I recently attended a free 90-minute camera workshop. The description was: “Basic Camera Overview/Class Orientation, DSLR & Mirrorless Camera Operation, and the Principles of Correct Exposure.”

I’ve been taking photographs for over forty years, why on earth would I choose to go to a basic camera course? Several reasons actually:

Relearn the basics

Every now and then we can all use a refresher. We get into our own routines with how we shoot, what we shoot and using our camera. We get lazy and we don’t move our settings around much to try different things. We do what we know works and we get comfortable with that. Going to a course on the basics can wake us up and make us remember something we forgot.

Brush up on your tools

What does that button do again, you know, the one you use maybe once a year? When you have someone showing you the things you’re camera is capable of you may find a new, fun tool that you never used before. Maybe you tried it once and then just moved back to doing what you always do. Let’s face it, today’s digital cameras have more buttons and features than most of us will ever use but learning about those is a good way to jump-start your creativity if you’ve been feeling a little bored lately.

New camera

Getting a new camera can mean relearning a lot. New features, buttons and dials are not in the old familiar places. New technology can do more, different and unfamiliar things compared to your last camera. Changing brands means learning how the new brand does things differently than your old brand.

Like-minded people

It’s always good to socialize and learn with like-minded people. Plan a photowalk before or after the course, get a group together to talk about what you learned over lunch, it will help to solidify the knowledge in your brain. It’s also a good way to know you’re not the only one struggling with something in your own work and discussing these things with other photographers can help uncover a solution to the issue.

In the end, we should never stop learning. Going back to the basics every once in a while is one of the ways we can keep things fresh in our minds. Practice those things we feel we need to work on so they become second nature to us when we’re out shooting. Knowing the basics is an important part of being able to create the images we want to when we’re out in the field.

Lead photo by JESHOOTS.COM on Unsplash