Photography - a beginner!

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Angela
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Photography - a beginner!

Post by Angela »

I really love looking at everyones photos on here and some of you seem to be very talented photographers.

Last year I bought a Nikon D40 SLR camera but still just use it as a point and shoot camera. I bought a for dummies guide on how to use it but it wasn't particularly good.

I have made a promise to myself that this coming year I will really get to grips with my camera so you may even see some of my pathetic efforts in the photo competitions :lol:

I am a complete novice but I would love to know how your learnt the basics of photography. Can you recommend any good books or websites? Have any of you attended courses?


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Post by LivinginLuxor »

My photography is totally self-taught (or learned by experience!). My main advice is to develop an eye for a photo, and let the camera decide! In 90% of cases, the automatic setting is OK, but there will be times when you need to reduce the aperture (to get a low depth of field as in portraits) for instance.

But I have to say that for me, taking the photo is only the beginning. The real work comes later in photoshop!

Here's a couple of websites which might help.

http://www.geofflawrence.com/

http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials.htm

If you just type "photography tutorials" into Google you will get hundreds of tutorial sites.
I might agree with you, but then we'd both be wrong!
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Post by LovelyLadyLux »

Nice camera!!! Nikons have always been my favourites but I'm still learning. All the advice you will get on here is excellent and the 'teachers' on here are sooo patient too. I know cause I've asked lots of questions (cause I'm definitely not too bright with my camera).....

My best advice is to just start taking photos. Use the camera any chance you get and take lots and lots and lots. Getting a feel for your own camera is needed and try to critically look at your photos and then think of how to improve them.

In my own case I have to admit it has taken me some time to get to where I'm at and I'm still at the bottom of a learning curve but it IS fun! I take photos of anything and everything and I've found the praise on here augmented with excellent guidance has been totally encouraging!

Good luck and please ask lots of questions and post lots of pictures too!
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Post by Miriamkhalifa »

Same with me Angela , I am a point and shoot photographer and would love to learn more! :)
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Post by Angela »

Thanks for the link Stan - I will check them out.

LLL - I like your advice about just taking pictures of anything and everything. That is the beauty of digitals, it doesn't matter if the majority are not much good as you can just delete:)

Mirry - I always enjoy looking at your photos - I think you must have an 'eye' for a good photo.
:)
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Post by Grandad »

Angela, welcome to the 'snappers' on here. :)

Photography is a big subject but as Stan and LLL have intimated you can learn about it all, one step at a time and certainly by trial and error.

Don't worry about being tied to that 'auto' setting for now. As has been said, concentrate on composing your pictures for now and most importantly try to understand how light is falling on your subject and where the shadows are.

After a while when you are more satisfied with the appeal of your pictures then read one of the tutorials on aperture and start to learn how to make your subject stand out in the picture.

If you have the time why not browse through the 'About Photography' threads in this forum. There are three threads and I am sure you will find lots of little tips and examples there.

Good luck and lets see some pictures soon. :) :) :)
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Post by jewel »

Great stuff Angela....and remember you can be creative even with a polaroid ;)

I like this site ...there are so many out there, just keep snapping, and you will end up a pathological photographer like what I am :lol:

http://www.photoeye.com/

http://www.montmartrephotoblog.org/film

http://shuttersisters.com/home/2010/12/ ... -tone.html

Can't wait to see your pics.....................
I don't have a plan......so nothing can go wrong!

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Post by sue »

I was always a film person and used an SLR, changing lenses etc., Now I own a digital camera and rarely change from an auto setting, I like to use the macro setting but that's about it. I think one of the main things is that when you look through your lense you notice the rubbish surrounding your subject i.e. lamposts out of heads, plants joining bodies, bottles and things in front of person. Omit the rubbish and the photos start to turn out less messy.
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Post by LovelyLadyLux »

There are lots of elements and considerations that go into making a photo as well as learning how to use your camera. I've been close to tears a few times just out of frustration at something that seems so simple yet I can't do it - BUT - I know I'm getting better.

