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Thread: Newbie hoping to gain some knowledge

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    Newbie hoping to gain some knowledge

    Hi, my name is Annette and I just purchased my first DLSR. I started getting into photography about a year ago and started with the Nikon S8200 compact digital, which by the way, is a great little camera. But as time went on my passion grew and I wanted more. I finally just purchased the new Nikon D5200 and I love it. It is so different from a regular compact and I am already becoming overwhelmed with learning all the neat advantages of a DSLR. I wanted to introduce myself and say I am open for any tips and tricks anyone has to share. I am at best still a beginner and hope to learn from all of the more experienced photographers around here!

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    Shadowman's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie hoping to gain some knowledge

    Welcome to the group Annette. Best way to start would be to upload a few photos and if there is something you didn't like about it, want commentary, want suggestions, just ask away. Also, what was it about the compact that left you wanting more?

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    Re: Newbie hoping to gain some knowledge

    Thanks Shadowman! I guess it's hard to pinpoint it exactly, I was always trying to take the perfect picture and spent countless hours snapping at everything I could, but, there was just something missing. I felt grounded, or limited in my creativity. I would stay up half the night, just viewing photos in galleries and made it my goal to be that good someday. I have been dabbling in website and graphic design since 1997 and decided I didnt want that anymore, I wanted to capture moments, real moments and expressions, and memories. So here I am. I have a few shots I have taken with the new DSLR I could upload, what is the appropriate area to post?

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    PhotoRob's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie hoping to gain some knowledge

    Greetings from Tampa, Annette, and welcome to CIC! There are two main forums; click the Forum navigation at the top of the page, and you'll have People & Pets, or Nature & Architecture (and everything else).

    Dive right in, look forward to the pics.

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    Re: Newbie hoping to gain some knowledge

    Newbie hoping to gain some knowledge


    My cat Boo.
    Nikon D5200
    F/3.5
    Focal length 18mm
    ISO 1600
    Last edited by annette71; 20th February 2013 at 11:36 PM. Reason: Image didn't upload

  6. #6

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    Re: Newbie hoping to gain some knowledge

    Thanks Robert, sorry I already posted this here before I got your reply. I will have to also read all the rules about posting, this one looks fairly big for the forum.

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    Shadowman's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie hoping to gain some knowledge

    Quote Originally Posted by annette71 View Post
    Thanks Robert, sorry I already posted this here before I got your reply. I will have to also read all the rules about posting, this one looks fairly big for the forum.
    It's fine that you posted here as it relates to the initial request to see some of your images and will help other responders if they don't have to jump from thread to thread.

  8. #8

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    Re: Newbie hoping to gain some knowledge

    Ok cool. I posted this one of my son in the forum Robert mentioned.

    http://i48.tinypic.com/2cok70h.jpg

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    Re: Newbie hoping to gain some knowledge

    Quote Originally Posted by annette71 View Post
    Newbie hoping to gain some knowledge


    My cat Boo.
    Nikon D5200
    F/3.5
    Focal length 18mm
    ISO 1600
    A couple of questions about your image:
    1. Did you choose the settings or did you shoot on AUTO? No wrong answer, just curious.
    2. i take it your pet (name please) is one of your interests, what are your other interests besides graphic design?
    3. What made you choose this angle to photograph your cat?
    4. Did you do any post processing? Did you crop the photo or did you compose the shot as is?
    Don't feel rushed to answer but a few of the above questions will allow us to see where you are as a photographer.

    Regarding the photo, its very good. I like the exposure, the darks are handled well, nice DOF.

  10. #10

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    Re: Newbie hoping to gain some knowledge

    1. It was not shot in auto, I do remember that, because I remember thinking, "no flash" so I adjusted the ISO myself. (I will have to get better about remembering what mode I shoot in) I am pretty sure it was Aperture Priority mode
    2. My cats name is Boo. I also like to read, and I love music and dance. I used to write poetry, a long time ago, but havent done much of that lately. I like to cook and I am very interested in Forensic Pyschology.
    3. I chose that angle to be on his level and to try to be on an even playing field with him. To look at him eye to eye. He has an interesting attitude and unique personality, I was hoping to catch that in the image. I came very close to what I wanted.
    4. I did crop the photo and I sharpened and adjusted the contrast a bit. That was it.

