Getting started with Digital Photography: Part 2

Once you get “hooked” on digital photography, and have chosen the software you are going to use and have started using it – what might be the next step?

Traditionally you went to the newsagent and bought a magazine to tell you more about your camera, or the software you were using. By doing this you could follow developments in your hobby and pick up advice, hints and tips which were often very useful. However nowadays there is an alternative. You can use the plentiful resources made available on the Internet – often indeed from the magazines that you might have been considering purchasing.

Here’s a tip to make your browsing and reading more productive.
I think it’s a “good idea” to sign-up to either flipboard, or feedly – so that you can subscribe to RSS feeds and receive a regular stream of articles (blog posts) that you could find interesting. This is rather like getting a tailored magazine or newspaper delivered to your computer, tablet or phone every day. I tend to use feedly – it’s a bit easier to use and less like a magazine than flipboard – but if that’s the presentation you’d like, go for it.
Sign-up for a free account on either of these and then whenever you see the RSS icon on a website, you know that you can add that site to your feedly or flipboard account. Both sites work well if you have a Google (gmail) account as you can use that as your identity/userid for registration/login. Both have apps for smart devices and can be used from standard web browsers (Safari, Chrome, Firefox, etc).
I intend to write a post specifically about using feedly and flipboard shortly.

The feeds I read regularly include …
Digital Photography School, DIY Photography, Lightstalking and Petapixel.

I also follow feeds which are specific to the camera and the software I use. It’s also a good idea to view other people’s images to give you ideas. I referenced in my last post that I share my images my images on Google Photos, flickr, Instagram, flickr and 500px. I’d suggest however that you browse other people’s images on these sites for inspiration!
I then tend to save articles I’ve liked, or have just not had the time to read in Pocket. It’s a bit like bookmarking a webpage, only with the content as well so you can read the article offline as well. Once it’s there, you can then share the link with others, or even create your own Flipboard Magazine which is what I have done with the Photography magazine on this blog. This is a little more advanced than using Pocket however – so start there. Remember too, bookmarking works best if you add some tags to help you find the article in the future from the many hundred you’ll soon have bookmarked – a problem somewhat similar to the tagging/metadata that you’ll need to get into the habit of providing to identify your images in Adobe Lightroom, or alternatives.
I also use Evernote (but am thinking of moving to OneNote) as a piece of note-taking software to just record ideas, and other bits of information, when I’m out and about with my iPhone or camera. You can save links from your browser directly to both of these note-taking apps.

Finally, it’s worth considering finding out if you can attend a photo workshop to learn from a professional. I’ve been on a number of these and personally can recommend …
Ken Jenkins (Freespirit Images) and his associated blog.

Finally, I can’t resist of course plugging my own blog –  Just thoughts … where I post my personal thoughts on my approach to photography and digital photography in general. However, my photo blog – Moments like these … is my main platform where I show an image and the describe the story behind it, and this blog is associated with my portfolio / gallery site.

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