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11-12-2010, 12:28 PM   #1
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Best Beginner's DSLR Book/Manual?

I am new to Pentax with my K-x being delivered today and would like to know what book or manual would be best to learn dslr photography (in simple terms for my middle-aged brain ) besides, of course, the manual that comes with the camera. I know I had one such book many, many years ago with my film slr (Minolta) and can recall some things but not sure what is new/different on digital format. Any and all advice is most welcome!

11-12-2010, 01:17 PM   #2
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I would recommend Bryan Peterson's Understanding Exposure. It recently got a revision this year. I bought this book and I highly recommend it. I've had some dslr experience/classes before and this book is great for beginner/intermediate photographers. The author also has some good youtube videos out on the book's subject matter. The book also includes suggested exercises to help you progress and has good example photos.
11-12-2010, 01:25 PM   #3
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+1 on Understanding Exposure. The new edition is even better. Read it twice or more.
11-12-2010, 02:07 PM   #4
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Another very good book I've recently run into is Exposure.

Photography book / Learn exposure / The BetterPhoto Guide to Exposure / Author and Photographer Sean Arbabi/ Exposure Book/ Photographic Exposure/ Ordering a photography book

I also think the first book in Scott Kelby's series is a quick read and provides good tips.
http://www.kelbytraining.com/product/the-digital-photography-book.html

This isn't to say that Understanding Exposure isn't any good, it is and I've read it.


Last edited by blackcloudbrew; 11-12-2010 at 03:36 PM. Reason: Updating my thoughts on the post.
11-12-2010, 02:30 PM   #5
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+10000

Understanding Exposure is fantastic, like someone teaching you by having a conversation new version is great
11-12-2010, 04:47 PM   #6
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AND it is written in terms a non-photographer will understand. I think that is a part of the reason the book is so appealing to so many.
11-12-2010, 10:29 PM   #7
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"To better understand the effect of ISO on exposure, think of the ISO as a worker bee. If my camera is set for ISO 100, I have, in effect, 100 worker bees; and if your camera is set for ISO 200, you have 200 worker bees. The job of these worker bees is to gather the light that comes through the lens and make an image. If both of us set our lenses at the same aperture of f/5.6—meaning that the same volume of light will be coming through our lenses—who will record the image the quickest, you or me? You will, since you have twice as many worker bees at ISO 200 than I do at ISO 100."

amen
11-13-2010, 07:16 AM   #8
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Thanks so much for the suggestions. And I love the "worker bees" analogy because that does communicate to my brain ! Yes, finally someone understands the way to write it where I can get it! My K-x came Friday, but it was very late in the day so all I did was upgrade the firmware and do the main settings. Today (Sat.) is fun day with it! Yeah! (I do love its size as I have smaller hands.)

11-13-2010, 05:39 PM   #9
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The library would be an excellent resource for this. Then you could read multiple books about different photography topics. Of course I love buying books also so you could buy one that is highly recommended and then head to the library for several more specific to your interests (for example landscapes).
11-14-2010, 01:17 AM   #10
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+ 1 Undestanding Exposure,

I just bought it, it's worth owning, I will use it, not just read it once. Though I wish it worked like that,

read the book = gain the skill
11-15-2010, 06:57 PM   #11
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There's a lot of really good lit out there but YouTube - FontanaKnowledge's Channel
this guy and shooting in manual has helped me the most...
My pictures have come on by about 200% since September just by trying to take good pictures every day... Trying the same shot over and over using diferent settings til I work out what works and what doesn't for that situation...
The more you use your K-x... The more you'll fall in love with it!
11-16-2010, 03:08 PM   #12
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After you read Bryan Peterson's book, I can also recommend Scott Kelby's "The Digital Photography Book." Is is actually a series of 3 books but the first one has a lot of good tips for beginners. He doesn't try to teach a bunch of theory but instead just sets up situations and tells you how to get good results in each case, as if you and he were out shooting together. Just "set your camera to A, B and C and fire away."
11-16-2010, 07:09 PM   #13
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Undestanding Exposure

is the newest edition the 3rd edition? that's the one I have... he got some pretty nice example in the book. reading it right now...
11-18-2010, 10:13 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Deimos Quote
"To better understand the effect of ISO on exposure, think of the ISO as a worker bee. If my camera is set for ISO 100, I have, in effect, 100 worker bees; and if your camera is set for ISO 200, you have 200 worker bees. The job of these worker bees is to gather the light that comes through the lens and make an image. If both of us set our lenses at the same aperture of f/5.6—meaning that the same volume of light will be coming through our lenses—who will record the image the quickest, you or me? You will, since you have twice as many worker bees at ISO 200 than I do at ISO 100."

amen

Please tell me the entire book is not full of examples like that, because if i did not already know what ISO was i would be even more confused by that example.
11-19-2010, 07:03 AM   #15
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The book is very intuitive and makes sense even to people who have never picked up a camera before. It also helps when you have the context of the paragraph before and after...
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