Getting Involved In Photography

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Aperture, Jul 17, 2006.

  1. Aperture macrumors 68000

    Aperture

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2006
    Location:
    PA
    #1
    I know one of these types of threads come up every 5 seconds but I would appreciate your help. I've always been interested in photography and have always enjoyed it. Now I want to get involved in it. The only problem is, I don't really know much at all. So let me start off by asking, how can I learn all the terms and what not? Can you guys reccomend any tutorials or ebooks that might help? I am going to go check out Borders tomorrow and see what I find. I don't know anything about focal ranges, lighting, lenses, etc. So what is the best way to learn? Now on to the camera. I'm only 13 so obviously I don't need (aka afford:mad: ) an SLR. I do have a Sony Cybershot DSCP200 7MP camera, though. Do you guys think that will work for me, for a while at least? Also, can you guys just give general tips/advice on getting started? Oh, and I was on vacation last week with my family and took some nice (I think so;) ) shots. If you guys could critique my pictures I would greatly appreciate that. I will post them in a few minutes after I upload them all. If I ever do get more involved in it, like a year or so away, what camera should I upgrade to? Another Point & Shoot or an SLR? If you guys could help me out, it would be a GREAT help to me.

    Thank You!

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  2. FrankieTDouglas macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2005
    #2
    Go to a magazine rack and get an issue of Shutterbug, and maybe Digital Photo Pro. If they don't have those, get whatever they have. Read it cover to cover. Look at the photos they print, read the details. And just absorb everything. From the letters to the reviews to the photo pages.

    Oh, and shoot, shoot, shoot! See what appeals to you most in your photos and go from there.
     
  3. mlrproducts macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2004
    #3
    The most beneficial book you can buy, and it is a must, is Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson (get the updated version, good for digital):

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/08...189330/ref=sr_1_1/104-9417660-7034359?ie=UTF8

    Please, don't spend any money before you buy this.

    If you're looking for magazines, I suggest Popular Photography (popphoto.com). I imagine you could get a cheap subscription on eBay or other mag sub sites.

    EDIT: I know it costs money, but if you're going to upgrade (at some point) why not get a used Digital Rebel (the original one)? Just make sure it has a low number of shutter actuations. These should be able to be had for less than $500 (with a kit lens). I recommend heading over to FredMiranda.com and signing up for the forums, and look for one there. You'll get a better deal on a better quality used DReb then if you buy from some unknown on eBay.

    BTW - You can take some pretty amazing photos with that kit lens alone, as many on here have done. If you start looking to upgrade after that, go for the Canon 50mm f1.8 which is sharp as a tack and runs about $75.
     
  4. ksz macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2003
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    #4
    I love photography because it complements my passion for travel. Everyone has their own favorite photographic subject; for me it is landscapes and cityscapes (especially historical and ancient cities and architectures). Occasionally I like to capture day in the life of different cultures, preferably those cultures that are farthest removed from our own daily experiences. This is perhaps the hardest subject logistically because travel to exotic places is often difficult and expensive to arrange.

    But photography can be rewarding even in the mundane corners of our back yards. Such photos tend to be more abstract and attempt to turn the inconspicuous into the intriguing.

    It all begins with an eye for composition and a lookout for the best light and atmospheric conditions. The Picture of the Day thread shows just how amazing that eye can be.

    I like your photos because you're demonstrating a good eye for composition, particularly the Dune Crossing and Blue Chair photos. Watch out for slanted horizons (your last pic); simply straighten them in an image editor. I would have liked to see more of the ground in Dune Crossing -- a bit more context. Your orange flower is a pleasing picture, which could be improved by removing the adjacent but smaller yellow flower. In the third picture of the long narrow leaves you're playing with a shallow depth of field, but here I suspect an SLR with an inexpensive 50mm f/1.8 lens would have produced a much blurrier background.

    I'll post a few shots taken here and there to show the effects of a good subject (alas, a good subject always makes things easy).