    Thank you for your interest and feedback!

  11. #11
    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie hoping to gain some knowledge

    Hi Annette - Welcome to CiC.

    Nice shot; I think you capture your cat's personality quite nicely. I think the catchlights in the cat's eyes work quite well and give him / her (?) eyes a bit of a spark.

    The one thing that strikes me is that your colour balance appears to be off; the whole scene has a bit of a yellow colour cast. If you are shooting jpeg, make sure you set your colour balance correctly and if you are shooting RAW, tweak it in post processing.

    Newbie hoping to gain some knowledge
    Last edited by Manfred M; 21st February 2013 at 03:15 AM. Reason: Added image

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    Re: Newbie hoping to gain some knowledge

    Quote Originally Posted by annette71 View Post
    1. It was not shot in auto, I do remember that, because I remember thinking, "no flash" so I adjusted the ISO myself. (I will have to get better about remembering what mode I shoot in) I am pretty sure it was Aperture Priority mode
    2. My cats name is Boo. I also like to read, and I love music and dance. I used to write poetry, a long time ago, but havent done much of that lately. I like to cook and I am very interested in Forensic Pyschology.
    3. I chose that angle to be on his level and to try to be on an even playing field with him. To look at him eye to eye. He has an interesting attitude and unique personality, I was hoping to catch that in the image. I came very close to what I wanted.
    4. I did crop the photo and I sharpened and adjusted the contrast a bit. That was it.

    Thank you for your interest and feedback!
    Hi Annette,

    Thanks for the quick response. Based on your answers you appear to have transitioned smoothly from compact to DSLR. You should find many challenging subjects with your many interests.

    One recommendation would be to photoraph Boo in different lighting situations, you wll notice the effects each light source has on the black and white fur, the eyes, and the surroundings.

    Also, take a look at the negative space around Boo, is there anything that stands out to you, anything you would enhance, incorporate more into the image?

  13. #13

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    Re: Newbie hoping to gain some knowledge

    Wow, thanks Manfred, I see the difference. I did think the photo looked kind of yellowish as well. Those are things I have to get a better grip on, adjusting white and color balance. One thing I did read is the effects of different lighting and in my dining room, where this was shot, we have those energy saver bulbs, that could be it. I am shooting in jpeg for now. Haven't jumped into RAW yet, so I will have to keep a better eye on my balances as I shoot. Thanks so much for the tips. I really appreciate the feedback.

  14. #14

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    Re: Newbie hoping to gain some knowledge

    Thanks John, I forgot to mention, I love macro photography! I am absolutely fascinated by it, as I also love nature. I think one of my first "big" investments is going to be a nice macro lens. Right now, I have the kit lens 18-55 mm and some beginner attachments lenses I bought to "practice"

    As far as this photo, I would have preferred to get as much of just him as I could in the shot, instead I ended up cropping, because I had too much space around him.

  15. #15

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    Re: Newbie hoping to gain some knowledge

    Here is my recipe for newcomers to the world of DSLR ... thinking to improve their skills rapidly and concretely.

    Preparation stage ...
    1. Learn the exposure triangle.

    In the first month ...
    1. Read an introductory book about photographic composition and learn all the basic compositional terms,
    2. Read the manual of your camera from the first cover to the last cover carefully ... try to learn all the new terms at the basic level,
    3. Take a lot of shots ... practice the exposure triangle variables and their interactions ... and try to practice the new terms from the composition book.

    Ok, this is enough for the first month ...

    In the second month ...
    1. If you don't use Photoshop, install it on your computer,
    1. Find a book about Photoshop and learn what the histogram is - the most important tool in digital photography ... and get some information about how to use the levels and curves adjustments in Photoshop,
    3. Read the chapter about Camera Raw,
    4. Don't waste your time with JPEGs anymore, shoot raw and begin to process your raws in Camera Raw ... try to learn the workings and functions of main adjustments in Camera Raw.

