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03-03-2008, 04:16 PM   #1
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Reborn Shooter

Greetings All,

Very nice to find a friendly, informative and Active forum of shutter bugs!

I pretty much have to classify myself as a total noob at this point. I'm coming back to photography after about 12 years of absence. I was a fairly avid hobbyist for about 10 years and definitely put some miles on my old K1000 but in the mid-90s I was burglarized and the bastards took my entire setup. I was broke at the time and equally stupid so had no insurance. They cleaned everything else out too, but the camera outfit devastated me. I didn't pick up an SLR for a long time afterwards.

But with a baby on the way here in a month and a new business venture brewing in the real estate industry I figured it was time to "get over it" and dive back in. So, UPS just dropped off a shiney new K10D kit about 2 hours or so and I'm just figuring out the menus and all the fun buttons - this bad boy is way different than my K1000

In that vein I'm looking at buying a book or two to reacquaint myself with the art of shooting with both hands and making the mental transition from film to digital. Scott Kelby's "The Digital Photography Book" vols 1&2 seem to be getting good reviews over at Amazon but am wondering what some of you folks here have read or written and recommend.

Hoping to pick up some pointers, make some new online friends and above all start enjoying shooting again!

03-03-2008, 07:42 PM   #2
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I havent read any books, but I hear some that people rave about....

The Magic Lantern Guide for the K10D
people usually say that this one is pretty good.

Understanding Exposure
I hear people talking about that one too

...dont know who wrote em. I dont read em. But I hear they are great. a flash?
03-03-2008, 11:08 PM   #3
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Hi Venturi,

I have been lurking here for about 3 months but just recently registered. I can comment on both books as I have looked into them.

I have a K100D Super and came from the P&S world. Not knowing anything about the functions of DSLR photography, I found 'Understanding Exposure' to be an awesome book. Originally I thought that 'exposure' was in reference to lighting conditions, but this book explains it as being much more - the act of creating the image.

It explains the photography triangle - ISO, Aperature and shutterspeed and gives you several experiments to find out what roles each plays in creating an exposure.

I have a digital copy of 'The Digital Photography Book' and it isnt nearly as helpful. The structure of this book similar to a question answer format. IE under chapter 4 "Shooting landscapes like a pro" one page talks about where to put the horizon line. Here is the exact answer in the book:

When it comes to the question of "Where do I place the horizon?" the answer is pretty easy. Don't take the amateur route and always place the horizon in the dead center of the photo, or your landscape shots will always look like snapshots. Instead, decide which thing you want to emphasizethe sky or the ground. If you have a great-looking sky, then put your horizon at the bottom third of your photo (which will give you much more emphasis on the sky). If the ground looks interesting, then make that the star of your photo and place the horizon at the top third of your photo. This puts the emphasis on the ground, and most importantly, either one of these methods will keep your horizon out of the center, which will give your shots more depth and interest.

Another page (each page is another technique) is "How to Show Size":

If you've ever had a chance to photograph something like the California redwood trees or a huge rock formation out in Utah's Monument Valley, you've probably been disappointed that when you looked at those photos later, you lost all sense of their size. In person, those redwoods were wider around than a truck. In your photos, they could've been the regular pines in your backyard, because they lost their sense of size. That's why, when trying to show the size of an object, you need something in that shot to give the object a sense of scale. That's why many photographers prefer to shoot mountains with people in the scene (hikers, climbers, etc.) because it instantly gives you a frame of referencea sense of scale that lets the viewer immediately have a visual gauge as to how large a mountain, or a redwood, or the world's largest pine cone really is. So, the next time you want to show the sheer size of something, simply add a person to your shot and you've got an instant frame of reference everyone can identify with. It'll make your shots that much stronger. (Note: By the way, this also works for things that are very small. Put the object in someone's hands, and it instantly tells the story.)

For me (being new to the hobby), a lot of it is common sense
03-03-2008, 11:36 PM   #4
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I have Scott's book "Digital Photography" and it cleared up some things for me. His style sometimes is a bit much, but I can skip over it.

03-04-2008, 09:31 AM   #5
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Welcome! As someone fairly new to the ins and outs of photography, I have found this forum very helpful. I also found "Understanding Exposure insightful as well!
03-04-2008, 11:45 PM   #6
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Thanks for the welcome and comments on books. I've ordered both the Magic Lantern for the K10D, and Understanding Exposure based on recommendations. I figure the Lantern will help me dig into the nuts and bolts of the camera itself and Exposure will help me get reacquainted with the more technical aspects of shooting itself.

I definitely am feeling a little overwhelmed right now. Concepts like switching ISO on the fly is totally foreign to my brain's way of looking at a shot. I gotta say though that while it is only day two with my K10D I am really loving it despite feeling a bit like a one-legged man in an ass kickin contest.
03-09-2008, 01:15 PM   #7
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Another book specifically on the K10D that comes highly recommended is Pentax K10D : everything you need to know...and then some. It's supposed to be more comprehensive than the Magic Lantern book. I just ordered a copy of it for myself. If you're interested, then check out the website: k10dbook home. The author is also a member of this forum, as well.


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