Begineer to Photography

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by shingi70, Mar 31, 2010.

  1. shingi70 macrumors regular

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    Mar 14, 2010
    #1
    Hey I'm 17 on the 11th grade and i'm planning on pursing photography as a future career(may be my minor in college) So i was wondering if anyone had any advice or any websites were i can learn the basics and diffrent techniques. I'll be getting my first camera in may and right now it between these two.


    Fujifilm FinePix S1500
    http://www.fujifilm.com/products/digital_cameras/s/finepix_s1500/

    or the FujiFilm FinePix S2000HD
    http://www.fujifilm.com/products/digital_cameras/s/finepix_s2000hd/

    are these good begineer cameras.

    I'm going to start hanging with a photographer Dale rich who photographers for the michigan citzen to get the gist of what to do.
     
  2. Designer Dale macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

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    #2
  3. mdatwood macrumors 6502a

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  4. El Cabong macrumors 6502a

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    #4
    Please don't. He's terrible. Go to DPReview.com for actual information, rather than Ken Rockwell's mix of opinion and misinformation.
     
  5. HBOC macrumors 68020

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    #5
    probably THE BEST website you can go to is www.fredmiranda.com.

    There are actual professionals on that site. I am on the wedding forums & landscape forums the most. In my 5 years on that website, i have learned quite a bit. Worth checking out!

    Dpreview is good, but their layout is horrid. I have been over there for like 8 years.
     
  6. mdatwood macrumors 6502a

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    #6
    Each person has their own opinion. Personally I like to read everything I can, but I will give you that Rockwell is a quirky guy.

    The problem I have with so many other photography sites is that they focus on the equipment, and it can lead beginners down this path of "if only I had x" instead of learning to take better pictures. The first thing you see at dpreview is just that, reviews of equipment and nothing about how to take better pictures. I do like the luminous landscape site though.
     
  7. shingi70 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #7
    Thanks for the infro. Anyone like Merlin Bronques?
     
  8. jackerin macrumors 6502a

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    #8
    I'd rather go with one of the SuperCCD sensor cameras if you have to buy a Fuji point-and-shoot. The huge zoom might seem cool (I know it did for me when I got my SX100) but you'll be kicking yourself as soon as try to shoot in less-than-ideal light.
     
  9. joelypolly macrumors 6502

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    #9
    Try to find a camera that has manual controls so you can have a little more control over it.

    There are also a lot of sites online that have good info. Personally I enjoyed reading http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/ which gives you a good technical background on how everything works. Once you read and understand it then move on to composition and getting the photos to look the way you want.
     
  10. Flash SWT macrumors 6502

    Flash SWT

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    #10
    Whatever you do, do NOT major in photography in college. Even if that is what you hope to pursue as a career major in business, marketing or advertising. As a photographer you'll most likely be running your own business and will need these skills.

    Personally I'd say if you really want to learn get yourself one of these:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pentax_K1000

    Even if the camera you do get has lots of bells and whistles, commit yourself to manual operation and you'll learn to understand light and become a much better photographer in the long run.

    .
     
  11. Pikemann Urge macrumors 6502

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    #11
    On the first point, you're 100% right, Flash. Shingi70, I think that photography is a vanity subject (as far as degrees go). Do something with substance. E.g. you don't need a photography degree to do photography, but a business degree will be worth something no matter what you do.

    Second point: no offence, Flash, but why should a beginner get a rubbish camera? In any case, digital can teach a beginner much more than film can. I actually love film and don't see why shingi70 shouldn't use it. But believe it or not, digital is a superior teaching & learning tool.
     
  12. Flash SWT macrumors 6502

    Flash SWT

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    #12
    I wouldn't call the K-1000 a "rubbish" camera, it is almost bullet proof. I actually think fully automatic cameras, and to a point digital, make new photographers lazy and too dependent on technology. Take this thread for example:
    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=883698

    I think the most important aspect here is the automatic modes. They allow someone to go out and take photos without really understanding how any of it works. While this is great for my parents I think it can be a detriment to someone who wants to be a professional photographer someday. A fully manual camera will force you to learn to basics of photography. If you want to take a good photo you have to understand how it all comes together. No sports mode, no landscape mode, no flower mode, etc. You either learn it or you don't get photos.

