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Thread: Where to Begin??

  1. #1
    bisso7's Avatar
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    Where to Begin??

    As I mentioned in the welcome section of the forum, I am such the beginner with photography. I'm used to only shooting photos of birthdays, anniversaries, and when I occassionally take out-of-town trips. I love my new Canon Rebel T3, but I don't really know where to begin at times. Since I purchased my camera, I've spent more time reading up about it and reading posts on this forum than actually using the camera. LOL

    I want to go out and shoot photos every day, but I don't always know what to shoot? I"m looking for a bit of advice, I guess, as to just "where" to begin in this field of interest. I've been reading many of the posts, and it's somewhat overwhelming. I don't no anything about photo editing, either. I would appreciate any input from the more educated in photography. Thanks so much! ~Jeff

  2. #2
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    Re: Where to Begin??

    Hi Jeff,

    Welcome to the forums. Firstly your image isn't showing up, so you might want to give this thread a quick look to help in posting pictures here. Don't worry, we've all had this problem!

    And secondly, having read your location I would imagine there would be some pretty great scenery around? Or family portraits?

    I can only suggest you keep reading all the tutorials here, then go and experiment with whatever you have access to.
    Last edited by The Blue Boy; 5th June 2012 at 06:30 PM. Reason: Add link.

  3. #3
    bisso7's Avatar
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    Re: Where to Begin??

    This photo was taken at the local cemetary...I used my 55mm-250mm telephoto lens to take this shot. Please tell me what you see, if anything. Thank you...

  4. #4
    The Blue Boy's Avatar
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    Re: Where to Begin??

    Jeff,

    Again, picture not showing mate.

  5. #5
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    Re: Where to Begin??

    when starting out , it often pays to shoot anything and everything to get to know what your camera can do . practice practice and more practice is the way to go

  6. #6
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    Re: Where to Begin??

    Hello Jeff and another welcome to CiC.

    Unfortunately I can't see your photo. I find hosting my photos on a site like Photobucket and then copying the code for them into posts here works well. Hope this helps.


    I suggest you just take some photos of anything - in and around your hometown, family and friends, still life set ups indoors, anything at all really.

    If you don't already know about aperture, shutter speed and ISO, how they relate to each other and what effect they have on the image you get when taking a photo, then have a look at the tutorials on this site.

    I don't know if you do, but if you use your camera on Auto then a lot of the time it will give you decent photos, but a camera can be fooled by tricky lighting and also it may give you a well exposed photo, but not one that you want. For example, a photo of a single flower may be well exposed on Auto but both the flower and the background may be in focus. By selecting the aperture then you could have a sharp flower standing out from a blurred background.

    The great thing about digital photos is that they are free and all the exposure details are recorded so you can see the settings later and decide what worked and what did not.

    I'm guessing your camera came with some editing software. Is it called DPP for Canon cameras? Have a look at this first. If you want to try some other editors there are quite a few free ones, eg.

    Photoscape - very easy to use, not a lot of features, but often I find it does all I want,

    GIMP - many more features but more difficult to learn.

    There are many others, just Goggle "Free photo editors"

    Hope you get your photos up here OK.

    Dave

  7. #7
    bisso7's Avatar
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    Re: Where to Begin??

    I hope this works this time. . . .

    Where to Begin??

  8. #8
    bisso7's Avatar
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    Re: Where to Begin??

    I appreciate the input thus far. These two photos I've uploaded were taken with "landscape" mode. I've been reading up on the concepts of aperature, ISO, and shutter speed, mostly (the "exposure triangle"), and have a pretty good grasp on them. Just need to go out and practice, practice, practice. LOL. I haven't had much time lately to get the practice, but I do look forward to sharing photos on this site in the future and getting any helpful feedback.



    Where to Begin??

  9. #9

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    Re: Where to Begin??

    To be honest, Jeff, you will need to get very close to obtain photos of tiny birds with that lens. Something twice that size is normally recommended.

    However, using a different approach may help. For instance, you still need to get closer but you can achieve some extra impact by by cropping closer.

    I suspect that you can create an interesting scene with this shot by cropping to show the gravestone plus a bird on top of it. Which will work where a similar shot of just the bird would seem lacking.

    The main thing when starting photography is to just keep shooting, and reading. Expect a lot of initial discards, but don't get discouraged by that. Eventually, everything will start to make sense.

    Try all styles, portraits of family and friends, pets, gardens, buildings, etc. Then you will gradually find what sort of scenes most appeal to you.

  10. #10
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Where to Begin??

    Hi Jeff,

    Welcome to the CiC forums from me, and glad to see you are off to a good start.

    If I have one bit of advice, following on from/adding to the above, it would be to tackle one thing at a time, or as you already appreciate, it can become overwhelming. If you have a grasp of the exposure triangle, then now might be a good time to move from scene modes to say aperture priority.

    Also, as soon as you identify a particular type of photography you enjoy, I'd recommend you semi-concentrate on that, to allow quicker progress with all that practice, practice, practicing. I did that with cycle road race events back in 2008 and it gives a god boost to confidence.

    All the best,

  11. #11

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    Re: Where to Begin??

    Hello Jeff.

    Here is my photography approach, it maybe can help.

