Hot answers tagged learning
Change your Perspective For beginners, it's much more about technique than equipment. Try taking the photo from a non-standard angle. That is to say, don't just stand there and take the picture from eye level. That's the point of view that everyone has anyway. It's not that interesting. Crouch down, stand on something, tilt the camera. Anything to take ...
I love Digital Photography School. It has a variety of tips and interviews and challenges. Beginners and pros alike should check it out.
If something is worth photographing, it's worth photographing twice. (at least) For each picture you take, look at it afterwards, and take a distinctly different picture - whether different angle, different framing, different focus, just deliberately try something else. Repeat as many times as you like. Basically, the key is to experiment, and see how ...
The manual that came with your camera.
For lighting, Strobist is a must-read. Check out Lighting 101 series for introduction into off-camera flash, and then Lighting 102 with detailed overview of properties of various properties and ways you can alter them. There's also an index of all the entries.
Stay active, take more pictures. Once you've taken them, review them and think about what you like/don't like about them. Also, give yourself a project to work on. It doesn't necessarily have to be anything big, but having a goal will help motivate you to keep improving.
Where ever you go take your camera!
Rule of thirds - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rule_of_thirds. Compose your photos so that the main subject is on one of the intersection points. Don't center your subjects (until you figure out when to break the rule).
Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst. – Henri Cartier-Bresson
Wow, do I disagree with the idea of a bridge camera. If your budget is $500, seriously consider an older model dslr with a 50mm f/1.8 lens. Why? Prime lenses force composition. There's no other way around it-- in order to get the shots you want with a prime, you have to think about what you're doing. Zooms offer a shortcut in this regard that is great ...
Count me in as another Thom Hogan fan. I also like Ken Rockwell's blog/site. They are both fairly Nikon focused, though Ken does some Canon reviews. For camera/lens reviews, I also like http://dpreview.com/, which also has pretty decent forums.
PhotoFocus Personally, I read PhotoFocus at http://photofocus.com/ It's run by a photographer called Scott Bourne, and I have found it a very rich source of ideas, information, news, technique and just plain thought-provoking stuff. He also publishes a podcast (same URL), which I also enjoy. The podcast is all Q&A, often with famous photographers as ...
Do the opposite: A day a photo. You are only allowed to take a single photo each day, so choose wisely. :) This would not be something for a long running project, but you could try it for a few days, just to get a completely different view on photography.
You've asked quite a few questions, each that is not necessarily as straight forward to answer, but I'll do my best. For reference, check out this link for some definitions for key terms often used in photography. [What are the] basics of photography? The very basics are: Adjusting your camera settings Aiming your camera at something Pressing the ...
Now is the time to take photographs. There are definitely some books you can read that go beyond the technical basics. I highly recommended Michael Freeman's series The Photographer's Eye, The Photographer's Mind, and The Photographer's Vision. But it sounds like you're mostly focusing on book learnin'. A book will never make you step up in your ...
I suspect you are trying to treat photography the way you would approach computer programming (your stock overflow profile indicates that you are a fairly advanced contributor on that site). I myself started out my DSLR journey with the Canon 550D + 18-55mm kit lens combo (rough equivalents of their Nikon counterparts that you possess). The lens is quite ...
Relax! And don't read the internet too much. You'll read a million reasons your equipment is inadequate and how in order to do X you have to buy Y, which you can't afford, and how the camera you have has minor terrible flaws A, B, and C. All cameras have flaws. You can take great photos with the camera you have, no matter what it is.
I'd agree with Peterson (e.g. Understanding Exposure). One I've found very useful is Michael Freeman's The Photographer's Eye - some excellent stuff about the composition of photos, with plenty of good examples, and very helpful diagrams.
LIGHT - Learn how it impact the photos you shot. No matter what camera and what your skill lever is the light is the most important factor. I you do landscapes for example, get up early in the morning when the sun is very low and I guarantee you photos will look much better than if you were to take them in the middle of the day. The light before the sunset ...
One that I've done is: Draw a random walk (say, 12 points, each 200 yards apart) on a map. Go and take at least one photo at each point, no matter how uninspiring you find it when you get there. If you're a programmer, you can generate walks with Google maps/Bing maps (my own horrible implementation is here, and I apologise in advance for the UI...). If ...
Canon E-TTL Speedlites are fully automatic even if your camera is in the manual mode! You can choose whatever aperture you want, a reasonable ISO (e.g. 100), a reasonable shutter speed (e.g. 1/100s), and just take a picture. E-TTL magic chooses the right flash power, and the shot is correctly exposed. You can half-press the button in the M mode, and the ...
Err on the side of zooming in less - I can't count the number of times I've been sorting out an album, and wished I had a bit more image surrounding the subject. You can always crop afterwards, and it's quite rare that every single pixel will be needed in the final pic. Never be afraid to ramp up the ISO rather than lose a moment to unwanted blur. Do ...
In art school we used to do 'true' exercise photography by doing things like: Take n pictures of a single object, making sure that no two were the same (n was generally some large number like '100' or '250') - The exercise was designed to train yourself to begin to see the many ways it's possible to approach a subject... Find an object and take the exact ...
Generally speaking, you've hit the nail on the head. How do you know what good sushi is? You go taste lots of sushi that is reported to be good! How do you know what good photography is? You go study and look at photography that is reported to be good (and that you enjoy)! If you're trying to photograph something without having a well defined sense ...
The flash can be used in bright light. I used to be one of those who believed everything written in camera manuals was absolute. So, it took me years to figure out that flash is more useful (at least it results in more natural-looking images) outdoors in bright light and indoors.
Switch one automatic setting on your camera to manual per month (or week, or whatever interval you choose). This makes it easier to figure out how that one setting impacts your photos.
I imagine most people would find a 50mm lens on an APS-C body to be too long most of the time. When I was in University I photographed events with a 50 f/1.4 on APS-C, whilst I appreciated the speed I always found the focal length to be a little long for full length shots and I was forever walking backwards... If I absolutely had to pick between them I ...
The most important tool to improve the picture composition are your legs! Legs will remove obstructing elements from the photo. They will add a foreground interest. They will provide a framing to focus the viewers attention on the main object. Don't be afraid to move close to the object. Don't be afraid to take a very low or high viewpoint. A small change ...
F-stops deal with doubling/halving the amount of light hitting the sensor. Everything revolves around twos. With the shutter speed, it's easy to understand, as you say. Every shutter f-stop is (roughly) half/double the amount of time as the previous one. Personally, I don't even bother paying attention to the numerator ("1/") part of the shutter speed; I've ...
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