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03-03-2011, 04:12 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by clearlybored Quote
Any advice on how I go about learning photography?
Read. Read everything you can about photography. RTFM. Memorize your camera manual. Go to public library, read everything available on photography. Read about exposure, lenses, composition, light. Read about great photos and how they were shot. Don't read photo magazines except for the ads.

If you don't want to read manuals and guides, to learn the practice of photography, then sell your Kx kit and get an Optio W90 or some other point-and-shoot. A dSLR like your Kx is a complex beast and it won't deliver good results unless you STUDY how to use it. Unless you master it, you will be terribly disappointed.

Photography is not for wimps.

03-03-2011, 07:38 AM   #17
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Unless you take photos you will get nowhere so yes, go out and start taking photos.

Consider looking for some sort of class as there is both art and technique to photography, and the technique at least can be taught. IMHO a good class teaches it as an art class - it's no use knowing how to control depth of focus (for example) without understanding why you might want to do it, and IMHO it's easier to come from why to how than the other way round.

Also it's annoyingly true that someone with a good eye and no knowledge of photography beyond 'point and shoot' can take good photos - for example my mum did - but people who know all the technical ins & outs but don't have an artistic bone in their body mostly produce technically beautiful rubbish... (they get lucky occasionally)

Reading the manual is also useful, but digest it a bit at a time. It starts witha description of using the camera in a basic way, start there and work forwards.

Ask. Ask here, also there are good critique groups on Flickr, ask there as well e.g.
Flickr: Photography Critique

PS start by lurking there and reading what is said about other people's photos - you can learn a lot that way and will also avoid some of the 'newbie' pitfalls.

PPS if there is one near enough to you (Google will help), join a camera club, meet exciting new people and if they are run like UK ones, see the judges giving each image it's 15 seconds of fame. There's a lot to learn there as well.

PPPS people often put their favourite images forward to start with and get a nasty shock. You where there when it was taken, we were not, so you often associate things with memories which the photo doesn't give a clue about.

PPPPS - make sure the camera is set up to take the largest JPGs at the best possible quality. RAW offers more processing choices but that's one more thing to have to get your head round. The manual will tell you how though if the menu system is like the K7 you can more or less follow your nose.

Last edited by cats_five; 03-03-2011 at 07:47 AM.
03-03-2011, 08:54 AM   #18
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Itís always tempting to put your new dSLR in auto mode, take a shot and compare the IQ to a point and shoot. You will be disappointed, unfortunately.

I suggest putting your camera side by side with the manual and go over the features as you read. The K-x (and most dSLR for that matter) is rated for at least 100K shutter actuation; so donít be afraid to take sample shots and experiment with settings (ISO, WB, Modes, Etc.) and see how they influence the captured images. If you have a mobile pc, download a pdf manual so you donít have to be carrying the actual book around.

IMO, The best way to improve ones photography knowledge and skills is to stay away from the auto-mode as much as possibleÖ.and patience.
03-03-2011, 09:09 AM   #19
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As many of the great suggestions have been mentioned by other posters and don't need to repeat here. In order to attain the level of photography that you want to, it has to come from you. By that, you will have to have higher expectation of your own photos to distinguish the good or exceptional shot from the ordinary ones. A good set of tools (camera and lens) and proper techniques will meet your requirement most of the time, but that little extras that you demand will make your photos more special. The set of photos by the OP is a good starting point. The best way to learn is also to look at how other people present it in a similar situation - and there are many aspects of such as framing, contrast, lighting effect, sharpness etc.

03-03-2011, 09:21 AM   #20
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I'm sure someone more experienced will correct me if I am incorrect in my statements below, but here is my take on it, as a newbie giving advice to a newbie:

I'm new to slr photography as well. My recommendation. Take photos, take notes of the settings, the lighting, etc., and play with it. The benefit of a dslr is that you can delete images (no film costs), and immediately see the results of various settings.

Outside of that, read and search the forum when you encounter questions, and if you like books, look for Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson. It came highly recommended on this forum, and answered a lot of questions I had when I first got my camera and I still regularly look to it for explanations.

I'm still very much learning, and very much confused. While I do not post here (this is only my second posting), I can say this place has helped me tremendously. I come here daily to read what other new people are asking and what they are being told to do.

This place also has a downside... it created a lens buying addiction (LBA). Or at least a long wish list.

Last edited by Kalandra; 03-03-2011 at 11:03 AM. Reason: removing duplicate word
03-03-2011, 09:59 AM   #21
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Wow... thanks for all the quick replies. I'll definitely get started on the manual and pick up that Peterson book. I look forward to this forum... Thanks everyone.
03-03-2011, 11:13 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kalandra Quote
take notes of the settings.
Thankfully EXIF has all the settings one could wish for, and more, safely tucked away in the image.

Did I mention never, ever overwrite the original be it JPG or RAW? Always but always save into a new name.
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