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When you look back to famous magazine covers throughout history for powerhouse publications like Time and Rolling Stone, you are undoubtedly taking a trip through the photojournalism hall of fame. Behind every legendary shot is one camera and one man or woman who was in the right place at the right time.

Photography is a technical art, requiring mastery of a unique and constantly evolving set of tools. Professional instruction in photography is meant to give students hands-on experience with the tools of the trade, while instructing them in practical techniques for producing professional photographs. A good program will give students both the theoretical tools, such as composition and representation of subject matter, and the practical tools, such as developing one’s own film or editing digital images, necessary to succeed in the marketplace.

There are no shortcuts on the way to a successful photography career. It requires hard work, perseverance, and talent. If you have a knack for photography, but are unsure of whether or not you should attend photography school, here is a list of reasons why you should go.

The Basics of a Camera

March 25, 2016

The word “camera” comes from the Latin term camera obscura, or “dark chamber”, which refers to the common feature of all cameras: they consist of a closed chamber in which to capture light. The desire to capture light and record it onto a somewhat permanent medium goes all the way back to the first physicists’ wishing to understand how the eye captures images of the outside world. For as long as the idea has been around, the camera has been thought of as a kind of mirror of the human eye and human vision.

Stop Before You Shoot

March 25, 2016

Probably, if you are reading this, you are a practicing photographer. But have you stopped to ask yourself whyyou take photographs? Certainly, there are some things in life you just accept – like the goodness of a hot fudge mocha sundae or an early June evening on your friend's back porch – you love them just because. But, as one who has had a bit of experience with the camera, I have a few bits of advice that might help you get to the heart of your interest and hopefully help you produce a more advanced body of work.

It is not necessary to have a photography degree in order to be a good photographer. There have been several photographic geniuses who never attended a single photography class. Photography is a creative art, which means that talent and skill can earn you a decent living if you have enough of them. Even the most talented photographer can benefit from taking some photography courses, however.

A couple of years ago, my friend said that she wanted a PDA for Christmas. I thought she was joking. I laughed and said, "PDA? You want PDA for Christmas?" She said incredulously, "No, it's aPDA! I can't believe you don't know what it is!" There are so many technological buzz-terms today, like "BlackBerry," "PDA," "iPod," add what you will. And while it seems our society is eager to embrace the next 21 st century toy, I am obstinately clinging to the eroding practices of the past.

Photographers are constantly working with light to produce quality photographs. The color, direction, quantity, and quality of light determine how a subject appears in the picture. In a studio, these four effects can be precisely controlled, but in daylight they are affected by time of day, season, and latitude. One of the most important and most basic things you'll learn in photography school is how to work with light.

Photography lighting can be the difference between a breathtaking photo and a terrible one. The science behind photography lightingis really what photographers use each time they take a picture, whether they know it or not. Without good lighting, a photograph can be grainy and blurred. Professional photographers understand the relationship between their camera settings and the light that they have available.

Being a great photographer takes a lot more than knowledge you would gain from photography school. While anyone can learn to take a great picture with the right equipment, not everyone can make it in this intensely competitive industry. Here are a few qualities that all top photographers share.