    1.How can you make a photo if you don't know your camera. I suggest to do a very simple but difficult thing READ THE CAMERA's MANUAL. Don't say this i know, this i know... take it slowly.
    2. Try to understand the 3 terms of the EXPOSURE (practicaly what you are doing when taking a photo is to set a VALUE, also let's call it EXPOSURE (that is a relation between Aperture, Shutter speed, ISO). E.g. f/2.8, 1/200, ISO 100. For the camera this is a value (that measures the LIGHT). Simplier, you are photographing a scene with objects ILUMINATED BY A LIGHT. What you are picturing is the LIGHT(and the objects around it).
    3. Try to understand the METERING system of the camera(see in manual) also. Again you must understand how your camera is measuring the LIGHT in the scene. I believe first you should understand the instruments you are working with. Although i give advice , i'm not using them as much as i want. But i'm discovering them day by day.
    4. FRUSTRATION IS PART OF THE PROCESS.
    5. PRACTICE!
    6. After a while take into consideration the term of COMPOSITION(how objects are placed in a scene). Now you are not seeing shapes, all you see is things. There are some rules of composition and stuffs. In the end when you're looking at a photo you will start to recognise the elements that form that scene.

    Hope it helps.

  12. #12
    bisso7's Avatar
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    Re: Where to Begin??

    Thanks, everyone, for all of your input and advice. A person can simply "shoot a photo," but it's a whole different ballgame, I'm finding out rather quickly, when you're shooting and trying to understand the specifics of everything that's occurring, trying to maintain a proper balance of aperature, shutter speed, and ISO, in order to acheive that desired exposure. It's, actually, quite fascinating.

    Boring as it may be at times, Ana, I've been reading the owners manual rather thoroughly, in addition to many of the tutorials on the website and posts from other members. Slowly, I'm beginning to look at shooting photos in a entirely different manner than what I have in the past. Over the past week, or so, it has been a bit overwhelming but in a good way. Trying to understand some of the concepts, such as metering and how the sensor works have been a bit frustrating. It makes me wish I had more structure and a personal trainer to guide me in some of the specifics. On the other hand, self-training can often be more rewarding, so I take it as a fun challenge of which I am confident that, someday, will begin to reap rewards for me in many ways. I have a great deal of patience in all of this, so no worries.

    Thanks again, everyone!

  13. #13

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    Re: Where to Begin??

    Jeff: You have some nice country down there, been throught the Bellefontaine area a few times (Lakeview). I would suggest two things, take your camera and just go out and have some fun, (put on some tunes) walk about and shoot some images have fun. Second is take some shoots of things that you go pass everyday but never see ie: the can holding the mail box post up, a leaning fence line, things you see every day but never take notice of. If you look at Donald's bridge set, that is something that is seen everyday but not noticed, well it is now. There is a third thing, look at the images, then ask your self questions, learn from your mistakes, and keep shooting.

    Cheers:

    Allan

  14. #14
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    Re: Where to Begin??

    Jeff,

    I would not get too involved with f/stops and shutter speeds at the start.

    Set your camera in the P (programmed) exposure mode and your ISO at 200 for outdoor day shots.

    The camera does a very nice job in selecting the shutter speed and f/stop giving you a generally well exposed image.

    As you are shooting in the P mode, look at the speed/aperture your camera is selecting. You can learn a lot from that! Adjust the shutter speeds and apertures and see what that does for (or to) your image.

    Concentrate your efforts on composition.

    Learn the rule of thirds...

    Be very cognizent of what is going on in the background. This is probably the biggest difference between good and poor photography...

    Have a main point of interest in each image (if possible)

    There are lots of other techniques like leading lines, selective focus, etc which will improve photography.

    However, like using the Programmed exposure at the start, a person needs to walk before they can run.

    Seeing (not just looking at) other person's photos is a great way to improve your own photography...

    Learn post processing with a decent photo editing program. There are often just little editing tweaks which will improve images greatly...

  15. #15

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    Re: Where to Begin??

    Sharing the way I decided to start learning photography.

    1. Read camera's manual thoroughly and a basic understanding of what all options do.
    I have experienced that canon's interface is easier to understand when we are just all new to dslr.

    2.Understand the basics briefly(* not in depth *).
    If I sit and wait to learn everything in depth before I start to take pictures, then probably I would end up reading forever and also if I go out to take pictures without understanding the basics then its a waste of time.

    eg: I had occasional difficulties on focusing(my camera would keep on shuttling with annoying sound and did not know why), which I later on realised was focus hunting due to lack of contrast points on the subject I was focusing.

    http://www.exposureguide.com/ is a good source of basic information in short summary.

    3. Go out and practise. Shoot RAW + JPEG.

    4.Learn basics of photo postprocessing and practise them.

    5.Once you start practising and understanding the basics, spend enough time on cic.com to understand the science behind all that's happening(the most staisfying moment)

    Optional extras that I do or want to do:
    1.Post images on photography websites (there are many out there flickr,smugmug etc etc..). The most popular one these days is 500px : http://500px.com/search?utf8=%E2%9C%93&q=sreekesh (Thats my page :-) )

    2.Take a photography class at a nearby location(Keep looking groupon,livingsocial,googleoffers etc for good deals on them, usualy there are 3hr classes for $50 on these websites which are regularly sold for $90 in USA)

    3. Buy a book that fits your reading style and follow that:

    -free ebook : How to create stunning digital photography(tony northrups)

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