II: Honing My Skills

2016-10-22-13-51-59I am torn as to what to write on my second post as it is sort of a chicken-and-the-egg scenario. I need to improve upon my current skills while learning new ones. Meanwhile, what skills need to be honed when I don’t know exactly what I want to do. Photo journalism? Freelance videography? Virtual Reality is primed to be the next big thing. However, shouldn’t I explore as many facets of  photography / videography before deciding which direction to head? All I can say with certainty is that I am not plopping down substantial cash on higher quality glass and base until I know exactly what I want to do.

In the end, I’ve decided that it’s better to have a fundamental understanding on how to use the equipment I have, so that I can make a more educated, comfortable decision regarding when to go with 2.0. To that end, here are my thoughts:

  • Videography
  • Video editing
    • Advanced understanding the use of laying multiple tracks, trimming, transitions, PiP, masks, keyframes, motion, effects, video speed adjustment, photo insertion, production and more
  • Photography
    • Amateur-level knowledge of aperture and shutter priority modes, as well as ISO
    • Basic understanding of white balance, night-time photography and photo composition (lighting, positioning, etcetera)
    • Zero exeperience with timelapse photography
    • Unsure of what equipment to get for landscape and macro photography
  • Photo editing: Good understanding of editing, layers, filters
  • VR
    • Amateur-level knowledge of image capture and processing
    • Zero knowledge of patch application to tripods/stands in photo nadirs, linking and hotspots in virtual tours through tools such as Pano2VR

I am a big believer of YouTube for improving my skills, which has been my primary tutor for my video skill development. However, with such a variance of camera manufacturers (Nikon, Canon, Sony), as well as the types of glass available (Zeiss vs. 3rd party vs. standard equipment), it becomes difficult to pick up tips when someone has a completely different set-up. Based on this, I’ve looked up “photo tutors” on Wyzant and there are many available to help. For $40-$60 dollars and hour, I can meet a professional photographer downtown Chicago who can help me learn new skills and improve upon my current ones, using MY equipment.

For anyone who made a career change to something that revolves around something they are passionate about, I’d love to hear your experience/advice, whether you successfully transitioned or abandoned the idea. If you are a professional videographer or photographer, any comments or advice would be appreciated.



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