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For the Learner - my thoughts
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Oct 17, 2017 16:20:59   #
G Brown (a regular here)
 
Learning Photography – My thoughts

Photography is a big field – and, you want to start taking images that look good straight away?
There is a lot you will have to learn. Three things make a great image: how YOU use the camera, how YOU post process the image and how YOU display that image. Getting all three right is a long journey.

Read the camera manual - it tells you how to get your camera working and how to change settings:
I suggest : Check that the camera and lens are set to Auto Focus (buttons on camera and lens)
Choose Raw + L Jpg as file format.
Choose auto focus to centre or single point.
Choose switch on gridlines (may be called Rule of Thirds)
Set Camera to full Auto mode.
Why these settings
Auto focus works 99% of the time. Centre point makes sure that what you point at is in focus.
Raw + L Jpg allows you the most choice in Post Processing and also getting the biggest print choice.
Gridlines allow you to get horizontal and verticles correctly aligned.
Full Auto will give you great images to start.
Now go out and enjoy taking ‘snaps’.

Use the software disk to process your images – See the difference between Raw and Jpg images….Make copies of your images BEFORE you play with the sliders and controls!

Read about ‘Composition in photography’. Search on-line to a variety of websites – some you will like and others will discuss it using ‘Photography speak’. Read both and get an overview of the technical terms and an ‘idea’ of why you should choose what you focus on and where in the viewfinder you place your subject….. your images will get better even when you are still useing full Auto mode.

Use Programme Auto. You will now understand easily ‘When and Where’ these different modes should be used. Combined with your increased knowledge of composition you will now have a broader understanding of different situations and lighting that you can photograph.

The fancy stuff: This requires the understanding of ‘Photography Speak’
Aperture defines both how much light comes into the camera and also whether your background is in or out of focus. (Depth of Field)
Shutter Speed defines how much movement you allow (Blur) or stop (Sharpness)
ISO controls the relationship between the both shutter and aperture. Whether you hand hold or use a tripod

This is where you get to make choices and screw up OR shine!!!! SO ALWAYS start the shoot in full auto and play later. Start to use A mode and S mode following tutorials and see how you need to change one or two settings for every picture, how the white balance and ISO needs to be thought about!!! what other ‘KIT’ you have to buy.
Now you are no longer a ‘learner’ but a novice! NOW you know enough to realise what you like to photograph and what you need to understand to get better photographs. You might even venture into Manual Mode!

| Reply
Oct 17, 2017 16:26:09   #
flyguy
 
Some good advice in my opinion.

| Reply
Oct 17, 2017 16:38:06   #
rockdog (a regular here)
 
G Brown wrote:
Learning Photography – My thoughts

Photography is a big field – and, you want to start taking images that look good straight away?
There is a lot you will have to learn. Three things make a great image: how YOU use the camera, how YOU post process the image and how YOU display that image. Getting all three right is a long journey.

Read the camera manual - it tells you how to get your camera working and how to change settings:
I suggest : Check that the camera and lens are set to Auto Focus (buttons on camera and lens)
Choose Raw + L Jpg as file format.
Choose auto focus to centre or single point.
Choose switch on gridlines (may be called Rule of Thirds)
Set Camera to full Auto mode.
Why these settings
Auto focus works 99% of the time. Centre point makes sure that what you point at is in focus.
Raw + L Jpg allows you the most choice in Post Processing and also getting the biggest print choice.
Gridlines allow you to get horizontal and verticles correctly aligned.
Full Auto will give you great images to start.
Now go out and enjoy taking ‘snaps’.

Use the software disk to process your images – See the difference between Raw and Jpg images….Make copies of your images BEFORE you play with the sliders and controls!

Read about ‘Composition in photography’. Search on-line to a variety of websites – some you will like and others will discuss it using ‘Photography speak’. Read both and get an overview of the technical terms and an ‘idea’ of why you should choose what you focus on and where in the viewfinder you place your subject….. your images will get better even when you are still useing full Auto mode.

