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I am a beginner in photography and especially for a Nikon D90. Can you please point me to some resources about getting started with Nikon D90 (did some googling and found some resources, but none of them are really targeted to a new user). I am more likely looking for getting good photographs with effects like smooth backgrounds and similar techniques. Any websites/resources that help teach these techniques will be good. I had a Nikon D90 with 18-105 mm AF and 50mm prime lens. Please provide any techniques for using these lenses.

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8 Answers 8

up vote 6 down vote accepted

As ahockley and Guffa suggest, but don't necessarily break out this way, you have two different needs.

  1. Learn about how to be a good photographer.
  2. Learn how to use your camera.

You will need to address these two needs differently. I would begin by getting a good book on basic photography (it can even be an old book that assumes film cameras) and begin to learn about the various settings, and what they do (e.g., depth of field, shutter speed, aperture, etc.).

As you are learning about these techniques, and you want to try them out, take out your camera manual and look up how to change that setting. The one key to remember is that when an older book is talking about film speed, that translated to ISO setting in a digital camera.

It's important to begin with the basic photography book rather than with the manual, because if you start with the manual you will quickly become overwhelmed. Learning how to do things without knowing why you are doing them means you won't retain the how. So first learn what changing the shutter speed does for your photography, and why you might want to change it, and then look up in the manual how to change it.

Best of luck on the adventure of photography.

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You are not likely to find many technique descriptions that is specifically targeted at your camera or lenses, but that is not a problem.

The photographic terms are pretty much the same for all cameras, so you just have to learn how to apply the settings to your camera (which you can look up in the users manual), and you can use any method description that you find.

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Ken Rockwell (http://kenrockwell.com) has some very good tips and guides on how to use the D90 as well as a number of other digital cameras.

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2  
I know KRock doesn't have the best rep, but I got a lot out of his site on how to use my D90 that was, um, a little impenetrable with the manual. You do, of course, have to read it with a grain of salt and realize that he may have different values and goals than you do. –  jfklein13 Aug 10 '10 at 1:51

As noted in Guffa's answer, most of what you're asking about is not specific to your model of camera.

That said, if you do run into questions that are Nikon-specific or just want to chat with other passionate Nikon users, Nikonians is a big Nikon user community.

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I've found youtube to be a great source for learning about my D90 (i have the same lenses as you) and post processing in general (photoshop and lightroom).

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The Digital Photography School forum was my favourite site when I got my Nikon D3000 back in September 2010. I found it a very inspiring site. It has tutorials, tips, and articles on equipment, capturing and post-production.

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I've been in the same boat as you for the past month or so, learning the basics of photography and my camera

A couple of things/resources that I've taken advantage of and would recommend:

  • Reading Understanding Exposures, 3rd edition
  • Reading Ken Rockwell's site
  • Reading Jared Polin's site (and going through his videos, he is an entertaining personality)
  • Purchasing Aperture 3 (or Lightroom) to help organize photos
  • Taking lots and lots of photos in different times of the day and experimenting in A, S, M modes: go out to the park, take the dogs for a walk, etc. - prob the most important
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I have Nikon D90 and 18-105mm lens. It is my first SLR camera and I faced the same problem but I actually got a long with reading the manual provided with the camera, it really helped.

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