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06-24-2011, 09:51 AM   #1
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Joined under duress....

All right, as the title states I'm not terribly thrilled about doing this. I'm sure everyone here is great, continually provide un-biased advice about a multitude of topics that they are qualified to comment on and so on. Then again it is an internet forum so all bets are off....

OK, enough of the sarcasm. Why did I join? A couple reasons.

1. I know next to nothing about photography, aside from a small aperture number means a large aperture opening. Odd. And there's something called ISO and people gripe about how a photo is over or under exposed. I guess I will need to train my eyes to tell the difference.

2. I have purchased several cameras for my wife in the past and she has never taken time to read the manual and as a result, good photographs have been a matter of luck vice skill.

2a. I'm tired of wasting money on gear that isn't used.

3. I bought my wife a Pentax K-7 and a handful of lenses. You'd think I'd have learned by now.....

4. She has found the camera to be incredibly complex, has honestly tried to read the manual, and the Magic Lantern book and a few other things and she simply is not getting the hang of it.

Instead of throwing in another towel and taking a loss on all this kit, I'm going to take another angle at this problem.

Currently, I'm in a teaching slot for the Army and have found that I can teach fairly well and am able to break down complex tasks into smaller, easier to digest chunks. As such, I'm going to learn everything I can about photography and the Pentax K7 in particular so that I can teach my wife how to use it. I'm normally much more comfortable with a welder and a set of wrenches in my hand, but this 'shouldn't' be a problem.

What we have to work with:

- Pentax K7 with
...DA 18-55mm kit lens
...SMCP-FA 50mm f/1.4
...SMCP-DA 55-300mm f/4-5.8

- relatively technically-savvy husband


Anyro, that's me and why I'm here. I'm sure I'll lurk for a bit and soak up as much as I can before posting again in any other thread.


Last edited by speedfoos; 07-03-2011 at 04:48 PM.
06-24-2011, 10:10 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by speedfoos Quote
She has found the camera to be incredibly complex, has honestly tried to read the manual, and the Magic Lantern book and a few other things and she simply is not getting the hang of it.
Wow! If you had said Optio instead of K7, I'd swear we were married to the same woman.

Welcome to the forum.
06-24-2011, 10:38 AM   #3
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Thanks Jim. I'm excited about the 1.4 fast 50 I just ordered for it. I need to show some positive results in the near term to keep her interest in the camera. Mucking about with her shots in Photoshop gets old in a hurry.
06-24-2011, 10:55 AM   #4
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Good luck, teaching is always the hardest bit. Does she know much about the three manual functions (aperture, shutter speed, and iso)?

06-24-2011, 10:56 AM - 1 Like   #5
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My advice is to buy your wife a copy of Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson.

Amazon.com: Understanding Exposure: How to Shoot Great Photographs with a Film or Digital Camera (Updated Edition) (9780817463007): Bryan Peterson: Books

It explains the exposure triangle in non technical terms and is a great learning tool if you do the exercises after each chapter (which are all fun, not work).
06-24-2011, 11:17 AM - 1 Like   #6
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Here are a couple of free on-line camera simulators that will help you visualize the relationship between ISO - Aperture - Shutter Speed.

The SimCam: Film and Digital Camera Simulator - Photonhead.com

Aperture, shutter and ISO value | SLR Camera Simulator

This one even has a couple of camera modes, aperture priority (Av) and shutter priority (Tv)

SLR Camera Simulator | Simulates a digital SLR camera

Also, if your wife is going to use the built in camera flash, you will want to take off the lens shade with the DA 18-55 when shooting around 18-20mm.

Tim
06-24-2011, 11:18 AM   #7
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Thanks Dan, a co-worker actually loaned us that book yesterday and I'm going to go through it this weekend!

Ninja Edit: Will check those out tonight Tim, I appreciate it.
06-25-2011, 06:44 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by JinDesu Quote
Good luck, teaching is always the hardest bit. Does she know much about the three manual functions (aperture, shutter speed, and iso)?
We got into an argument about ISO being different from shutter speed and since I couldn't find the shutter speed setting on her camera, I lost. I'll regroup and re-assault later.

06-25-2011, 07:07 AM   #9
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Did you explain that the ISO is the same as when buying film? If you buy film it would say "ASA 400" that's the same as ISO 400, it's the speed of the film. The shutter speed is how fast the shutter moves across the plane. The faster the shutter speed, the better it will stop moving objects.