Use Programme Auto. You will now understand easily ‘When and Where’ these different modes should be used. Combined with your increased knowledge of composition you will now have a broader understanding of different situations and lighting that you can photograph.

The fancy stuff: This requires the understanding of ‘Photography Speak’
Aperture defines both how much light comes into the camera and also whether your background is in or out of focus. (Depth of Field)
Shutter Speed defines how much movement you allow (Blur) or stop (Sharpness)
ISO controls the relationship between the both shutter and aperture. Whether you hand hold or use a tripod

This is where you get to make choices and screw up OR shine!!!! SO ALWAYS start the shoot in full auto and play later. Start to use A mode and S mode following tutorials and see how you need to change one or two settings for every picture, how the white balance and ISO needs to be thought about!!! what other ‘KIT’ you have to buy.
Now you are no longer a ‘learner’ but a novice! NOW you know enough to realise what you like to photograph and what you need to understand to get better photographs. You might even venture into Manual Mode!
Learning Photography – My thoughts br br Photogra... (show quote)



Well done! This is one of the best primers I have seen of UHH in 6 years, thanks. Bookmarked and ready for reference to so many "what am I doing wrong?" posts.
Phil

| Reply
Oct 17, 2017 17:03:04   #
lsimpkins
 
You might add that a great image needs a subject that is interesting (to at least some people). Otherwise I have to concur that this should be helpful to all with an interest in getting into digital photography, as opposed to just taking the occasional picture or selphy.

| Reply
Oct 17, 2017 17:19:07   #
G Brown (a regular here)
 
lsimpkins wrote:
You might add that a great image needs a subject that is interesting (to at least some people). Otherwise I have to concur that this should be helpful to all with an interest in getting into digital photography, as opposed to just taking the occasional picture or selphy.


This is why I need people to add some of their thoughts too... I hope anyone who starts to read this then goes on to read the comments.

Please don't tell people to start in manual - it leads to a lot of spoiled images and disappointment that a learner doesn't need.
When asked...sugest a book. But a hot link is probably quicker to get someones interest

Thanks
George

| Reply
Oct 17, 2017 18:25:23   #
Peterff
 
G Brown wrote:
This is why I need people to add some of their thoughts too... I hope anyone who starts to read this then goes on to read the comments.

Please don't tell people to start in manual - it leads to a lot of spoiled images and disappointment that a learner doesn't need.
When asked...sugest [SIC] a book. But a hot link is probably quicker to get someones interest

Thanks
George


Well, you're really talking about education theory and practice here. I would at least suggest that you keep it camera brand independent. None of my cameras have an S mode in the way that you mean it. Sticking to generic terms / principles may be more useful for terminology. Other than that minor 'nit' it's a good basic list / elementary course prospectus.

By hot links, do you mean sausages? What do they have to do with photography?

| Reply
Oct 17, 2017 18:33:38   #
Bill_de (a regular here)
 
Peterff wrote:
Well, you're really talking about education theory and practice here. I would at least suggest that you keep it camera brand independent. None of my cameras have an S mode in the way that you mean it. Sticking to generic terms / principles may be more useful for terminology. Other than that minor 'nit' it's a good basic list / elementary course prospectus.

By hot links, do you mean sausages? What do they have to do with photography?
Well, you're really talking about education theory... (show quote)


Are you using modern digital camera that someone getting started would use? I thought they all had shutter priority mode.

--

| Reply
Oct 17, 2017 18:34:08   #
Peterff
 
lsimpkins wrote:
You might add that a great image needs a subject that is interesting (to at least some people). Otherwise I have to concur that this should be helpful to all with an interest in getting into digital photography, as opposed to just taking the occasional picture or selphy.


Yep.

| Reply
Oct 17, 2017 18:39:00   #
Peterff
 
Bill_de wrote:
Are you using modern digital camera that someone getting started would use? I thought they all had shutter priority mode.

