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07-10-2012, 08:17 PM   #1
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Where to get start when it comes to learning "the how"

I'm sure this has been asked before. I've been looking for anything related to my question on the forum and will post links to what I've found so far, but I'm looking for suggestions on places to go to learn more about the how to of digital photography.

There seems to be hundreds of books on the subject. I'm not looking for a verbose discussion about aperture and shutter speeds and their relationship. I have at least a basic understanding and grasp of the concepts and their affects of DOF, etc.

It's all the other things we now have access to on the camera and computer that weren't when shooting film that are new to me - noise, white balance, changing ISO speeds on the fly, etc. And then after the shot, any/all post production work. I haven't touched Photoshop or anything graphic design in 6 years. I don't do what I went to college for any more and it's been since 2006 that I did. Even then, the work wasn't post production image editing from photography.

I've really enjoyed my time spent with film, but I never got into the weeds enough to say I was remotely good at it. I have some shots I really like and others that weren't worth the money I paid for prints. I enjoy tinkering with things and the manual modes...seems I'm like that with all my hobbies as a DIYer with homebrewing and building my electric control panel for the brewery and temp controlled fermentation, reloading my own rifle ammunition for accuracy/consistency (3 shots into less than 3/16" from a factory hunting rifle), working on projects on my vehicles and house, etc.

After getting my K-5, I really want to get better with photography, especially since one of the reasons for the purchase was to capture images of my children and family. I want to take great pictures of our travels and stuff right around our home. I was truly inspired by the series of images and stories posted by Alex Jansen. I would love to take my K-5 with me with it's capabilities and catch stuff like that. Twitch's stuff on flickr is stunning.

I have four rolls of film from a trip to the Virgin Islands and a roll or two from my sister's wedding (just stuff of my daughter in her flower girl dress) and a 4th of July parade I want to get developed to see how they turned out.

So...after all that rambling...is there a recommended path to getting better with the digital camera? Without taking an organized class, is there a suggested path to learning a post production or image editing suite? Should I try to find someone local to show me the ropes? I don't have intentions of trying to become a pro or making a living with the camera.

Here are some threads I've found elsewhere:
Photography Books: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-film-slr-discussion/161618-photogr...ml#post1675277
Photographic Technique section of the forum: Photographic Technique - PentaxForums.com
Exposure: Shutter Speed, Aperture, ISO: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/photography-articles/62522-exposure-shutt...rture-iso.html
Could we get a sticky with the basics of photography?: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-beginners-corner-q/175447-could-we...otography.html
Recommended Photo Editing Software: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-beginners-corner-q/191128-recommen...-software.html


Thanks in advance to all your help.



EDIT: compilation of additional links and titles from the thread:
- Youtube for software tutorials

Photography and Post Processing
Ron Bigelow Photography Articles
The Luminous Landscape
Editing in Lightroom 3: https://picasaweb.google.com/rastislavstanik/Lightroom36Basics?authuser=0&feat=directlink

Flash Photography - http://neilvn.com/tangents/ (Lots of links in the blue frame on the right)

Understanding Exposures - Bryan Peterson

The very Basics
SLR vs Rangefinder
The Golden Mean


Got these links in a PM from Heie:
http://www.shortcourses.com/use/

http://camerasim.com/slr-camera-explained/

http://thecareyadventures.com/blog/2...r-photography/

http://photography.bastardsbook.com/toc/



Links I found poking around the forum:
BASIC PHOTOGRAPHIC TECHNIQUES - http://photoinf.com/General/NAVY/Photographic_composition_Balance.htm
Photography tutorials from the pros - https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/photography-articles/131259-photography-tutorials-pros.html
An Exercise in Perspective - and other things - https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/photography-articles/142256-exercise-pers...er-things.html
Stops, Shutter Speed, Aperture, ISO Sensitivity - https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/photography-articles/126203-stops-shutter...nsitivity.html
Understanding Exposure - https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/photography-articles/39743-understanding-...-kit-lens.html


A school someone recommended where you can try a short course free of charge:
http://www.betterphoto.com/online-photography-courses.asp


Last edited by jtkratzer; 07-11-2012 at 01:03 PM.
07-10-2012, 09:17 PM   #2
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Try Utube i taught my self photo shop there
07-10-2012, 09:29 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by jtkratzer Quote
There seems to be hundreds of books on the subject. I'm not looking for a verbose discussion about aperture and shutter speeds and their relationship. I have at least a basic understanding and grasp of the concepts and their affects of DOF, etc.
if that's true, then you are 99% done ith all you need to know. Digital cameras may have lots more settings, but you can safely ignore almost all of them almost all of the time.

