Introduction to Photography


Welcome to the very first module of our private members section at ATP, an Introduction to Photography. ATP Members is here to guide you from the early days of your digital imaging adventure right through to more advanced photography. We also include all manner of photo-capers and business advice including the exciting world of aerial imaging using drones.

Everything here is suitable for all ages whether you are still at school or currently enjoying your retirement.

Photography is a great excuse to go out by myself without looking too much like a Billy-no-mates. I enjoy my own company much of the time so taking my camera gives me an excuse to head on out. Whether it is just into town for some street photography or an 18 hour drive to Switzerland, I love it all! I am also lucky enough to do this for a living. If that is the route you wish to take, you will love it here!

About Me

I have been a photographer since the age of 13 back in 1980 and a professional photographer since the 1990's. Yes, I'm that old! But with age comes plenty of know how and experience having started with film and darkroom processing in my early days. I experienced the transition to digital as it happened and was immediately wowed by it. Digital photography breathed new life into this hobby/business and I immediately realised that photography would become huge...everywhere!

In all honesty, there is little difference between the film and digital photography. With regards to the final image and how it is created anyway. However, the sheer amount of tools and high tech gear available to us these days is staggering. Forgetting technology for a moment, one of the best tips I can give you is this. Head on over to eBay or Amazon and buy yourself an old film camera...

Film Photography

Get yourself a decent SLR or medium format camera. Then buy some beautiful black and white or slide film and load it up. Next, head out to your favourite location and start to think about what you want to shoot. The thing about shooting film as opposed to "free" digital files is that it can slow you down. With film, each shot costs money. Then, if you shoot larger format film and print the images yourself, trust me, you will learn to take your time.

This is one of the best ways to learn about lighting, composition and patience. Especially if you only have one 50mm lens. Shooting with a DSLR is easy much of the time and once you get used to it. Anyone can fire off hundreds of images in the hope of getting a keeper. However, there is no better feeling than when you have:

  • Thought about the shot you want
  • Staked out the perfect location
  • Waited or planned for the light to be just right
  • Executed your plan/shoot
  • Developed the images yourself in a darkroom

Wow! I still remember the smell and the feeling of joy when my first negatives were taken out of the container after developing. And then the elation as I watched the positive image appear on a sheet of Ilford photo paper. Every inch of our bathroom used to be covered with drying prints...happy days as a teenager!

Once you have shot a few rolls of film and seen the results, it may well help with your digital photography. It is not a pre-requisite for this course by the way. It could spark off nostalgia in our more "mature" students and give the younger generation a true feel for old-school photography.

Module 1

This first module eases you into photography with some basic lessons and is for absolute beginners to the world of the:

  • DSLR
  • Mirrorless camera
  • Smartphone camera
  • Digital photography in general

We take you through the basics of photography equipment, editing, computers, formats, software and basic shooting techniques. I hope that by the end of this (or preferably sooner) you will feel the great excitement and buzz for this wonderful art form that I first felt nearly 40 years ago. By the way, I still feel like that today.

Beware though, you may get hooked!

Once you have completed the Introduction to photography module, the next is the more advanced photography section. This goes into greater detail on each topic so if you feel yourself gagging for more information, don’t worry, it is coming! If you are coming here with a little more knowledge, feel free to skip the beginners section. Bear in mind though, you may still find the odd tidbit of useful information.