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04-22-2011, 09:31 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by kbrede Quote
I agree, get out and shoot, have some fun. But also grab a copy of "Understanding Exposure," by Bryan Peterson from your library or bookstore. Try to get the 3rd Edition. It's a short read and contains just about everything you need to know to get started.
Beaten! I was gonna say that. Great book. Taught me a lot.

04-22-2011, 03:23 PM   #17
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But the greatest learning tool is the camera.
That's why we're all saying to go out and shoot.
Remember the first 10,000 photos are your worst.
04-22-2011, 04:08 PM   #18
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Like everybody else has said, take your toys out and play. When I got my K-X, I took a bunch of shots-some good, some fair and some rotten. Then, I decided to get specific-like stopping motion in a shot. Read that part of the manual and took more shots. Playing, experimenting and learning what your gear will do is where the fun is.
04-22-2011, 07:42 PM   #19
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Again, thanks for the "nudge in the right direction".
I guess the hardest part of trying to learn anything with a technical side, is the amount of "assumed knowledge" most writers seem to write for.
Having worked in IT for many years - it is a concept I am familiar with. (If you've ever read a slackware or "true" debian How-to or Man file, you'll know what I'm talking about). I guess it's that initial hill you have to get over, and once a few things start to 'click' - everything else starts to make sense. It was actually similar when I first learnt to ride.
As an example, for the last week I've been reading up and trying to work out all the guff about lenses. And after a while it was making my head spin. However after being able to run a whole stack of (what I felt were) stupid questions past Adr1an last night - it's all starting to make more sense.
I'm looking forward now to heading out this afternoon and taking advantage of all the stunning autumn leave around Canberra, even with just the 18-55mm. Tho Ado is lending me his Polarizing Filter to play with too

04-22-2011, 08:02 PM   #20
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While it's not necessary, you'll find a polarizing filter can be effective at improving the saturation of foliage, by reducing reflections from the sky. If you borrow one and find it helpful, they aren't too expensive to purchase.

Paul
04-22-2011, 09:32 PM   #21
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Well - I havent been able to get hold of Ado today, so a quick run to Teds - and now I have one of my own
04-23-2011, 01:47 AM   #22
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Since you're in Canberra, why not visit the National Gallery? They have over 13,000 Australian photographs in their collection. Looking at what others have done can be really inspiring. Find one or two you really like then go out and see if you can do something similar. Bring your mistakes back to the forum and find out how to correct them, then have another go. Bit by bit it'll all come together. If you can understand a Debian manual, you're home and hosed with photography!
04-23-2011, 02:25 AM   #23
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We encourage you to put a couple of your photos up for us to have a look at.
We wont make fun of them or be too critical, but by all means the comments you receive will be helpful and point you in the right direction for even better shots next time.

Most of all...Go out there and enjoy, after all, it is fun.

04-23-2011, 05:47 AM   #24
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As a hobby, photography is sort of like fishing. Actually catching fish is entirely incidental to the enjoyment of fishing. I once spent a quite enjoyable day taking photos...only to learn that I had forgotten to put film in the camera...and decided that I had still enjoyed it very much.

It's not about bringing home the fish or the photo. It doesn't matter whether you use a bamboo pole and a bent paperclip or the latest high dollar gear. Neither does it matter what photo gear you used.

Taking photos is an excuse to go somewhere...and going somewhere is an excuse to take photos. So long as you accomplish either one of those things, it was a day well spent.
04-23-2011, 06:01 AM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mike Cash Quote
As a hobby, photography is sort of like fishing. Actually catching fish is entirely incidental to the enjoyment of fishing. I once spent a quite enjoyable day taking photos...only to learn that I had forgotten to put film in the camera...and decided that I had still enjoyed it very much.

It's not about bringing home the fish or the photo. It doesn't matter whether you use a bamboo pole and a bent paperclip or the latest high dollar gear. Neither does it matter what photo gear you used.

Taking photos is an excuse to go somewhere...and going somewhere is an excuse to take photos. So long as you accomplish either one of those things, it was a day well spent.
Mike, this is exactly what I think! Go out, shoot. Although a nice catch can be rewarding, the hunt is even better!
04-23-2011, 07:32 AM   #26
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There have been many an analogy, but that one takes the cake Mike.
Thanks for sharing that.
And Rense, you make the 'hunt' and the 'catch' sound like going out to find the perfect wife.
04-23-2011, 12:21 PM   #27
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THREADJACK! Some suggestions...

I've lately been trying-out some not-too-radical alternatives to my usual sloppy shooting practices. Here are some suggestions. Some may or may not be suitable to be used in combination. Try'em and see.

* The old photojournalist's mantra was "f/8 and be there!" meaning, set aperture and focus for thick DOF, and stay alert. I'll extend that to AF lenses on cameras with Tav mode: "f/7 at 1/200 and pay attention!" (Or f/8 or f/11, if your zoom's best long aperture is f/6.3 or so.) So the tight aperture gives fairly thick DOF with good detail, and the fast shutter lets you capture most action. Maybe go to 1/250 or faster even. And just let the ISO float all the way up.

* That's for action shots. For detailed 'scapes, go real real slow. Use strong ND filters and a tripod, ISO 100, f/8 or f/11, timer and/or remote. Use LiveView to focus, under a black cloth if necessary. Approach the dSLR as though it were a view camera, for unhurried deliberative composition and shooting.

* Ignore colour. Colour is a distraction. Shoot in B&W, with filter set to Orange or Magenta or Cyan. Concentrate on shapes, forms, light. Details visible in colour may not show in B&W unless they are correctly lit for contrast, etc. B&W is especially good when in upper ISO regions of cameras that aren't great at high ISO, like my K20D. Then I pretend that the noise is just pushed-film grain. B&W is also good with the slow 'scapes method, with contrast & sharpness dialed down, going for a grainless effect. Ah, how I miss ASA 25...

* For cheap macro, use a mount-reversal ring and a cheap short non-digital (with aperture ring) zoom. I've ranted elsewhere about reversing the lousy cheap SMC A35-80/4-5.6 with good results. At 35mm it reaches 2x magnification. At 80mm it focuses past infinity, or as close as ~27cm / 10.5in. And it is sharp!

I'm trying some more radical stuff too, but those aren't for the newbie forum. Stay tuned for when I pop up with a 45/1.2 lens costing US$25, eh?
04-23-2011, 03:31 PM   #28
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The caveat with f/8 and be there is that the closer the subject is to the lens (such as in macro photography) the thinner the absolute depth of field is. Nevertheless, even in those modest macro settings (1:2 or less) f/8 is generally a good choice.
04-24-2011, 01:53 AM   #29
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Well yesterday ended up being spent in the Garage, and today out riding. *Tomorrow* will be camera day!!
And again - thanks for all the encouragement guys
I put up some shots of the trip to the zoo. There were a few I quite liked actually - but no comments in the thread.
04-24-2011, 02:57 AM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
The caveat with f/8 and be there is that the closer the subject is to the lens (such as in macro photography) the thinner the absolute depth of field is. Nevertheless, even in those modest macro settings (1:2 or less) f/8 is generally a good choice.
Notice that I said (more than once) that "f/8 and be there" is for ACTION shots. Like, people or other animals moving around. Macro action is a whole 'nother thang, eh?
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