    And, finally, ask us a lot of questions here in these two months ...

    For the last four months of the first half of year, shoot raw and process them in Photoshop. Read a book or two about Photoshop slowly from cover to cover and practice every thing you learn from the books. Practice Camera Raw and Photoshop as much as possible.

    Then, after the first half of year, you will be using Photoshop for your photographic purposes and you will have complete control on your camera.

    For the second half of year ...

    You're now ready for some extra information about the subjects you learnt in the first half and also for some specific areas of photogrpahy ... B&W, macro, flash photography, lighting, HDR etc ... choose one of them and try to learn all the aspects of it as far as you can do.

    For the second year ...


  16. #16
    mknittle's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie hoping to gain some knowledge

    Having enough to crop can be a good thing. It works well in nature shots with cameras that don't have a 100% viewfinder like my last camera. I often ended up with "stuff" in the image that wasn't in the viewfinder. Choices are good.

    if money is tight check into GIMP it is like photoshop but free.

    Also David Busch writes some really good manuals far better than the ones that come with the camera.
    Last edited by mknittle; 21st February 2013 at 04:29 PM.

  17. #17
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    Re: Newbie hoping to gain some knowledge

    Annette,

    Welcome to the forum.

    You asked:

    I wanted to introduce myself and say I am open for any tips and tricks anyone has to share.
    I don't want to sound discouraging, but that is really the wrong approach. If you want to become a good photographer, you can't look for a handful of tips and tricks. You need to practice and study, a few topics at a time, and you will see improvements as you do so. It is far to complicated a process to handle without systematic learning. I think this is what Altay is getting at as well, although I would not give you such a prescriptive list. For example, you can do just fine without Photoshop. Here are the major categories of things that you need to learn. It sounds overwhelming, but it isn't if you take your time.

    1. How does your camera work? Read the manual, probably more than once.
    2. Learn about exposure--the relationship between ISO, aperture, and shutter speed. Along with this, learn about the effects of enlarging or decreasing aperture and ISO, so you will have a basis for trading off between these three settings.
    3. With this, learn how to meter using your camera's metering options.
    4. Read some on lighting and composition
    5. Learn about postprocessing. This is IMHO by far the hardest, but again, take it a step at a time.
    6. Practice, practice, practice. Then practice some more. Ask people specific questions about your images.

    The tutorials on this site are superb, so you can make a lot of headway with them. There are also resources on a number of other sites, such as photo.net.

    Re macro: this is the type of photography I most enjoy (I'll post a few of mine below), and I hope you decide to try it. However, I would recommend that you NOT try it until you have the basics under control. Macro is technically by far the most demanding photography I do, and unless you are already comfortable with the basics, there is a good chance that you will be so frustrated by macro that you won't persist with it, and that would be a pity. Once you are comfortable with the basics, then it won't seem so hard to learn all the additional stuff that successful macro requires.

    So, my advice is: read a little, and then go practice. Then read some more, and go practice again. Have fun doing it. Persist, and the results will be gratifying. But don't expect instant results--that just sets you up for being discouraged.

    Dan

    Newbie hoping to gain some knowledge

    Newbie hoping to gain some knowledge

  18. #18

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    Re: Newbie hoping to gain some knowledge

    Quote Originally Posted by AltayHan View Post
    Here is my recipe for newcomers to the world of DSLR ... thinking to improve their skills rapidly and concretely.

    Preparation stage ...
    1. Learn the exposure triangle.

    In the first month ...
    1. Read an introductory book about photographic composition and learn all the basic compositional terms,
    2. Read the manual of your camera from the first cover to the last cover carefully ... try to learn all the new terms at the basic level,
    3. Take a lot of shots ... practice the exposure triangle variables and their interactions ... and try to practice the new terms from the composition book.

    Ok, this is enough for the first month ...

