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Images, Graphic Design, and Digital Photography Discussion of all things graphics.

New to photography, where should I start?


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Sawyer23

 
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Hello, I am just starting out and I was wondering where is the best place to start? I think photography is very interesting..and I was going to invest in a new SLR camera? I'm not really sure, could anyone help me out?
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code54

 
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Thats a tough one to answer....
I have an SLR I use for work and depending on what I am shooting it could be great or a pain. The real "drawback" to SLR's is size and the amount of room you need to carry everything (Lens, converts, etc), the big plus is quality and the ability to adapt to anything. Price is also a major factor, the sky is really the limit. Sure you can get a 400mm lens for $400, but if you want the good one plan on adding another zero... It will all depend on what you are planning on doing with the camera and where you are planning on using it. If you plan on taking it backpacking an SLR is a pain, if you are shooting photos at the local park you drive to, no big deal at all. I find I often skip taking the SLR and take my more compact because I will carry it and it wont be in my way. I find I take far more photos because I have the camera with me and not have left it at home due to size..
Good luck
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RawTimePhotos

 
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What exactly do you take interest in photography? Any particular style? or still in the process of figuring it out? Do you have a D-SLR?

Give us a little more info so we can help you out as much as possible!

Check out my site and add me as a contact on flickr!

Anyone interested in photography? Click here!
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Sawday

 
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Remember it's the person behind the camera that takes the pictures not the camera itself. If you are completely new I'd say to buy a cheapish but reasonable compact and practise, practise, practise. Maybe subscribe to a photo mag that offers basic advice and buy a decent textbook that is pitched at the right level to give you a few hints and inspiration. Perhaps there is a local club or night school class you could join. Start looking at others work - magazines, galleries etc. Ask yourself 'what makes a great photo?' 'Do I like that photo?', 'Could I do that?', 'Do I want to do that?'

The main thing is get out there and take pictures then review them. Liking what you see is good first step - getting others to like them the next.

After a while you'll find out what aspects you'd like to develop, what skills you need to learn or develop further, what post editing you would like to do, what kind of pictures interest you etc etc. Then you can begin to make better investment choices. Whatever you do don't go and spend hundreds of pounds (or dollars) on fancy kit that gets high ratings until you are sure that photography is 'your thing' or before you know what to do with it.

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roffir

 
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I would get a beginning dslr something like the canon t1i or nikon d5000... and then get a book that goes along with it. Not only does the book teach you about the camera, but it teaches you about photography and how to make the best of it with that camera.
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rogerinlondon

 
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Difficult to recommend camera. Depends on how much you want to spend, but the best books are in my view the ones by Bryan Peterson, such as "Understanding shutter speed", "Understanding exposure", "Learning to see creatively" and "Beyond portraiture". Get them all.
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mickdaniel

 
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Photography by Barbara London is a good textbook and reference book. Also photography.pro is a good resource for the best photography books
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sevenbill

 
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Scott Kelby is the master of dummy proof instruction. Check out his "The Digital Photography Book" volumes 1-3. He has a really down to earth way of instructing and explaining things. I agree with the above that you should start with a P&S camera that allows manual settings and go from there. I started with a Canon S5IS and learned a lot after a couple thousand pictures and 7 months of shooting before buying my Canon 40D. These two sites, Digital Camera Reviews and News: Digital Photography Review: Forums, Glossary, FAQ and Digital camera photo galleries, gallery database, info and forums are really good web sites with a ton of information as well.
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Village Idiot

 
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Don't expect to buy a DSLR and get shots like mine though. It takes years of practice.



Just joking...that's an old image from a crap time at a party years ago.

It takes work. You should read a lot. Learning is the biggest tool. I'd put money on it that if you become a serious hobbiest, at one point you're going to take a picture of something and wonder, "WTF? That looks like poo! How do I make it look amazing?" and you'll find yet another aspect that will open up a whole new world of photography and just make your junks so much better.

Cliff notes: You will probably get frustrated, but it's nothing a little learning cain't fix without making you better.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by rogerinlondon View Post
Difficult to recommend camera. Depends on how much you want to spend, but the best books are in my view the ones by Bryan Peterson, such as "Understanding shutter speed", "Understanding exposure", "Learning to see creatively" and "Beyond portraiture". Get them all.
I'd have recommended "The Camera", "The Negative", and "The Print".. but that's me.. and well prof's that studied under ol' Ansel... still just as relevant today btw, even with the advent of digital photography.

mike
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ArrowJ

 
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I've recommended this site before...I'm not a photographer so it sounds good to me, but I've had someone tell me Ken Rockwell didn't know what he was talking about. Alas he wouldn't explain why so I'm going to share the link again...it sounds well thought out to me.

Ken Rockwell - Recommended Cameras
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Village Idiot

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArrowJ View Post
I've recommended this site before...I'm not a photographer so it sounds good to me, but I've had someone tell me Ken Rockwell didn't know what he was talking about. Alas he wouldn't explain why so I'm going to share the link again...it sounds well thought out to me.

Ken Rockwell - Recommended Cameras
Alas, some one neglected to read the post. Ken Rockwell is still a joke. Any photographer knows that.

DSLR Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Me
He's obviously Nikon biased for one.

One comparison between the D3X and the 5D MKII, he upsizes the 5D MKII images to 24mp and complains about lack of sharpness in the 5D MKII images. Well duh, when you blow an image up from it's native resolution, it gets blurry.

He thuroughly denounced full frame DSLRs saying that they were going to go the way of the dinosaur and that APS-C sensors were the future...until Nikon released a FF format DSLR.

He mentions that it's a waste to shoot in RAW and the only people that do are geeks that sit around and waste all day playing on the computer and that people should only shoot in JPG. 95% of the people I know and pros I know of tend to shoot RAW. It's a lossless format where as JPG images lose data every time they're saved, eventually losing IQ and degrading into crap after so many saves.

There's more. It's good to read his blog for a laugh on occasion.

Edit: Just browsed your link, best serious camera a D40? It's a 6MP camera that lacks an internal focusing motor, which all but the basic entry level Nikons have. This mean that unless the lens is marked AF-S and has a focusing motor in the lens, that it won't auto focus. That means that the D40 will not have to ability to auto focus with all of the current lenses in Nikon's lineup.

None of the other manufactures have that problem, iirc. Nikon did that to keep down the price. And for that price, you could get a weather sealed Pentax or Olympus. Not to mention that the Nikon D40 is an older camera and might not even be listed as a current item in their lineup as it's been upgraded to the D40x and replaced by the D60.

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