Best place to learn about photography

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Michael CM1, Jan 3, 2009.

  1. Michael CM1 macrumors 603

    Feb 4, 2008
    This is sort of a noob post, so forgive me if this is the topic of the day. I checked a few pages and didn't see anything similar.

    I have had a DSLR camera for about a year now and I'd really like to learn how to use it better. It's very easy to use when you have plenty of light, but that's obviously not always the case. I know I can't make the photos any better than the camera, but there are just a lot of settings I can adjust that I don't really understand (either what they are or what they do). I'm mainly doing this for my own, but I work at a newspaper and would like to add that to my skills in case I need it down the line.

    I don't have the model on me right now, but it's an Olympus and it came with a couple of lenses. I don't know what settings are the same throughout DSLRs, so that would be one thing I'd need to learn. Basically, I just need to find a great Web site that explains it all. I can frame pictures pretty well, but I need to learn how to actually use the darn camera.
  2. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    Your best bet is always to take an intro-level course at a community college. It is cheap and actually a lot of fun.
  3. wheelhot macrumors 68020

    Nov 23, 2007
    Erm, since you say you have a Oly with a couple of lenses, then it should mean you own a DSLR and every DSLR has basic functionality - Aperture and Shutter.

    What Oly model do you own?

    Well a good place to start is
  4. jaseone macrumors 65816


    Nov 7, 2004
    Houston, USA
    Pick up a copy of Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson and also see if there is an aftermarket manual for your camera like one from Magic Lantern. Read through, experiment a LOT, not just a little a LOT! Also don't be afraid to try a setting, who cares if you don't know exactly what it will do, try it and see the result on the LCD (chimping as they say), if it doesn't work then try something else!

    If you can't figure something out on why an image isn't turning out or if you just want critique then upload it and post it in a forum like this one so others can provide you advice.
  5. Mr.Noisy macrumors 65816


    May 5, 2007
    I 2nd that, It's a very good Book ;)
  6. NStocks macrumors 65816

    Apr 3, 2008
    +1. I started photography and didn't bother to learn about everything, reading that book a few times helped me understand the basics.

    ... go on Photography forums.
  7. ThunderRobot macrumors regular


    Aug 10, 2008
    Glasgow, Scotland

    Also in the meantime take a look at the video workshops on which will help you get your head round some of the settings on your camera and when to use them.
  8. mdo574 macrumors newbie

    Nov 19, 2008
    google : Digital photography school its free

    google:digital photography school
  9. jbernie macrumors 6502a


    Nov 25, 2005
    Denver, CO
    Thanks to a $15 Barnes & Noble gift card I got I have done just that. Am looking forward to reading it as it is one book that gets mentioned everywhere.
  10. techie4life macrumors 6502

    Jul 19, 2007
  11. Michael CM1 thread starter macrumors 603

    Feb 4, 2008
    Looks like I'll have to check out the "Understanding Exposure" book.

    The model camera I have is an Olympus E-510. The lenses that "came" with it (I give them $200 extra, they throw 'em in for free) are 14-42mm and 40-150mm.

    I'll have to do some digging and reading on some of the suggestions. I have definitely experimented a bit, but I can't figure out certain things, especially at night. I tried to use this at a soccer game but got told by the pros that it takes a very expensive (fast) camera to get those unblurry because of the light. A big thanks for the suggestions.
  12. ta09 macrumors newbie

    Jan 2, 2009
    Be extraordinarily careful while reading Ken Rockwell. He is well known to make things up out of thin air, post his opinion as fact and, generally spout whatever craziness he seems to be thinking at the time.

    I must admit that I visit his site from time to time, just to see what is up, and that some of his stuff does have real value. However, I would avoid like the plague anything he says that is technical in nature unless you see it backed up by more reputable sources.

    I'm not trying to bash Rockwell or his site, I'm willing to bet that many people have derived value from it, but he's far too prone to posting his opinions as fact or simply championing inaccurate or flat out wrong stuff.

    Sites I would recommend heartily: - Strobist is a blog run by a guy named David Hobby, a newspaper shooter-turned blogger/freelancer. Anything and everything you ever wanted to know about off-camera flash lighting can be found here. The newer content has slowed down some, but just going through the archives (especially the "on assignment" section) is pure gold. This is the site that stirred my interest in creative lighting and teaches you how to do it on the cheap. Even if you don't care for lighting anything take a gander through the On Assignment stuff, it's rather cool and will get your mind thinking. - LL is a great website for landscape photography (as the name might imply...) and has a whole slew of archives of stuff to read through that talk about everything from landscape stuff to general post processing. I learned so much from this site as I was starting out in photography, both on the technical side and on the aesthetic side. It's nowhere near as good as it used to be, but still has good stuff from time to time. - TOP is by far my favorite photo related website around. It's basically a blog about whatever the author decides to talk about and focuses on no one thing in particular. Very "old school" in a sense.

    I would also second the posters to spoke about looking up a local community college. That would be a cool option.
  13. HBOC macrumors 68020

    Oct 14, 2008
    #13 is a great site.

    I have been doing photography for about 8 years or so, my first camera being a film SLR. I actually learned more while shooting with a Canon EOS 3 and some RVP-50 Velvia.

    Since you have digital, dont be afraid to experiment!! It costs you next to nothing to shoot. Just go out and keep shooting. I read a few books, but for the most part, i just learned by doing. Digital is great because in low light situations, you can boost up the ISO, whereas with film, that would mean either switching film, or pushing/pulling the exposure.
  14. sl1200mk2 macrumors 6502

    Oct 17, 2006
    Thanks for reminding me of this. I had seen it recommended pretty regularly, but always put off purchasing it for one reason or another. I bought it from Amazon after seeing this post.

    Excellent book!

    Thanks again -

  15. ThunderRobot macrumors regular


    Aug 10, 2008
    Glasgow, Scotland
    Digital SLR Cameras and Photography for Dummies by David D. Busch is worth looking at if you're new to DSLRs. Busch is a known and respected photographer who writes many after-market camera manuals for both Canon and Nikon models.

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