--


Yes, but it isn't always designated as 'S' mode. That could be confusing to people that use the market leading camera brand, other than smart phones of course, which are the dominant camera type in use. That's why I suggest using generic terms such as 'shutter priority' instead of 'S'.

| Reply
Oct 17, 2017 18:40:32   #
Bill_de (a regular here)
 
Peterff wrote:
Yes, but it isn't always designated as 'S' mode. That could be confusing to people that use the market leading camera brand, other than smart phones of course, which are the dominant camera type in use. That's why I suggest using generic terms such as 'shutter priority' instead of 'S'.



| Reply
Oct 17, 2017 18:52:06   #
SharpShooter (a regular here)
 
G Brown wrote:
Learning Photography – My thoughts

Photography is a big field – and, you want to start taking images that look good straight away?
There is a lot you will have to learn. Three things make a great image: how YOU use the camera, how YOU post process the image and how YOU display that image. Getting all three right is a long journey.

Read the camera manual - it tells you how to get your camera working and how to change settings:
I suggest : Check that the camera and lens are set to Auto Focus (buttons on camera and lens)
Choose Raw + L Jpg as file format.
Choose auto focus to centre or single point.
Choose switch on gridlines (may be called Rule of Thirds)
Set Camera to full Auto mode.
Why these settings
Auto focus works 99% of the time. Centre point makes sure that what you point at is in focus.
Raw + L Jpg allows you the most choice in Post Processing and also getting the biggest print choice.
Gridlines allow you to get horizontal and verticles correctly aligned.
Full Auto will give you great images to start.
Now go out and enjoy taking ‘snaps’.

Use the software disk to process your images – See the difference between Raw and Jpg images….Make copies of your images BEFORE you play with the sliders and controls!

Read about ‘Composition in photography’. Search on-line to a variety of websites – some you will like and others will discuss it using ‘Photography speak’. Read both and get an overview of the technical terms and an ‘idea’ of why you should choose what you focus on and where in the viewfinder you place your subject….. your images will get better even when you are still useing full Auto mode.

Use Programme Auto. You will now understand easily ‘When and Where’ these different modes should be used. Combined with your increased knowledge of composition you will now have a broader understanding of different situations and lighting that you can photograph.

The fancy stuff: This requires the understanding of ‘Photography Speak’
Aperture defines both how much light comes into the camera and also whether your background is in or out of focus. (Depth of Field)
Shutter Speed defines how much movement you allow (Blur) or stop (Sharpness)
ISO controls the relationship between the both shutter and aperture. Whether you hand hold or use a tripod

This is where you get to make choices and screw up OR shine!!!! SO ALWAYS start the shoot in full auto and play later. Start to use A mode and S mode following tutorials and see how you need to change one or two settings for every picture, how the white balance and ISO needs to be thought about!!! what other ‘KIT’ you have to buy.
Now you are no longer a ‘learner’ but a novice! NOW you know enough to realise what you like to photograph and what you need to understand to get better photographs. You might even venture into Manual Mode!
Learning Photography – My thoughts br br Photogra... (show quote)


GB, here's what I think. Most of what you elude to are the technical aspects of photography, which yes, should be known, but it's not an absolute necessity!!!
My suggestion is to add that EVERYBODY take at least two years of study at an accredited brick and mortar school with a GOOD photography program. Is that a long time? Maybe! But how many have been shooting for 50 years and are still clueless about what is, and how to create a good image???
It's a small price to pay and a short amount of time to prepare one for a lifetime of making VERY good images!!! Just my two cents!
SS

| Reply
Oct 17, 2017 18:56:41   #
crazydaddio
 
Great primer and good feedback so far.

