Beginner where to start

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Darren
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#1
Hi Everybody
I have always liked the idea of taking good photos and through visiting this site at the advice of a friend , I have taken a leap of faith and bought a second hand D90 ( very low shutter count less than 700 count ) with a 18- 105 vr kit lens and just this week another second hand lens a 50mm f/ 1.8D but I am a little confused at the sheer amount of information that I have been trying to take in.
I have been flat out watching you tube videos on the D90 and also reading books.
I know everybody has to start some where but i need advice.
Whats the more important things to keep in mind starting out .:confused:
 
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Ben
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#3
Try to learn what each setting does on your camera (aperture, shutter speed, ISO etc), and see how they affect your photos. Try and picture what sort of shot you want, and work with the settings until you get something that you had pictured. Composition is important too.

Reading this forum is a great place to start, I learnt a lot here. Keep reading, and knowledge will come.

Good luck!
 

StephenM

I know a Blithering Idiot
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Stephen
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#4
I'd advise thinking about what you want to produce in terms of photos. There are lots of different criteria that could be used to define a "good photo", and it's odds on that yours isn't the same as mine. Once you have a target to aim at, it's easier to hit it!

In my experience (rather limited I'll admit with modern cameras with automation - I mainly use camera with zero auto functions) most of the time for the most common subjects, the camera will get the exposure right for you. And when it doesn't, you can easily check and correct. The instant feedback of a digital camera is a great learning tool - so use it.

What I would advise against is getting bogged down in the technical stuff until you find you need to know it. Once most of your photos are out of focus and badly exposed, you'll know that you've stepped outside the "common stuff" that the makers expect, and you can start to take control.

My starting point would be to photograph what you want, and study the results. If you like it, ask yourself why, and how you could improve on it. If you don't - ask yourself why. Careful observation of what is there counts for more (in my opinion) to the end result than any amount of technical know how.
 
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shannensdaddy
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Darren
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#5
I will take all comments on board, I still am not sure what areas I am interested in but thanks for the advice.

:)
 

StephenM

I know a Blithering Idiot
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Stephen
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#6
Photograph things that interest you, and don't worry about "areas". Don't compartmentalise the world into "macro", or "landscape" or "architecture" - just into "things that interest me" and "things that don't interest me". But this is making a very big assumption about what you want to get out of photography.
 
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droj
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#7
Whats the more important things to keep in mind starting out .:confused:
Learn to judge light, both in its own right but also the limitations of how a sensor records the range from light to dark. Learn how what's before you translates into being framed in two dimensions. Learn what the basic camera settings do (iso, shutterspeed, aperture). Think about taking control. Auto everything's a too easy option. Resist it.
 
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Paul
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#8
Hi EverybodyI am a little confused at the sheer amount of information that I have been trying to take in.
I have been flat out watching you tube videos on the D90 and also reading books.
I know everybody has to start some where but i need advice.
Whats the more important things to keep in mind starting out .:confused:
My biggest advice would be relax a bit. :) You don't need to be flat out trying to take in as much information as you humanly can. In some cases trying to do so can be detrimental to the whole learning process because you won't be able to properly take it all in which will be frustrating, and in turn that frustration will probably mean the enjoyment factor starts to diminish.

Personally I'd advise you shoot more than you watch tutorials and read books, those things are great for certain stuff but they won't show you what you actually like as a photographer and they won't help you develop your own style. Photography isn't about sitting at a computer studying (at least not fundamentally), it's about being out there and being a part of the world in whatever way you want to be.

Leave the books, manuals and other stuff alone for a few days and just go shoot. Hopefully it'll make you feel a bit more refreshed about it. :)
 
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Dave
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#9
Whats the more important things to keep in mind starting out .:confused:
Photograph things that interest you, and don't worry about "areas".
Leave the books, manuals and other stuff alone for a few days and just go shoot.
That's it in a nutshell. Stick the camera on P mode, go out and snap away while you get used to framing shots and handling the camera and discovering what draws your eye. When you have some pictures to look at is the time to start thinking of how to improve them.
 
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#11
Hi Darren

First off just relax and breathe slowly and deeply!

Now go and take photos. OK there's a bit more to it than that but remember that your camera will run from fully automatic through to fully manual.

I'd be inclined to keep it as simple as possible to start with, use the scene modes. If you find that you want to move on from that you can at your own pace.

Try the "P" mode and play about with aperture and shutter speeds - the camera will expose for you.

Don't get overwhelmed by it.

Above all remember it's fun and you'll progress at your own pace to a level that suits you.

And then you'll become utterly obsessive about it and spend every last penny on upgrading and find yourself getting out of bed at stupid o'clock and and and..................;)

Have fun

cheers, cw
 

Gupster

<span class="poty">POTY Winner 2012</span>
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Mark
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#12
Hi Darren

All of the above is sound advice but I would add one thing.

Try a photography evening class at a local college etc. Good courses will have a decent balance of classroom learning and practical stuff.

Years (and years) ago I tried one and it was brilliant. In fairness this was largely down to the chap taking the classes (pro, enthusiastic, knowledgeable, prepared to take us out to various locations at the weekend etc) but its success was also influenced by my classmates. They all had different interests and skill levels but I found that each had something unique to bring to the class. That could have been a bit of knowledge that I'd picked up from a more experienced photographer or the answer to a "simple" question that one of the less experienced pupils asked.

Our tutor would always set homework and then review everyones images at the beginning of the next class. This was immensely helpful as a guide to what helps make a successful image. Plus having the homework gave you a goal and made you think about your photography.

Whatever it was I was always inspired to improve.

There are 4 or 5 people from those classes that I'm still in contact with now, including the tutor, who I still go out on photography trips with now.

Admittedly, these courses can be a bit hit and miss but I'm sure someone on here who lives near you could make a recommendation.

It's certainly something to consider...

Also, have a go at TPs' own POTY (see link below) for some goals and inspiration. It costs nothing and I guarantee it'll improve your photography, even by the end of this year.

Cheers

Mark
 
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shannensdaddy
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485
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Darren
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#14
Hi
I have already purchased the D90 "The Expanded Guide " , I will have a look at the dummies guide because at the moment I feel like a dummy full of unanswered question but as they say everybody has to start somewhere ...I will check out the local college for available courses also .

Thanks ..
 
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