I am new to photography and would like some help on how to learn the basics I've searched through the Internet but just keep coming up with lots of different courses ranging from free to paid but they all seem to offer the same or very similar options I'm now none of the wiser and very confused on with way to go could someone please help and point me in the right direction I have a limited budget so need to try and learn the basics for as little as possible
There are some very good online resources, but the free ones tend to be aimed at someone who is just beyond the basics. For a systematic beginning approach, I think a couple of basic books are much better at being structured and covering all of the beginning basics.
Peterson's Understanding Exposure is probably the most recommended photography book anywhere. It covers all of the basics and then some regarding exposure. The latest edition is less than $20 and the second edition can be bought on amazon.com for just over $10 including shipping. Well worth the investment.
Freeman's The Photographer's Eye covers composition as well as anyone. It is also available very reasonably from amazon.com.
These two along with other good books are mentioned in What are the first few photography books someone should read?
The best online resources, both free and paid are covered in What are the best online photo classes?
The Five Key Steps to improving your photography:
Step 1: Confirm you understand the "Exposure Triangle", and how shutter speed, aperture, and ISO all interact to produce a given image.
This follows on into understanding motion blur [long shutter times], and depth of field [Smaller (bigger number) apertures allowing more of the scene to be in focus].
Step 2: Using the knowledge from step 1, go out and take more photos. Experiment with what you've learned, and push your boundaries.
Step 3: Review your photos! Take the time to carefully go through the photos and think about what worked as you expected, what didn't, and ways you could improve on them.
I find software like Lightroom to be handy here as it allows me to quickly go through to cull obvious failures and highlight images I like. However it is still important to take some time to critically think about why you like the images you pick to highlight, and what is wrong with the images you flag as bad.
Bringing a mix of both to discussions with other people for additional feedback may be helpful.
Step 4: Take what you've learned about your photography so far, and build on your current ideas or go seek new ones to answer specific questions you have. [This is a good step to read up on things like art history and composition.]
Step 5: Go to Step 2.
Note the big thing which isn't called out as steps:
- Buying new gear: If you can't clearly define what the new gear is going to do for you, and why it is doing it, then you're probably not benefiting enough from spending the money.
If you do not own any equipment I would look into buying a used dslr. If you can find a canon 600d with the 18-55 and 55-250 kit lenses you have a great start, any other similar kit would do as well.
Spend some time inside figuring out the settings.
Then go out and take pictures. My sugestion is go out with the intention to take 24 pictures so make them count. After you get back look at the pictures and think about what you like and dislike about each of them. Repeat this untill you feel you get it.
While you are doing that you can of cource also look for tips. I would search youtube for videos on composition, I personaly like The Art of Photography chanel