QuoteQuote:
It's all the other things we now have access to on the camera and computer that weren't when shooting film that are new to me - noise, white balance, changing ISO speeds on the fly, etc.
those things were all there pn film too. High ISO film has more noise just as high ISO does on digital - nothing new about that. White balance existed for film two: you selected it when you bought your film (either "daylight" or "tungsten"). And changing ISO on film was just a matter of opening the back and changing rolls. Of course, it's a lot easier to change WB or ISO now but the concepts haven't chaned one iota.

QuoteQuote:
And then after the shot, any/all post production work
Well, that much at least is new. But first, no one is forcing you to do any of that, and secons, really, the most omportant thins the learn to do in PP are the same things you control when shooting: adjustments to exposure and WB, and perhaos adding noise reduction.

All of this is to say is, don't look at digital photography as being this whole brand new thing. It's really the same concepts that have been around for over a hundred years and explained on books that have been around for that long, must with very slight new twists. If you hear about something that has no analogue in film photography, you can rest assured you don't need it with digital either.
07-10-2012, 09:50 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
if that's true, then you are 99% done ith all you need to know. Digital cameras may have lots more settings, but you can safely ignore almost all of them almost all of the time.
I still have a lot to learn...

QuoteQuote:
those things were all there pn film too. High ISO film has more noise just as high ISO does on digital - nothing new about that. White balance existed for film two: you selected it when you bought your film (either "daylight" or "tungsten"). And changing ISO on film was just a matter of opening the back and changing rolls. Of course, it's a lot easier to change WB or ISO now but the concepts haven't chaned one iota.
Right...I just never bought anything other than 100-800 speed film, some B&W, mostly 100, 200, and 400. Don't think I ever messed with tungsten film.

QuoteQuote:
Well, that much at least is new. But first, no one is forcing you to do any of that, and secons, really, the most omportant thins the learn to do in PP are the same things you control when shooting: adjustments to exposure and WB, and perhaos adding noise reduction.
I know it's not mandatory, but I'd like to "relearn" it and its/my capabilities.

QuoteQuote:
All of this is to say is, don't look at digital photography as being this whole brand new thing. It's really the same concepts that have been around for over a hundred years and explained on books that have been around for that long, must with very slight new twists. If you hear about something that has no analogue in film photography, you can rest assured you don't need it with digital either.
Composing images is pretty much the same regardless of digital vs film. I'd like to get better at that, too.



I suppose checking out the local photography club wouldn't be a complete waste of time.

07-10-2012, 10:13 PM   #5
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I started with film and learning basics of exposure and so on, with digital and raw processing I got to another level...details like WB, chromatic aberation, noise and such, but it took some years of practice both in field and behind the PC to really comprehend the matter...
reading lot of books and articles on photography and practice, practice practice, confronting theories and reality is the way to go...also, to contact someone who is willing to offer advice is very good thing to do as well
it takes time but when you yourself start to become satisfied with the results, it is the sweetiest reward
07-11-2012, 05:05 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by stanic Quote
I started with film and learning basics of exposure and so on, with digital and raw processing I got to another level...details like WB, chromatic aberation, noise and such, but it took some years of practice both in field and behind the PC to really comprehend the matter...
reading lot of books and articles on photography and practice, practice practice, confronting theories and reality is the way to go...also, to contact someone who is willing to offer advice is very good thing to do as well
it takes time but when you yourself start to become satisfied with the results, it is the sweetiest reward
That's what I'm looking for. I'm all ears and very willing/eager to learn. Looks like the forum is a great place for feedback. I learned everything I know about brewing through a forum, a few books, and asking questions. Seems photography an working behind a camera is quite a bit different in the process, though.
07-11-2012, 05:27 AM   #7
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Here are my favorites....

Photography and Post Processing

Ron Bigelow Photography Articles
The Luminous Landscape

Flash Photography

http://neilvn.com/tangents/ (Lots of links in the blue frame on the right)

Tim
07-11-2012, 06:13 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by jtkratzer Quote
I still have a lot to learn...