    In the second month ...
    1. If you don't use Photoshop, install it on your computer,
    1. Find a book about Photoshop and learn what the histogram is - the most important tool in digital photography ... and get some information about how to use the levels and curves adjustments in Photoshop,
    3. Read the chapter about Camera Raw,
    4. Don't waste your time with JPEGs anymore, shoot raw and begin to process your raws in Camera Raw ... try to learn the workings and functions of main adjustments in Camera Raw.

    And, finally, ask us a lot of questions here in these two months ...

    For the last four months of the first half of year, shoot raw and process them in Photoshop. Read a book or two about Photoshop slowly from cover to cover and practice every thing you learn from the books. Practice Camera Raw and Photoshop as much as possible.

    Then, after the first half of year, you will be using Photoshop for your photographic purposes and you will have complete control on your camera.

    For the second half of year ...

    You're now ready for some extra information about the subjects you learnt in the first half and also for some specific areas of photogrpahy ... B&W, macro, flash photography, lighting, HDR etc ... choose one of them and try to learn all the aspects of it as far as you can do.

    For the second year ...

    Altay, thanks so muh, I have been doing much of this already. I will admit, I havent looked through my manual cover to cover yet. I do have Photoshop, and Lightroom and am pretty good with Photoshop, still learning Lightroom. Histograms, that word boggles my mind, but I have been paying more attention to it. These are great tips and I will try to follow accordingly!

  19. #19

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    Re: Newbie hoping to gain some knowledge

    Quote Originally Posted by DanK View Post
    Annette,

    Welcome to the forum.

    You asked:



    I don't want to sound discouraging, but that is really the wrong approach. If you want to become a good photographer, you can't look for a handful of tips and tricks. You need to practice and study, a few topics at a time, and you will see improvements as you do so. It is far to complicated a process to handle without systematic learning. I think this is what Altay is getting at as well, although I would not give you such a prescriptive list. For example, you can do just fine without Photoshop. Here are the major categories of things that you need to learn. It sounds overwhelming, but it isn't if you take your time.

    1. How does your camera work? Read the manual, probably more than once.
    2. Learn about exposure--the relationship between ISO, aperture, and shutter speed. Along with this, learn about the effects of enlarging or decreasing aperture and ISO, so you will have a basis for trading off between these three settings.
    3. With this, learn how to meter using your camera's metering options.
    4. Read some on lighting and composition
    5. Learn about postprocessing. This is IMHO by far the hardest, but again, take it a step at a time.
    6. Practice, practice, practice. Then practice some more. Ask people specific questions about your images.

    The tutorials on this site are superb, so you can make a lot of headway with them. There are also resources on a number of other sites, such as photo.net.

    Re macro: this is the type of photography I most enjoy (I'll post a few of mine below), and I hope you decided to try it. However, I would recommend that you NOT try it until you have the basics under control. Macro is technically by far the most demanding photography I do, and unless you are already comfortable with the basics, there is a good chance that you will be so frustrated that you won't persist with it. Once you are comfortable with the basics, then it won't seem so hard to learn all the additional stuff that successful macro requires.

    So, my advice is: read a little, and then go practice. Then read some more, and go practice again. Have fun doing it. Persist, and the results will be gratifying. But don't expect instant results--that just sets you up for being discouraged.

    Dan

    Newbie hoping to gain some knowledge

    Newbie hoping to gain some knowledge
    Dan,

    I understand what you are saying. I guess what I was looking for more, is critique and just exactly what Altay introduced. The best way to get started. I have a little knowledge of things but want to learn so much more.

    I think I lean more towards Macro and wildlife. I havent had much opportunity to photograph people. My kids hate having pictures taken and teen and young adult boys arent interested in being moms model. Your shots are simply amazing, thanks so much for sharing.

    I will be stopping by the library to check out some books and I already have a photoshop book, that I have browsed through from tim to time. Could b time to start hitting the books even harder! Thanks!

  20. #20

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    Re: Newbie hoping to gain some knowledge

    Our monitors could be set differently but I prefer the warm version of Boo to the horrible cloride print version ... it might be 'correct' but it lacks the attractiveness of the original. Shame you cut his ear, I did the same with my favourite shot of Smudge my last cat ... and if possible one should watch the background as this one is a little 'hot'.

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