    While digital allows someone to just go out and shoot, shoot, shoot without regard to costs, I think it can actually have a negative effect. Yes it does provide the opportunity for someone to just bang out 1,000 frames in a weekend if they want. The problem with this is that there isn't much thought going into those 1,000 frames. What are the chances someone will actually remember anything about how they went about getting that 1 great shot out of the mass if they've taken that many. By being "restricted" to a roll or two per outing a photographer is required to put much more thought into every image. If you know you only have 24/36 chances to get the perfect shot you're going to put much more thought into the whole process. You'll pay more attention to your composure, lighting, etc. You're going to plan. You're going to remember.

    This same theory applies to the ability to "chimp" with digital. The ability to review your photos immediately and decide you've gotten a "good enough" shot makes photogs lazy. With film, not knowing what you have until you develop will make you put in 100% the whole way. No slacking off in the 4th quarter because you think you already have a good enough photo from the first half.

    Now I'm not saying I never hammer the motor drive or chimp to check my exposure, etc. but I know I don't have to. I know I'm smarter then my cameras and as such they stay on M almost 99% of the time.

    Long story short, in my opinion a beginning photographer will gain a better understanding of the principles of photography by learning on a manual camera and be better for it in the long run. :)

    .
     
  13. mdatwood macrumors 6502a

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    #13
    Flash,

    The problem with forcing someone into only taking a few shots is that might not be how they learn. I like going out and taking the same shot with a ton of different settings and then going over them when I get home to see what each did. I can read about this and that all day long, but until I go try it nothing will sink in. Digital is a godsend for someone like me.

    The OP also mentioned they had already narrowed it down to 2 cameras so I didn't bring it up, but if I were him I would start with the most inexpensive DSLR from one either Canon or Nikon. Either of those should give you plenty of manual control, but biggest thing is that you can buy new lenses as you progress while keeping the same body. I don't know much about Canon kit, but with Nikon you can take those lenses you used for the D40 and then use them when you upgrade your body to say the D90. The only down side is that you're looking at $600-$700 to start instead of $300-$500 or less.
     
  14. HBOC macrumors 68020

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    #14
    I personally think people should learn on film. It makes you more aware of everything; ambient lighting, exposure, depth of field, etc etc. Then you wait a bit to see the results. If you didn't nail it, you learn what you did wrong, and go back and get out there and so it right. I learned on an Elan and then moved to an EOS-3, while i had a 30D as well.

    I think digital is a double edged sword. It obviously renders immediate results, but most people do not understand what is going on. I still, to this day, do not go out and just fire away. Even with digital. Maybe i still treat digital like film?
     
  15. spice weasel macrumors 65816

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    #15
    And you think it's better not to have instant feedback as to what mistakes you made? Make a mistake with focus, composition, or exposure on a digital camera and you can instantly correct it. It's pretty easy to see what went wrong when you shoot digital, even on a tiny LCD display. Waste a roll of film doing that and you have to wait until you develop it to find out what you did wrong, and even then you might not figure it out. Then, if you want to get it right, you have to go back to that location. PITA.

    To each his/her own, but I think shooting digital is far superior for learning than starting out with a film camera.
     
  16. HBOC macrumors 68020

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    #16
    Well, this argument has been going on for a decade now and it is not going to end now, lol

    For me, I am glad that i learned with film. Remember that film bodies are a lot cheaper than digital bodies. You find a P&S with full manual controls, and you are in the same price range as a body.

    In any case, I only use the LCD to see the exposure. I look at it for maybe 2 seconds and move on. You (well maybe I) cannot see if something is tack sharp on an LCD screen.
     
  17. shingi70 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #17
    So the Pentax 1000 is a good camera for the same price i would by spending on the FujiFilm. Alright so this camera can use diffrent tyoes of lens right.


    Also is thier any type of camera Thats Automatic and can still dave digital photos.

    I want the best learning experience.
     
