There is a lot to discover in Idaho and the lands that surround the Treasure Valley, and most of it involves some cool outdoor features that no other state can really offer. Your best days spent in Idaho involve ranging out into the wilderness and experiencing new and natural terrain (Of course, it is not new, as it has been there for millions of years, but it is new to you). So, what can you do to spice up these excursions and bring some part of them back home with you to remember the unique experiences of the past? How about taking up photography? Idaho is one of the best places on the planet for finding subjects for incredible pictures, with almost every kind of terrain to be found within its borders and there are human subjects galore. Almost everyone in this day and age is carrying around a tiny camera wherever they go, and while you might think you cannot accomplish some incredible things with a phone camera (A famous director recently shot an entire movie using a phone camera), this is not the case. Obviously, there are more ideal tools and we are going to talk about them as well, but almost anyone can become a photographer in this day and age. Photography is a wonderful hobby or lifestyle to put all of your passions into.
What do you need to know to get started as a photographer? There are a few things to get out of the way before getting into the nitty gritty. This is almost certainly only going to be a hobby for you. If you practice hard enough and really put yourself into the work, you can submit your work to art contests in the Treasure Valley or maybe sell a piece or two of something really incredible, but for the most part, photography is not something that is going to make you very much money. Furthermore, good photography is not easy. Anybody can point a camera at something and take a picture, but this does not mean it will look any good. In order to take a picture that is worth looking at for someone beyond you, you will need to practice and learn about all of the techniques that go into positioning yourself, your subject, and your lighting. Higher quality photography is not easy. There is a reason people take classes for it in school.
As much as high end expensive equipment can be useful and critical for certain camera shots, it is not always necessary. As I have already said, a phone camera is the perfect place to get started, and if that is not enough for you, a good camera is not always that expensive. Really good cameras can cost you astronomical amounts of money, but you can work up to that level if you find you really have an itch to keep taking pictures. The main factor for taking good pictures is a skilled photographer, not a high-quality camera. Obviously, a high-quality camera does make a difference, but people have been taking incredible pictures for a hundred years and they were not working with the thousand-dollar cameras available today.
Now to the nitty gritty. The first major step is to become very familiar with your camera. Whether this is your phone or a dedicated picture taker, you need to know what it is capable of and how to work it. Every camera comes with a manual for its use, and you can find out about your phone’s camera online if the manual that comes with the phone is not enough. These sources will tell you about the features of your camera which can be important for taking good photographs. Still, these things are not enough to start taking great pictures. The next step is to just take pictures. Use your camera as much as possible, even if what you are photographing is not all that interesting or you cannot get it the way you really want to. The more pictures you take, the better you are going to get at taking them. It is like every other skill in this world. It's said that practice makes perfect. The law of large numbers means you probably will not be an expert until you have taken thousands and thousands of pictures and all of them will probably suck in one way or another.
One of the most important things you will need once you get started is the opinions and recommendations of the people you show your photography to. Art is not something you can improve on your own. To do so keeps you in your own head too much, and you become somewhat incapable of seeing both your faults and your successes. Photography being an art, it is not an exception to this rule. There might be something you are doing very well but you think it does not look good. There also might be a mistake you are consistently making, and either you do not notice it, or you do not have the knowledge and experience to notice it. With this in mind, I recommend either finding a professional near you, either from a class or a personal acquaintance, who can teach you what you need first-hand, or you can get together a group of people trying to do the same thing as you. Hopefully, that group will include someone with experience, but that is not always necessary. You can learn to be better photographers together. Even if you do not take outside advise, it is still important to hear it and know what people are thinking.
Photography is an incredible and rewarding past time to take up, and Idaho might just be the best place in the world to get started. You will have no shortage of things to take pictures of. Just make sure you also take the chances necessary to see the nature, thing or person you are photographing before or after you actually photograph it, otherwise you are traveling through some beautiful landscapes and experiences with your face pressed into the back of a camera.