Need help in getting started in photography

eventzkaze

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 16, 2013
3
0
Singapore
Did anyone tell me ... how I start my photography .. like first step ...i want to do it but did not find any way any direction... need help ... photography in my mind but don;t know who to start ..... and plz also tell me how much money it will take for starting or any backup required for future.?.. like should i need to work on money first( saving money) then go for it?
 

GoCubsGo

macrumors Nehalem
Feb 19, 2005
35,753
142
Photography can be an expensive hobby to start or cheap. A beginner-level DSLR is useful, go for one that comes with a lens or two and hone in your skills. The cost to start photography is whatever that camera runs you.

How to Get Into Photography on a Budget
 
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secretpact

macrumors 6502
May 24, 2007
271
0
How I started was by buying a film DSLR, and when I decided I was using it enough to justify buying digital, I upgraded. But I never bought the latest model, I always bought discontinued ones. You can save a lot of money in the beginning by going with film.
 

ChrisA

macrumors G4
Jan 5, 2006
11,609
408
Redondo Beach, California
Did anyone tell me ... how I start my photography .. like first step ...i want to do it but did not find any way any direction... need help ... photography in my mind but don;t know who to start ..... and plz also tell me how much money it will take for starting or any backup required for future.?.. like should i need to work on money first( saving money) then go for it?
You do NOT need an expensive camera. So many people equate photo gear and learning how to operate it with "photography". Any idiot can run up a credit card but it takes some thinking and study to learn art.

You can start with whatever cell phone you happen to have or some used camera from Craigslist. Even if you want a dSLR you should start with an older used model and spend well under $200 for the lens and body. Look for a Nikon D50 or D70 or a Canon "rebel". All these are very good and go for about $160. a 50m lens or the "kit" 18-55 is a god starter but don't buy anything untill you've shot many photos and learend what you need.

The very first thing to do is study photos. Find some you like. Look on-line or go to the library and get some over size coffee table books and find photographers and a style you like. You can't begin to learn without first filling your head with images you like and knowing whqt is god and bad. So look at picture books and desifd if you like portraits, formal or street type? Landscapes, street or travel type. Yes you CAN shoot "travel photos" at the place you live (it is travel for 99.99% of the weld, just not you. But your viewers will never know that.)

I define "photography" as being images you shoot that some one else, you don't know might like. "Snapshots" are photos that only you would care about, like vacation shots of your kids. So look at other peole's wok, find the ones you like. Not go out and try to shoot in that style.

About gear. do NOT buy anything unless you can explain to yourself how that new lens or dSLR body will solve a problem and allow a shoot you can't otherwise get. Don't just say "better camera". Be specific with what it will do for you. Start with anything you have.

Shoot 50 to 100 frames then come home and short them. Keep ONLY the best 10% and post process them. Compare these with your ideals from the books. Figure out how to do better and shoot another set, keep 10% and just keep going. Eventually you hae a style of you own and you have collect equipment that is usfull for that style.

But you do the above a few cycles so that you can see what gear your need to improve those cell phone shots

There are lots of good books on composition, color and shape that you can find.

If some one starts talking equipment and dial twiddling before he talks about subjects and light. Ignore him. He is wht thaey call a "gear hound". It is like the guitar player who collects amplifiers and guitars but nows nothing about music.

As you buy gear, try and wait until you've shot at least 1,000 frame. Then buy (say) that lens you want. Then do at least another 1,000 frames before you buy the next.
 

d.steve

macrumors 6502
Jan 6, 2012
288
100
Excellent advice by ChrisA. I would also consider:
- look at your bad shots and evaluate why they aren't keepers.
- look at gear forums only when looking for gear. Look at non-gear forums (critique or technique forums) when not.
- critique others' image posts. Respond or not as you feel comfortable but readand evaluate people's posts and read responses and ask yourself whether you agree or not (you very well may disagree!).
- post you own keepers in a critique forum. Don't post your bad shots. That does no one any good.
- identify goals or specific projects to challenge yourself.
 

MCAsan

macrumors 601
Jul 9, 2012
4,543
414
Atlanta
Join local clubs. Attend meetings plus special events and field trips. Participate in photo reviews and contests. Go see local photo exhibitions/galleries. Subscribe to the photo mags via iPad.

Go out and shoot!!!!!
 

acearchie

macrumors 68040
Jan 15, 2006
3,269
103
First thing I would say is don't be tempted with gear.