It takes time and just the sheer practice of being out there snapping away and then really 'looking' at what you're doing. Try and learn and correct just 1 thing at a time. I had to as trying to do and learn too many things is just plain overwhelming. The gurus on here - Horus, Grandad, Stan - all of 'em - are excellent and have been extremely thorough in explanations and directions.

It will slowly all sink in. Take it slow and one step at a time (I've had to leave lots of the 'editing' learning for now as it is just too much) but sooner or later I'll persevere.

AND AND AND - join us on the Greenside - Egypt4U - with photos of stained glass. Most stained glass is rather stationary ;) (one hurdle dealt with - action) and most stained glass produces a pretty neat picture too.

Am sure we'll move on to other photographic topics but for now this one is kinda neat, has artistic beauty and isn't moving all over the place. Please join us! Love to see your photos!
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Post by Angela »

Thanks for all the great links here - I will be having a read through today.

Grandad - Thanks for the advice of not being afraid just to stick with the Auto function for the time being. I have been feeling a bit of a failure becuase I simply don't know enough about using the manual functions.

My camera came with a starter lens 18-55mm. I have no intentions of buying any additional lenses at this stage but I am interested to know whether any of you have other lenses that you use on your cameras. I would love to be able to take pin sharp close up shots of objects.

LLL - I will be checking out the green side today.
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Post by LovelyLadyLux »

I have a couple of lens but I got them later on as I started with what you have too. I now use an 18mm to 105mm almost exclusively but I also have a 70mm to 300mm. I've bought a few other odds and ends that were cheap attachments for "special shots" but haven't really used them more than a couple times. One for taking really super close ups but you have to have a tripod and remote as you just can't hold it still enough by yourself (or at least I can't).

And even re: tripods - there are guerilla tripods (small ones), small unipods, Monopods and big tripods AGH AGH AGH!! ;) :icd: :dun: :icd:

Probably one of the most important things to have for your lens is a UV filter to protect the end of the lens. Will save it from scratches.

Good luck!
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Post by Angela »

I really must stop writing my posts in such a rush and learn to check them. It is actually a Nikon D60 that I have, not a D40 as per my first post :roll:. I had wanted a D40 for ages and saved up for one, then when I went to buy it there were good deals on the D60 - so that is what I have! :)

LLL- One thing I do have is a UV Filter - that is one extra that I did buy when purchasing the camera. :)
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Post by Grandad »

Angela the D60 is an excellent camera. I have a D5000 with the kit 18-55mm lens and an 55-200 lens. The very extensive spec for my camera is almost identical to yours.

DO use the selector dial on top of the camera for such things as portrait, landscape, sport etc. these are still auto selectors that will choose the best settings for each situation. This will avoid getting into all the menu options for the time being. But don't forget to switch back to AUTO after using one of the other options. Auto will cope acceptably with most situations.

I expect your UV is permanently attached to the lens and that is how it should be. It will help to enhance your pictures but, most importantly, protect the front element of your lens. Cheaper to replace a scratched UV than a scratched Nikon lens.
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Post by Alistair1967 »

That 18-55 is a nice little lens, it certainly performs better than one might expect a kit lens to. I got mine with my D40 (6MP), but I can still get decent results with the 18-55 and 12MP D90:-



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Post by sue »

Nice crisp picture, Is that a palm tree at Medinet Habu by any chance?
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Post by Who2 »

Stop! using wide angle I'm running out of horizontal computer screen, 'jesus it's stretching next door.......................................................................................8)..Knock...Knock....Who's there???????????????????? Ivor...........................Ivor Who?????????????????????????
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Post by Alistair1967 »

Who2 wrote:Stop! using wide angle I'm running out of horizontal computer screen, 'jesus it's stretching next door.......................................................................................8)..Knock...Knock....Who's there???????????????????? Ivor...........................Ivor Who?????????????????????????
Sh*t!! Must be that Cyber-Palm virus!!

Yes Sue, it is Medinet Habu.
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Post by LovelyLadyLux »

OMG the Cyber Palm virus!!!!
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Post by LovelyLadyLux »

Angela - Can you post some of your photos for us to see please?
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Post by Grandad »

And Angela it is about time you joined in on the monthly photo comp....
Grandad :gg:
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