After they have graduated to novice...
I would add the idea of noodling around in Pinterest or 500px etc and ask yourself "how did they get that picture". That alone has driven my journey. Once you understand the basics and start to take full control of your gear, seeing other peoples images (bokeh, starbursts, creamy waterfalls, nighttime "hearts" made with sparklers etc), will fuel your desire to learn.
...careful though, you may wind up as a part time photographer shooting sports, weddings and events :-)

| Reply
Oct 17, 2017 21:09:06   #
tdekany (a regular here)
 
crazydaddio wrote:
500px etc and ask yourself "how did they get that picture" :-)


In my book, that should be done right away. Crucial to learn about the right subject matter and how important that is to good Photography.

Why waste time with taking snapshots and not realizing it?

| Reply
Oct 17, 2017 21:34:14   #
Rongnongno
 
G Brown wrote:
Learning Photography – My thoughts

Photography is a big field – and, you want to start taking images that look good straight away?
There is a lot you will have to learn. Three things make a great image: how YOU use the camera, how YOU post process the image and how YOU display that image. Getting all three right is a long journey.

Read the camera manual - it tells you how to get your camera working and how to change settings:
I suggest : Check that the camera and lens are set to Auto Focus (buttons on camera and lens)
Choose Raw + L Jpg as file format.
Choose auto focus to centre or single point.
Choose switch on gridlines (may be called Rule of Thirds)
Set Camera to full Auto mode.
Why these settings
Auto focus works 99% of the time. Centre point makes sure that what you point at is in focus.
Raw + L Jpg allows you the most choice in Post Processing and also getting the biggest print choice.
Gridlines allow you to get horizontal and verticles correctly aligned.
Full Auto will give you great images to start.
Now go out and enjoy taking ‘snaps’.

Use the software disk to process your images – See the difference between Raw and Jpg images….Make copies of your images BEFORE you play with the sliders and controls!

Read about ‘Composition in photography’. Search on-line to a variety of websites – some you will like and others will discuss it using ‘Photography speak’. Read both and get an overview of the technical terms and an ‘idea’ of why you should choose what you focus on and where in the viewfinder you place your subject….. your images will get better even when you are still useing full Auto mode.

Use Programme Auto. You will now understand easily ‘When and Where’ these different modes should be used. Combined with your increased knowledge of composition you will now have a broader understanding of different situations and lighting that you can photograph.

The fancy stuff: This requires the understanding of ‘Photography Speak’
Aperture defines both how much light comes into the camera and also whether your background is in or out of focus. (Depth of Field)
Shutter Speed defines how much movement you allow (Blur) or stop (Sharpness)
ISO controls the relationship between the both shutter and aperture. Whether you hand hold or use a tripod

This is where you get to make choices and screw up OR shine!!!! SO ALWAYS start the shoot in full auto and play later. Start to use A mode and S mode following tutorials and see how you need to change one or two settings for every picture, how the white balance and ISO needs to be thought about!!! what other ‘KIT’ you have to buy.
Now you are no longer a ‘learner’ but a novice! NOW you know enough to realise what you like to photograph and what you need to understand to get better photographs. You might even venture into Manual Mode!
Learning Photography – My thoughts br br Photogra... (show quote)

Sorry but this is just a bunch of rules and unnecessary steps. Not every hobbyist wants to learn.

Actually for me there is one other method, much simpler that spells 'F R E E D O M'.

Take images of what interest you.

Before long one gets concerned by some aspect of the capture then starts to seek ways to improve.

Never forget that any hobby is for the person who is interested, not for other folks.

Not everyone who has a hobby -any hobby- needs to become expert or even good at it.

This of course is my (dissenting) opinion.

| Reply
Oct 17, 2017 23:20:56   #
rook2c4
 
G Brown wrote:
Choose Raw + L Jpg as file format.

I think the beginner is better served sticking to JPG and focusing on the more important aspects of photography, such as composition, exposure and coming up with interesting ideas. Learning how to process RAW files can come later, after the beginner has mastered the basics. The less the beginner is overwhelmed, the easier the learning process, and the less likely the beginner will lose interest and give up. Besides, if the camera is set to RAW file output, does one really need the camera to spit out JPG files as well? Having both the camera and the photographer process and convert the same images independently seems a bit redundant to me.

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