Oh but you'll say that the only camera you have is your iPhone. That's not an excuse. Download instagram and find some inspirational people to follow. It's not about the equipment but about the visuals and the emotion that comes through a photo.

Tell us a bit about what gear you already have or have access to?

Everyone starts in a different way but with the advancements in technology, especially with sharing and getting help online, this is definitely one of the best times to start.
 

Designer Dale

macrumors 68040
Mar 25, 2009
3,950
99
Folding space
Grab your camera phone or a simple point and shoot and take a lot of pictures. Load them into your computer with whatever photo software came free with it and see if you like what you see. I don't care if it's iPhoto on a Mac or Microsoft Picture whatever on a PC, just do it. Do this a lot and then come back and ask this question over again.

Photography is something that requires more desire than equipment. First determine if you have the desire to get more involved.

Dale
 

ChrisA

macrumors G4
Jan 5, 2006
11,609
408
Redondo Beach, California
Grab your camera phone or a simple point and shoot and take a lot of pictures. Load them into your computer with whatever photo software came free with it and see if you like what you see. I don't care if it's iPhoto on a Mac or Microsoft Picture whatever on a PC, just do it. Do this a lot and then come back and ask this question over again. ...
That is a good way to start. But I think to improve you have to be more systematic. You have to have a goal, some kind of "look" you want to capture and the best why to describe it is to point to examples of it. Find those examples. Then you need to develope a "system" of post processing and you need to learn to EDIT, to throw away the junk.

Then attempt to shoot images like that. Don't worry. It is not unethical. Artists have for centuries been trained to copy styles they like before they can go off their own way. It is the way to learn. You need to find some really good works

But you do need more. Read books on composition and even on painting. And yu WILL need to learn technique. Just don't get obsessed with what I call "dial twiddling" and "gear collecting".


Most people do eventually need to buy some equipment. There will be something you want that your current camera can't do. It might be something as simple as the ability to point the flash at the ceiling.
 

guzhogi

macrumors 68030
Aug 31, 2003
2,964
835
Wherever my feet take me…
You may also take some photography classes at your local community college if you have one. Some photography gear stores might also provide some practical classes as well.

One of the most important things I've found is determining what kind of photography you want to do. Do you want to do landscapes, portraits, weddings, urban art, candid shots? The kind of shots you want to do determine what kind of gear you need.

Also, how big do you want to your photos? If you want to do 4 x 5s, then low-end cameras will be fine. If you want to do 40" x 60" posters, look into medium format cameras as you'll need the added resolution.

While Nikon & Canon are definitely the most popular, I like the Sony Alpha line of DSLTs. They have very good autofocus, detail and they also have built-in GPS should you want to do a lot of outdoors work.
 

macs4nw

macrumors 601
How I started was by buying a film DSLR.....
I doubt you bought a film DSLR.
That's a little oops, understandable, especially for a photography newbie. A DSLR is the digital version of an SLR, which stands for Single Lens Reflex, as opposed to Twin Lens Reflex cameras that didn't need a mirror to 'reflex', as they had two lenses on top of each other; the top one to see the image through the viewfinder, and the bottom one to project an image on film as the shutter was released. These Twin lens cameras, made by ROLLEI in Germany, amongst others, suffered from PARALLAX, which was a slight vertical difference between what you saw through the viewfinder, and what was captured on film, due to the height difference between the lenses.

There are now DSLRs that have fixed (translucent) mirrors that feed the camera's sensor and viewfinder simultaneously, which allows for faster continuous shooting, as there's no waiting for the mirror to return to the upright position for the next shot.

Good to hear you switched to digital. Ten years ago, film was still readily available as well as places to develop that film. But now digital has totally caught up to analog in quality, and in some cases even eclipsed. That in addition to all the other advantages of digital such as instant results; no polluting chemicals; digital back-up, storage, manipulation and printing of image files, to name a few.

Photography is a beautiful hobby any day of the year (you never know when the next gorgeous image projects itself in front of you, but it's sure not to last long), but as a nature photographer, I personally really like this time of year.

There's some excellent advice in the above posts. Go and enjoy!
 

Phrasikleia

macrumors 601
Feb 24, 2008
4,077
399
Over there------->
That is a good way to start. But I think to improve you have to be more systematic. You have to have a goal, some kind of "look" you want to capture and the best why to describe it is to point to examples of it. Find those examples. Then you need to develope a "system" of post processing and you need to learn to EDIT, to throw away the junk.

