Getting started with photography?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by grimreaper1377, Jan 10, 2009.

  1. grimreaper1377 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2007
    #1
    Hi,

    I need some advice on getting started with photography. I'm planning on buying a nikon d40 soon, so even anything specific to that would help. Book would be the most help.

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. luminosity macrumors 65816

    luminosity

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    #2
    Try "Understanding Exposure," by Bryan Peterson.
     
  3. Cliff3 macrumors 65816

    Cliff3

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  4. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    #4
    Automation has made the technical side of photography very easy. The other side "art" remains hard. Where to locate the camera, where to aim it and when to trip the shutter are the hard parts. The best why to learn is to find some big coffee table books of photography at the library. Look at lots of pictures taken by old famous photographers and see which you like. Now make you self an assignment to go out and emulate that style. You might also want to pick up an art book that talks about composition.

    The mistake many beginners make is to think they have to go some place special to make pictures. No. The kitchen table works fine. Try shooting a glass of water with ice in it. Or a close up of an old car. What you are looking at here is just line, shape, tone or color.

    Thats how you "learn photography" -- You have some images in your head and then you go out and try to capture them. Take about 50 to 100 images at a time, run then through your workflow and be very critical of your work. Repeat this as many times as you can. Try to do one cycle a week.
     
  5. taylorwilsdon macrumors 68000

    taylorwilsdon

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    #5
    Chris - I agree with your sentiment in full, except the first sentence. I believe the complete opposite. I've put cameras in the hands of complete amateurs (people who haven't even used point and shoot cameras except to take pictures for facebook) and let them snap away. With proper processing (takes 5-30 minutes per picture), I've seen spectacular results.

    Dumping pictures on a computer is easy. Making them look great is an entirely different matter. I can spend days processing a shoot to get the best results, and I have a very efficient workflow.
     
  6. NintendoChick macrumors regular

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    #6
    I've heard a lot of good things about "The Digital Photography Book, Volume 1." Enjoy your new hobby!
     
  7. luminosity macrumors 65816

    luminosity

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    #7
    I'm probably naive or maybe just impatient, but I don't understand the need or point of most post-processing. If you're a good photographer, and you take a good picture or good pictures, why would you need to enhance it?

    Many (if not most) of history's great photos had zero post-processing done. Of course, there was no photoshop back then either.
     
  8. techie4life macrumors 6502

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    #8
  9. mrkgoo macrumors 65816

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    #9
    A lot of ACTUAL processing was done in the dark room. Probably more processing was done in those days than today.
     
  10. Cliff3 macrumors 65816

    Cliff3

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    #10
    My photoshop was in the spare bathroom. The one with no windows.
     
  11. grimreaper1377 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Oct 20, 2007
    #11
    Thanks for all the quick responses guys!

    I still have a couple more questions:

    1) Is it worth buying Aperture or Lightroom at this stage? I already have photoshop, but I'm not sure if I should invest in one of those.

    2) Is a d40 going to be good for me? I've heard some nice things about the d60, and its not that much higher up in terms of price.

    Thanks again!
     
  12. luminosity macrumors 65816

    luminosity

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    #12
    2) Is a d40 going to be good for me? I've heard some nice things about the d60, and its not that much higher up in terms of price.


    Stay away from the D60. Gives you next to nothing that the D40 doesn't also give you, and costs more. If you're planning to be serious, think about the D90.
     
  13. jaseone macrumors 65816

    jaseone

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    #13
    1. No, iPhoto should be sufficient for your cataloging requirements and you already have Photoshop for any advanced editing required. Aperture and LR do offer more advanced processing for RAW files though but it isn't really a requirement when you are just starting out.

    2. As another poster stated the D60 doesn't offer much over the D40 and isn't really worth it, just keep in mind that with both the D40 and the D60 you need AF-S lenses that have a focus motor within the lens in order to use autofocus as those bodies lack a focusing motor.

    In regards to post processing, I find most of my post processing is needed to mistakes on my own part like having the white balance set to Daylight, putting the camera down and then going inside later in the evening to take some shots. With a film camera doing something like that the shot would be ruined but with digital and when shooting in RAW you can rescue the shot!
     
  14. James L macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 14, 2004
    #14
    There has always been post production... it just occurred in the lab.

    There is still post production now, even if you don't do it yourself. the camera is just doing it for you automatically after you click the shutter. This especially goes with shooting jpg, where the camera processor applies specified settings to the image after you take it.

    Post has always been a significant part of photography... nothing wrong with it at all.
     
  15. James L macrumors 6502a

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    #15
    Understanding exposure, and the 2 Scott Kelby digital photography books (mentioned above) are a GREAT starting point!
     
  16. toxic macrumors 68000

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    Nov 9, 2008
    #16
    The Photographer's Eye by Michael Freeman is good. once you have the basics down, though, having an artist (any fine artist) critique your work will help you much more.

    if you have the cash, jump to a body with a built-in motor. AF-S lenses, from what i hear, are very poor value.

    dodge & burn (among others) aren't terms coined by Adobe. look up jerry uelsmann. all his photos were taken with film and printed in a darkroom.
     
  17. HBOC macrumors 68020

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    #17

    ansel adams did so much manipulating of his photos. He helped form a group in the late 20's called group f/64. Manipulation has been around as long as photography, digital age or not.

    as far as a good book, john freeman has a great book, called "photography".
     
  18. numbersyx macrumors 65816

    numbersyx

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    #18
    As much as I find Mr. Rockwell's comments interesting to read, I also find them to be a little narrow minded and not to be taken as gospel....
     
  19. Cliff3 macrumors 65816

    Cliff3

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    #19
    No, AF-S lenses are an excellent value and the term is analogous to Canon's USM. The problem is that most Nikon primes have not yet been updated to use the AF-S system.

    Enthusiasts on a tight budget (i.e.: people buying a $500-$600 body/lens combo) would like to be able to grow into Nikon's system. The newer zooms and telephoto primes, both consumer and professional versions, all have AF-S. This group of consumers doesn't want the consumer zooms and can't afford the pro stuff. The older primes would be ideal for them, but the absence of a focusing motor internal to the body prevents these customers from making full use of the older prime lens designs.

    Of course, there are alternatives. Buy a D90. Buy a used body - I would rather have a used D70s than a D40, for example, it's probably a marginally better camera. Or buy a used D50 since it has an internal focusing motor. Or do without autofocus sometimes - I managed without it until 2003 when my trusty old FE finally bit the dust.
     

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