You can have the latest and greatest product of any technology but what good is it if you don't know how to operate or use it?
The vast majority of today's equipment still functions on the basis of (very) old and well-known principles.
So, these are the pillar statements of this article. Now, let's apply them to what brought you here (ie. the drive to create photographs and make money form them and spend those money...).
As much as has changed in photography over the past centuries (here's some history for you
), today's photographs remain a mere recording of light's reflections in the world around us. We use the aperture, shutter speed and the sensitivity of the recording media to capture a frame in a way we want to. How these are combined pretty much makes or breaks a scene. This is why understanding them is crucial.
You can have the final photo in your mind but if you don't have the theory and practice to make it happen, then what good is it?
A few links that contain the (very basic) explanations of the technical aspects of photography:
Film speed/ ISO
You could also utilize DPReview's brief glossary
for these and many other terms used in today's photography.
Why am I writing this blog?
Well, I've come to the conclusion that a good number of users would benefit from it. Because technology has become so available to everyone, many people have it at their disposal before learning (about) how to use or utilize it (fully), before having the necessary (basic) theory. That's all fine, but I find it important to eventually go back and learn the basics. This way you know why this or that changes when you flip this switch or click that button.
May this also be a reminder that should you get a camera of a higher class than what you've used so far, you probably should spend the one or two hours necessary to carefully go through the manual. It will pay off. :)
Lastly, let's make this a learning experience for everyone. In the comments, do post your quality sources of technical information, good tutorials of working with the basics, etc. I'll start off by posting a link to a series of very good brief movies/previews on techniques and theory: http://www.youtube.com/user/GreatPhotographyTips
. The Strobist Lighting 101 articles
are also a good place to visit if you plan on improving your lighting.