POINT, SHOOT AND PROCESS
Your passion for photography could have started with your I-zone, or you’ve always loved tinkering with your dad’s D70. Whatever your poison is, photography is a great way to unleash your creative juices and let your passion for art, people, nature and even ordinary, everyday things let loose. Plus, taking it up will leave you with fabulous summer photos you’ll cherish forever! Fashion photographer Toto Labrador gives you a few tips on how to get your camera rolling.
Before spending a fortune on equipment, check out the resources available to you first. If you’ve already got a digital camera, for example, you could start out with that. If your dad has a lens that’s been gathering dust in the basement, ask him if you can borrow it. If you’re a newbie, the best place to go shopping for cameras is Hidalgo Street in Quiapo. Check out Watson, Avenue and Henry’s–the three major camera stores in Quiapo. Bring a buddy because the streets of Quiapo can be a tad intimidating for first time shoppers! Make sure to find out what interface you feel most comfortable with–remember that Canons are different from Nikons and Fujis.
Choose Your Own Adventure
While digital photography has become extremely popular, don’t discount traditional (film) photography. If you’re starting from scratch, it’s best to start learning with a film camera (upon which the digital camera’s design was based). People will always argue that digital is great because it gives you instant results (you can view the pictures you’ve taken right after you shoot) and you can instantly erase the shots that aren’t up to par–but remember that photography is an art form that requires discipline. When you learn photography on a film camera, you give more thought to your shots; you plan them out more and consider all the technical aspects before going ahead and clicking. This in turn, will help you better your technique.
Where Do I Begin?
Research is key. Find out which photographers you like–what it is about their styles you love. Find out what interests you–fashion photography, fine art, travel, portrait, etc. Once you’ve determined whose style and discipline you’d like to imbibe, try to contact that photographer and see if you can get a stint assisting him. While you can learn the basics from typical photography workshops, you’ll learn a lot more if you work for a professional photographer–they can offer you lessons that go beyond the classroom.
Being in the Dark(room)
It’ll be great for photography enthusiasts to go one step further and be involved in processing their pictures themselves. Working in the darkroom and seeing your images magically appear on paper is definitely more interesting and liberating than wiling your time away at the one hour photo. You can even turn your own bathroom into a darkroom–all you need is an enlarger (from Quiapo), and chemicals (from Kodak). Before tinkering with these dangerous chemicals however, take a workshop so you know how to handle everything properly.