Then attempt to shoot images like that. Don't worry. It is not unethical. Artists have for centuries been trained to copy styles they like before they can go off their own way. It is the way to learn. You need to find some really good works

But you do need more. Read books on composition and even on painting. And yu WILL need to learn technique. Just don't get obsessed with what I call "dial twiddling" and "gear collecting".


Most people do eventually need to buy some equipment. There will be something you want that your current camera can't do. It might be something as simple as the ability to point the flash at the ceiling.
Great advice. I agree with all of it. The worst thing you can do is have no goals beyond the vague desire to get "better" at photography. If you can define a goal, then you'll know whether or not you have made progress after you go out to pursue that goal. Even if it's something as simple as learning to blur water in a river or composing with a strong leading line, achieving the goal means you've gotten that much "better".

In my view, no photographer is ever done improving. We should all be out there with new goals on a regular basis to push us forward .
 

brand

macrumors 601
Oct 3, 2006
4,364
395
127.0.0.1
A DSLR is the digital version of an SLR, which stands for Single Lens Reflex, as opposed to Twin Lens Reflex cameras that didn't need a mirror to 'reflex', as they had two lenses on top of each other; the top one to see the image through the viewfinder, and the bottom one to project an image on film as the shutter was released. These Twin lens cameras, made by ROLLEI in Germany, amongst others, suffered from PARALLAX, which was a slight vertical difference between what you saw through the viewfinder, and what was captured on film, due to the height difference between the lenses.

There are now DSLRs that have fixed (translucent) mirrors that feed the camera's sensor and viewfinder simultaneously, which allows for faster continuous shooting, as there's no waiting for the mirror to return to the upright position for the next shot.
I am aware of that and is why I posted.
 

HBOC

macrumors 68020
Oct 14, 2008
2,494
234
SLC
You could also shoot film as well. This was taken last autumn with a Nikon F5 + Tokina 17mm, shot with Fuji Reala :)

Good advice in here. Basically the newer cameras with give you much better low noise and better IQ, but a 5D (if you want full frame) is still a great camera!


 

gianlara

macrumors newbie
Jul 5, 2013
1
0
usa
basic steps

I am also a newbie in photography,can anyone tell me what are the basic step on taking photos? thanks
 

Designer Dale

macrumors 68040
Mar 25, 2009
3,950
99
Folding space
I'm thinking about taking up brain surgery, and would appreciate some tips.

Erm, how did people ever develop their hobbies and interests before the internet came along? :confused:
It was really hard, John. We were forced to go out and read things to discover what interested us. If we wanted to learn more, we had to read more and ultimately make stuff on our own with little of this step by step guidance. The space program got me interested in rockets so I learned about fuels and aerodynamics and built my own. Scared the heck out of the neighbors, though. Hobbies used to require real work and the result was worth the effort.

This may sound trivial, but half the engineers in this country are foreign born because US children don't build things anymore.

But then, you already know this.

Dale
 

AlaskaMoose

macrumors 68000
Apr 26, 2008
1,521
891
Alaska
I am also a newbie in photography,can anyone tell me what are the basic step on taking photos? thanks
The best way to learn the steps is by using whatever camera you have, from a smart phone, or even an iPad) to take photos. Then follow the advice told by Chris near the beginning of this thread.

There aren't specific steps for taking photos other than looking through the viewfinder, framing the subject, and pressing the shutter release (button).

But there is something very basic and easy to remember: if you look at a bright subject (sun, strong light, etc.) you will notice that it will blind you temporarily. Well, the same thing happens to the sensor in your camera. But if the sun is behind you, then you can clearly see everything in front of you. When learning to take photos, first help the sensor by not shooting against the light.

And yes, we can wear shades to look at the sun, and over the lens of the camera to take photos. But that comes later :)
 
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MacCruiskeen

macrumors 6502
Nov 9, 2011
321
5
Good to hear you switched to digital. Ten years ago, film was still readily available as well as places to develop that film. But now digital has totally caught up to analog in quality, and in some cases even eclipsed. That in addition to all the other advantages of digital such as instant results; no polluting chemicals; digital back-up, storage, manipulation and printing of image files, to name a few.
Indeed, switching to digital will mean that you won't end up with half your home office looking like this:

fate.jpg

You have been warned!
 

macs4nw

macrumors 601
Indeed, switching to digital will mean that you won't end up with half your home office looking like this:

View attachment 423013

You have been warned!
Good memories! Is that an OMEGA enlarger? Looks vaguely like it. I recognize your GRALAB timer on the third shelf.
I have used mainly DURST enlargers, but it's all been gone now for a long time.