And welcome to the forum!!
06-25-2011, 08:44 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by speedfoos Quote
I couldn't find the shutter speed setting on her camera
To control shutter speed, turn the e-dial to Tv mode. M-mode gives you control of aperture and shutter. Looks like you're going to have to read the manual cover to cover. ;-)

The Cambridge Tutorials are the best I've seen on the net for explaining general concepts. http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials.htm
06-25-2011, 08:54 AM   #11
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Welcome. I like your writing style and way of expressing yourself.
Although you probably don't have the time may I suggest writing a blog about this process of teaching your wife photography.
I think it would be very entertaining and possibly educational as well.
I'd enjoy each installment .
I am a newb so can't add anything to the advice posted and that you will receive but I wish you best of luck.

Larry
07-03-2011, 04:56 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
To control shutter speed, turn the e-dial to Tv mode. M-mode gives you control of aperture and shutter. Looks like you're going to have to read the manual cover to cover. ;-)

The Cambridge Tutorials are the best I've seen on the net for explaining general concepts. Digital Photography Tutorials
Awesome, thanks for that!

QuoteOriginally posted by crewl1 Quote
Welcome. I like your writing style and way of expressing yourself.
Although you probably don't have the time may I suggest writing a blog about this process of teaching your wife photography.
I think it would be very entertaining and possibly educational as well.
I'd enjoy each installment .
I am a newb so can't add anything to the advice posted and that you will receive but I wish you best of luck.

Larry
Hah, thanks Larry! I've been told I type pretty how exactly how I speak. I'm going to spend some time learning some more before I feel qualified to give her any opinions on what she should be doing.

I'll say one thing though, this nifty 50 makes it easy to take some nice looking shots!

Here are a couple that I lucked out on.

Don't mind the color of this one. No flash and our indoor lights are little less than appealing.



She usually doesn't sleep so this is novel.




First pic with the new lens.





And a couple from today.






I find I'm better with Photoshop than I am with photography!

07-04-2011, 12:24 AM   #13
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I like that last multiple exposure shot, very cool
07-04-2011, 05:13 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by speedfoos Quote
Don't mind the color of this one. No flash and our indoor lights are little less than appealing.
You can set White Balance on the camera for off-coloured light, or you can change the lighting temperature during post-processing. Also be careful with focal point. At wide apertures, depth of field is very shallow. Your focus in the first photo appears to be the dog's nose and claws. Unless you're going for some sort of special effect, it's usual to focus on the subject's eyes.

QuoteOriginally posted by speedfoos Quote
I find I'm better with Photoshop than I am with photography!
Post-processing is part of photography, we all use it more often than not to make our photos better. It's a bit odd that you can handle a multiple exposure photo and don't know to change white balance. It's like running before you can crawl.

I would also suggest that you punch up the photos, they're a bit muted and soft looking. Try experimenting with the saturation, contrast and sharpness controls. Again, you can do this in the camera or in post-processing.
07-04-2011, 06:19 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by crewl1 Quote
I like that last multiple exposure shot, very cool
Thanks!

QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
You can set White Balance on the camera for off-coloured light, or you can change the lighting temperature during post-processing. Also be careful with focal point. At wide apertures, depth of field is very shallow. Your focus in the first photo appears to be the dog's nose and claws. Unless you're going for some sort of special effect, it's usual to focus on the subject's eyes.
Yeah, we've decided that the nifty 50 is too specialized for what we like to take photos of and are swapping it out for a 10-20mm instead. I just found the white balance setting on the camera yesterday and will use it more often now. Good tip on the focus point.

QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
Post-processing is part of photography, we all use it more often than not to make our photos better. It's a bit odd that you can handle a multiple exposure photo and don't know to change white balance. It's like running before you can crawl.
I've been a Photoshop hack (have never read a manual on it) for about 8 years now so I've picked up a couple things along the way. I'm just now getting started on 'serious' photography instead of mucking about with point and shoots.

As a PS demonstration, this scanned on to post back in '04 before I put 'WOOF' across the back of it. Unfortunately, we lost her to cancer in March. We thought we beat it last year, but turns out we didn't.




My bike's name is Angel and I had an etching done of her for the seat rest backer. Of note, this is on the camera's automatic setting (f/8.0, 200 ISO, 1/80 shutter on the 50mm). Only thing I did was crop it to 1280x1024 to make a wallpaper. Really nice color if you ask me.





QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
I would also suggest that you punch up the photos, they're a bit muted and soft looking. Try experimenting with the saturation, contrast and sharpness controls. Again, you can do this in the camera or in post-processing.
Gotcha, I will definitely play with that a bit more. The only one I edited in that posting was the multi. Thanks for all of the advice though!

Unfortunately, Momma is going to visit her parents in Branson on Wednesday and she's taking her camera with her so I don't get to play with it until she gets back near the end of July!
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