    The Road to Nowhere; somewhere along an interstate in the American southwest.
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    Maroon Bells; notice the virtually straight line at the far edge of the water; took a few seconds to straighten, but the result is much better because of it.
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    Singapore Skyline caught at dusk from the observation deck of the Swissotel Stamford; took about 15 shots and picked the best ones.
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    A Gondola in Venice; what makes this picture work, I think, are the red flowers on the balcony. With them, the picture would have been drab.
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    Broken Symmetry (Venice); simply zooming into a small part of the central Venetian plaza adds interest.
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    Bulb (long) exposure with camera handheld, but pressed against the back wall of St. Peter's Cathedral in the Vatican; 15 shots, best ones picked.
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    Giant sequioas in Yosemite, sense of scale imparted by the log cabin in between.
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    Royal Gorge bridge near Colorado Springs, 28mm wideangle lens used, but had to get really far away from the bridge to capture the entire span.
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    Wish I had used Aperture Priority to further blur the distant background; taken from Glacier Point high atop Yosemite Valley.
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  5. Aperture thread starter macrumors 68000

    Aperture

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2006
    Location:
    PA
    #5
    Thank you all to whom have taken the time to post. I really appreciate all your advice. ksz, I enjoyed looking through the pictures you posted and your comments, especially the city skyline one. The Dune Crossing picture I posted was originally a tiny bit larger but I cropped it because there was part of a hotel visible and I really didnt want that in there. I see your point about the ocean one, but when I try and fix that won't it tilt the entire image? I don't think you can fix that in iPhoto, I'm not sure. I bet you can in PS, I'll have to check. As far as the flower, I totally agree. The problem was I was in a hotel lobby and was hanging over a railing to take the picture and really couldn't move the yellow one.:mad: But yeah, it would have turned out better. And its funny that you mentioned the Dunes one and the Chair one. Those were my favorite two from the whole trip.

    Ok! Thanks Again, Kevin.
     
  6. pulsewidth947 macrumors 65816

    pulsewidth947

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2005
    Location:
    squarefrog.co.uk
    #6
    Just a quick critique from me. The chair and dune crossing are your best pictures in my opinion, as they are most my taste. I like abstract and firmly believe in taking pictures which make you think about what's missing from the frame (e.g. a pair of legs, or half a building or something).

    If you want to read about photography, go to your Library. You can read there for free.. and you may find inspiration. Look for really old books sat on their shelf.. Take a pic! twist your camera round take another. I wouldn't advise spending much more money yet... you should just keep saving. By the time you have enough for a new/second hand Digital SLR you'll be able to get a better one for your money.

    But really you don't need the biggest and most expensive camera to take good pictures. I own a decent film SLR, but thats gets the same amount of use as a cheap fun plastic camera - a Lomo Colorsplash if you are wondering.

    Basically my only rule is have fun. Take many many pictures, it doesn't matter if some are bad. Just really look at the bad ones and work out WHY they are bad, then learn from your mistakes.


    I didn't own my first camera until I was 21 (23 now), and I'm gutted about all the pictures I didn't take :)
     
  7. Buschmaster macrumors 65816

    Buschmaster

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2006
    Location:
    Minnesota
    #7
    Also new to this, but 18 going on 19. So we're in the same boat but we aren't at the same time. Your pictures look great so far! I love the flower one!
     
  8. hulugu macrumors 68000

    hulugu

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2003
    Location:
    the faraway towns
    #8
    ksz

    Excellent picture of the Vatican. I have to admit I wasn't as sucessful in getting good interior shots.
     
  9. ksz macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2003
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    #9
    Thanks!

    All of my Vatican pictures were taken with an old Minolta X700 film camera and digitized. Because there's no instant preview with film, you must wait until the pictures come back to you from the developer. Needless to say I was very pleased to see some good shots: neither shaken nor stirred. The exposure time on Bulb was just guesswork; I held the camera steady against the wall with one hand and used a cable release with the other. I kept the shutter open until I "felt" it was long enough. Photographic intuition? Or blind luck? :)
     
  10. hulugu macrumors 68000

    hulugu

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2003
    Location:
    the faraway towns
    #10
    I used a digital camera to get an idea of exposure and to give me a certain preview and it just didn't work as well as I had hoped, the pictures don't have the clarity of the background details that yours do. Blind luck or intuition, the result is fantastic.
     

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