1. Darkhorse

    Darkhorse

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    Hey,

    Just signed up to the forum a couple of days ago. Hope this is the place to put this, and hope its not too long haha.

    Have been playing around with taking photos with my phone camera recently. Mostly just photos of my dog and flowers. I thought it would be fun to buy a DSLR and so got a Canon 350D for quite cheap. I like to take up as many hobbies as I can and so wanted to get as far into photography as I could.

    I am quite nervous getting into this as a hobby. When I watch videos on youtube I see that people say things like look at your favourite photographers and that for inspiration and I don't really have anyone to "look up to" in that regard. I saw some night photography and love the old retro style of Peter McKinnon (no idea how famous he is but I liked his stuff, seems nice also). Did anyone else have that situation?

    I guess I also just don't even know where to progress too. I would love to take photos of the sky and the milky way, I also have a telescope so deep space imaging would be cool someday but I know to keep my expectations realistic. Its the same with photographing wildlife, here I guess I do have ideas of what I want, I dream of taking the pics that go into nat geo or something haha. But again I know to be realistic and if everyone could get them pics everyone would. Problem with this is I don't even know how to get started practising this. I don't have a posh lens or a tripod, I cant get close enough to birds without spooking them off.

    Everyone on Youtube seems to do a lot of photographing models and stuff and I don't think I would ever have the guts/mindset to do that. Suppose I feel a little down just thinking how overwhelming this all is. I mean I know starting out in any hobby is quite challenging but still I feel like a complete noob, I go out to my local beach but all my pics look lame haha. I can barely figure out what to photograph, when I do the photo looks terrible.

    Did anyone else have this feeling starting out?

    Sorry for the long post. I will probably split this up into more focused questions when my mind calms down, I learn more about photography and learn more about the forum.
     
  2. stumac

    stumac

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    stuart
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    just get to grips with your camera. Find something you can and enjoy photographing with the kit you have and learn all the fundamentals for example the exposure triangle which you can google. Learn it off by heart would be the best start . Where abouts in the world are you?
     
  3. Harlequin565

    Harlequin565

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    Ian
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    Welcome to TP Peter!

    The 350D was my first foray into digital and I was lucky to discover that it was an extremely capable starter camera, so you're off to a good start.

    Looking at other people's work is a great way to get started (how did you learn to do anything if not from someone else's work?) but remember that on the internet, most people show only their best work (and not their crap) which can be a bit daunting.

    It's only as overwhelming as you let it be. Start with small steps. Have an idea. Go and try and take pictures that represent that idea. Walking along the beach aimlessly will give you aimless photos. Go there looking for pebbles, or people, or waves, or... anything... but decide on *something*. If you're fortunate to live close, try sunrise and sunset rather than mid-day. Look at how the light affects your scene.

    Then come post them on here. Tell us what you were trying to achieve and why you didn't feel that you did. We can try and help. Have a reason to take the photo. If you don't know why you took it, none of your viewers will, and it will just be a snap - and there are tons of those about.
    Above all, enjoy yourself. If you stop having fun, leave the camera at home. I guarantee you'll start to see compositions and scenes if you don't have the means to do 'owt about it.

    Bah - post got longer than I intended. Welcome to TP anyways :)
     
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  4. Darkhorse

    Darkhorse

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    Sure, I think at the moment the images that look the best for me are still of my dog and of flowers. I have actually done a fair bit of reading into the exposure triangle which I did before I got my camera.

    I am in Northern England with very clear blue skies at the moment. I think some of my pictures are too bright at the moment actually.
     
  5. stumac

    stumac

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    Take you dog into some open shade , get down on his level, focus on his eyes and have fun
     
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  6. Professor1991

    Professor1991

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    Honestly mate, I've been the same. I've had my camera for nearly 2 years now and whilst I like to think I know it well, I haven't really progressed as much as I wanted to or I know I can do. I had my eyes 3 types of lenses (A Prime, Zoom & Macro), and whilst I've managed to since purchase all 3, I'm still not doing as much as I can.

    Being as objectively harsh as I can, I have to attribute this to myself. I live not too far off a floral park which is a prime location for macro photography yet I don't go. I used to go when I had a comparatively crappy lens (Tamron 70-300mm "Macro") and I somewhat enjoyed getting fairly close but now when I have a purpose built Macro Lens (Sigma 105mm F2.8), I've yet to put it through its paces.

    As others have mentioned, getting to know the exposure triangle is imperative as it makes understanding different photography types better. E.g. if you've managed to get your head around Aperture, you'd know how it ties in with Depth of Field and that a large Aperture (Low F number) is commonly used in Portraiture and small Apertures (High F number) are better suited for landscapes and so on..... I'd personally recommend Astrophotography as you mentioned you have an interest in the stars. If you incorporate any local foreground into the photo with a nice background of say the milkyway, its a nice way of making the photo fairly unique.

    Another thing I'd recommend and this is something that took me a while to get my head around but its post processing.
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2018
  7. wave01

    wave01

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    Here is my take I assume you have a 18-55 lens. Invest in a 55-250 and nifty 50. This will open things for you you will get some wildlife you will be able to do portraits and some landscapes. Go out take pictures experiment.
     
