camera well to enable them maximizing all function provided. They have to adapt with the cameras like soldiers with their rifles.
That can be done, at least part of it, by reading the manual book.
Reading your manual book is the first action you must do after you get your first camera. This is one of most important but underrated things ignored by many beginners.
I hope you don’t do that.