Go-Getter: Photography


Lawrence Journal-World

Although I used an expensive professional camera photographing the Flaming Lips at Liberty Hall this past summer, a quality compact digital with a wide-angle lens and a large aperture could have captured a similar shot. In judging and comparing cameras, keep in mind what subjects and under what conditions you most often photograph to determine the best camera for you to own.

The flowers are blooming. The children are gearing up for summer sports. And it’s almost vacation season. Spring is a great time to pick up a camera and maybe sneak into a few photography classes that could aid your future reminiscing and impress your friends. Don’t let the price tags discourage you from starting a new hobby; photography doesn’t have to be expensive. Mike Yoder, the Lawrence Journal-World’s chief photographer, said any decent digital camera will do for starters.

Getting Started

Yoder suggests going to a store that has a specialized focus on cameras, such as Nebraska Furniture Mart, 1601 Village W. Parkway in Kansas City, Kan., or Wolfe’s Camera, 635 S. Kansas Ave. in Topeka. He favors the common brands such as Olympus, Canon, Sony and Nikon.

Helpful purchasing tip

Keep in mind what you will be shooting and tell the camera department employees.

Where to go

After you purchase the right camera for your needs, play around with it for a while. Then bring your equipment and questions to a Lawrence Photo Alliance meeting. The LPA meets on the first Tuesday of every month at the Lawrence Arts Center, 940 New Hampshire St. You can visit them online at facebook.com/lawrence.photo.alliance.

Also, the Lawrence Arts Center offers a variety of photography classes including “Beginning Darkroom,” “Intro to Digital Photography,” tutorials on WordPress and Photoshop and more. You can view the entire class list, times and dates at lawrenceartscenter.org.

Once you get into photography, check out the Journal-World’s photography column, “Behind the Lens” written by Yoder and other Journal-World photographers. The column is filled with tips and suggestions, and it is published every other Sunday in the Journal-World’s A&E; section and on Lawrence.com.


A decent digital camera will be at least $100. Adult photography classes at the Arts Center range from $45 to more than $200. You can meet with the LPA for free the first couple of times, and then pay $20 per person or $30 for a couple or family.


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