  8. soeren

    soeren

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    May I ask what's your motivation for recommending a 50mm? I'd think with the interest in flower and dog photography a macro lens of some sort (60-90mm) would be a better buy
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2018
  9. Furtim

    Furtim

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    Welcome.

    350D was my first DSLR too.

    I didn't have dog, but I did have a reluctant cat! Pet's are a great way to get started, in fact it's mandatory to take a photo of your cat / dog and post it up as your first picture!

    Here's mine from 2005 on the 350D:
    DT_2005_00155.jpg

    Eventually, you'll start to notice that others are doing that makes their photo's different, better etc. There's tons of material on line now, so just spend a few hours on you tube and head out with camera and play! 'Rookie' mistakes in the picture above include taking the photo looking down from my natural eye level rather than getting down to the cats for example. Once you notice someone else doing it better, it's easy to try for yourself.

    Below is one of the last photo's of Furbs before she passed last year and the grand old age of 18 years :(, but she gave me years of compliant free practice bless her. Note the lower angle of the shot (and perhaps ignore the over processing - was into film simulations at the time - always experimenting - that's the fun!)
    DSCF9759.jpg

    This could be better too - I've cut off her foot - note that and try to avoid the next time etc.


    TLDR - take photo's, look back at them, compare to ones you like, spot that's different, read and take more photos - repeat forever!

    Also the camera makes very little difference - it just what you learn.
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2018
  10. ecoleman

    ecoleman

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  11. juggler

    juggler

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    :agree:

    I suggest you stop thinking of photography as a hobby and instead think in terms of photographing what you're already interested in.
    Photography is another means of communication. What do you want to say?

    Is photography a hobby of mine? Well, yes,... but I'm interested in performers, dancers & people so that's what I photograph.

    If I photograph e.g. a landscape it's because I have a reason to do so (it's usually a holiday snap, fwiw).
     
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  12. jerry12953

    jerry12953

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    That's a good way of looking at it. Photography was originally an extension of my other interests, rather than an end in itself. Over time it has become the latter, but after god knows how many years doing it I'm wondering how much longer I can keep it up!
     
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  13. GTG

    GTG Suspended / Banned

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    You need to start from the very start and stop thinking about advanced stuff like photographing the milkyway and nat geo.

    Get a guide book for your camera and go through it all thoroughly and try stuff at the same time that is shown in the book.
     
  14. DB72

    DB72

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    Take some photos of whatever you find interesting and then create a Flickr account (if you haven't done so already) and then look for photos in groups that you find interesting. If you like photos of scenery, look at groups of photos taken in your area which may give you ideas of where to go and what to photograph. Where abouts in the North of England are you ?
     
  15. EightBitTony

    EightBitTony

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    Tony
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    This.

    Also, prepare to discover that what you thought interested you, doesn't.

    I had a bridge camera and took loads of 'wildlife' pictures. I thought I was interested in that, so I bought a better camera. What I discovered was that I wasn't interested in photographing wildlife so much, as that was the only thing near by to me when I had the bridge camera and I didn't go out _looking_ for things to take pictures of. Once I started doing that, I discovered I love urban landscapes and people. I love photographing humanity and the way people and the world interact.

    So I was a bit surprised.

    Find something you enjoy, photograph it to improve your photography, and every now and then, try and find stuff you don't know if you enjoy and photograph that and you might find out you do. Flowers and pets are a classic starter set, because people often set out to photograph stuff that's near to them.
     
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  16. Scirocco_09

    Scirocco_09

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    I suggest questioning what it was that made you buy a camera in the first place, hopefully there'll be a reason why which will allow you to find a subject that you enjoy shooting. I suggest concentrating on one style for now, eg landscape (or whatever interests you most) and then you can build your kit and expertise around that. Once you're happy you can learn other disciplines. Photography is a huge learning curve which will take a lot of time and effort to become consistently good at, combining it with lots of other hobbies may not be the best idea
     
  17. Darkhorse

    Darkhorse

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    Thank you everyone. I have read through what you said and will take it all into account. I feel a bit better after taking some dog photos again haha.

    I like an analogy that I read somewhere on here about the camera being more like a guitar than a washing machine haha. I know that it will take more practise so thanks again for the advice and look forward to posting my dog photos and flower photos.
     
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  18. d00d

    d00d

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    David
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    Dogs, flowers! You can do all that with your mobile phone. You have a DSLR for two reasons ... 1) Aperture, 2) Speed.

    Av mode can give you years of fun with OOF BGs/bokeh or to the other extreme ... sharpness across the field.

    Tv mode ... even more fun with motion blurrrrr or to the other extreme ... capturing microsecond action .

    It's a toy, play with it.
     
  19. Tringa

    Tringa

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    Dave
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    Initially just put your camera on auto and take loads of shots of just about anything - they are all free.

    Auto will give you decent shots quite a lot of the time. However, sometimes auto will not give you the image you wanted. When a shot doesn't turn out the way you wanted try to work out what went wrong. If you can't, then post it up here, with the EXIF data, tell us how you wanted it to look and someone will be able to help.

    Just have fun taking photos

    Dave
     

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