  18. Pikemann Urge macrumors 6502

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    #18
    I'll reply to you first as you are the OP after all. ;-)

    IMO, as mdatwood said, I'd recommend a low-end or used DSLR. It doesn't matter how old it is, but avoid some of the very earliest ones (e.g. Nikon D1; but the D1H or D100 are fine if they're not expensive). Lenses can be had cheaply, too. Plus, they allow manual operation if you want it.

    You want the best learning experience? Get a DSLR.

    Sure. But boring. A gal I know was looking for a 35mm SLR and I found her a good, cheap-ish Nikon F with Photomic head. Cool camera, bullet proof and is quite flexible.

    Yep. Snapshot cameras are not learning tools!

    Can't agree here. I sometimes base my exposure on the histogram and/or highlight indicator.

    No reason why a beginner can't use both film and digital. However I think your reasoning is a touch old-fashioned. :p

    I'm glad I learned on film too (but I had no other choice!). I still have 35mm cameras. But remember how much film costs. Digital cameras eventually pay for themselves, so to speak.
     
  19. HBOC macrumors 68020

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    #19
    ^
    That is true. But when learning on film, mistakes cost you money:). $6 a roll of Velvia or $4 for Reala (B&H prices, local was easily double) plus the $4 mailers or the local print ($11 most places). But it made you think more, as the results were not instant.
     
  20. mdatwood macrumors 6502a

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    #20
    You should have ended your post with "get off my lawn!" ;)

    I understand where you're coming from, but anyone who really wants to learn photography (and become good at it) will still learn to be aware of the things you learned when working with film. I don't know how old you are or when you started learning, but I'm sure there were older guys/gals complaining how technology made your learning experience easier than theirs and so on.

    Personally, I could have never even tried to learn photography as a kid because I flat out didn't have the money for film or processing. Nowadays, I see kids take a PnS and take great pics by simply doing a lot of reading and experimentation, and I think that's a great thing.
     
  21. Fujiko7 macrumors 6502

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    #21
    Why not buy a basic DSLR and switch it to manual? Then, when you feel more confident that you understand the process, you can take advantage of the other features of the camera, without having to buy an whole new camera.
     
  22. Mumstalker macrumors member

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    #22
    Just my 2 cents here, six months ago, i was just like the OP knowing nothing. I got myself a DSLR and learnt about aperture, ISO, shutter speed by reading in the interwebz. Pages like digital-photography-school.com. Now I bought a Film SLR, to polish my technique. I'm not a great photographer, but i'll be exposing in 2 months in the town hall as a group (me being the center piece) and 2 other individuals. BTW now i shoot only film. For 6 months, it ain't bad no? BTW another advantage of Film is that for same cash u buy an entry or perhaps a prosumer DSLR you buy a pro SLR. (that's a grea advantage for me.)
     
  23. HBOC macrumors 68020

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    #23
    The Fujis' are a fine camera! I mean their film is amazing!
    My first digital camera was a Fuji S602Z. That thing was sweet, and it shot TIFF files, although it took about 30 seconds to process just one.

    If i can find one for a great price, i would probably pick one up for old times sake! They were expensive back in the day, i think i paid $800?
     

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  24. Sheepy macrumors newbie

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    #24
    Hey,

    I've not read anyone else's posts, so apologies for any duplication, but here's my opinion.

    Firstly, have you access to a dark room? If so, the absolute best way to learn is by going old-school - it's what I did. Buy a clapped out old film body and lens, a few rolls of Ilford XP2 Super and go shoot the same thing with different settings, writing them down as you go. Take it to be developed and then rock on to get your hand in at printing them traditionally.

    If your budget allows, get an old Canon 10D or better and a lens or two and just do the same on your laptop. If you really want to get into it, I think you need an SLR, not semi-compact, as I feel you have more freedom to change settings to see how film speed, aperture, shutter speed and focal lengths impact the image.

    Most will tell you that film is dead, and I guess it's all personal, but there's something magical about spending hours in a darkroom with some decent negatives and coming out with a completely unique image.

    S.
     
  25. stagi macrumors 65816

    stagi

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    #25
    Feel free to check out my site: http://www.digitalphotobuzz.com
    it has a mix of beginner and more advanced info a little bit of something for everyone.
     

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