I suppose checking out the local photography club wouldn't be a complete waste of time.
Actually, after shooting film for 20 years and digital for the last 10 after film, i am seriously considering a local camera club, more because I feel i am getting complacent in the way I take photos, and need some challenge.

My local club has its own ranking system, so regardless of where you think you are, your actual level, relative to others, will sort itself out as you do the assignments.

Someone previously posted that you know 99% of what you need to know, that is probably true, it is just that the first 99% takes 1% of the time and the last 1% takes 99% of the time.

07-11-2012, 06:36 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by jtkratzer Quote
That's what I'm looking for. I'm all ears and very willing/eager to learn. Looks like the forum is a great place for feedback. I learned everything I know about brewing through a forum, a few books, and asking questions. Seems photography an working behind a camera is quite a bit different in the process, though.
yup, there is the so-called steep learning curve, when you have to understand lot of technicalities and gain knowledge of the terminology but as soon you grasp that, it is much easier to understand the nuances of photography
not sure whether this is going to be of any help to you, but I just posted some very basic guidelines for editing in Lightroom 3 - take a look and tell me if it would be usefull to you, if you will be so kind https://picasaweb.google.com/rastislavstanik/Lightroom36Basics?authuser=0&feat=directlink
07-11-2012, 06:38 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
i am seriously considering a local camera club, more because I feel i am getting complacent in the way I take photos, and need some challenge.
very true!
07-11-2012, 06:43 AM   #11
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I can't add much to what Marc already said, maybe say it a bit different...

You've been doing the same things with film all along, just doing it in a slightly different manner. Then you changed film, now you change a camera setting. Working with ISO 100 - 800 film is no different than working with ISO 100-3200 digital. You just have more range, and possibly less noise...which was formerly called grain. I never used tungsten film either.

And so on. It's a different world, but not different enough you have to completely relearn anything, just update it a bit. And you have some options that were not available. Black and White film would not take a color picture. But a digital color shot can be converted to B&W. Changing over or under exposed shots was not easy, now it is. And you couldn't delete bad shots...

I like Lowell's last comment...I'll be working on that last 1% for years to come...
07-11-2012, 06:47 AM   #12
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A lot depends on your learning style. Some people (who I envy) can do it methodically: for me, it's a pretty haphazard affair, punctuated by periods of excruciating frustration. This forum is a great resource since the same thing will get explained in a variety of ways (including with concrete examples) so that often I get it (sort of) (eventually).
07-11-2012, 06:51 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by jtkratzer Quote
So...after all that rambling...is there a recommended path to getting better with the digital camera? Without taking an organized class, is there a suggested path to learning a post production or image editing suite? Should I try to find someone local to show me the ropes? I don't have intentions of trying to become a pro or making a living with the camera.
I know it sounds cliche, but if you've read all the beginning technical information, and you are comfortable with photography already - just let go and use the force!

Just let go. Go out, take pictures. Find what works for you. Let photography be a creative medium as it was meant to be. Make it personal, without need for what others say your images should be.
07-11-2012, 08:14 AM   #14
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If you never used tungsten film, then all your pictures in tungsten lighting were yellow. If that was good enough for you with film, it remains good enough with digital. Seriously.

Anyhiw, I guess my point is, you don't need to learn a whole nunch of brand new concepts. You just need to become more intimawly familiar with the ones that actually matter: aperturw, shutter speed, ISO. Nit just sort of familiar, but *really* familiar. Including knowledge of how the camera tries to choose these for you when using any mode other than M - meaning you want to understand metering and the different exposure modes. Again, not that this is new for digital, but now that you are becoming more serious about photography, you need to inderstand these basic concepts that much better.
07-11-2012, 08:50 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
If you never used tungsten film, then all your pictures in tungsten lighting were yellow. If that was good enough for you with film, it remains good enough with digital. Seriously.

Anyhiw, I guess my point is, you don't need to learn a whole nunch of brand new concepts. You just need to become more intimawly familiar with the ones that actually matter: aperturw, shutter speed, ISO. Nit just sort of familiar, but *really* familiar. Including knowledge of how the camera tries to choose these for you when using any mode other than M - meaning you want to understand metering and the different exposure modes. Again, not that this is new for digital, but now that you are becoming more serious about photography, you need to inderstand these basic concepts that much better.
That's it as well, there are settings and things I can control with the camera I'm not familiar with. I need to read through more of my Bible sized manual.

QuoteOriginally posted by LaurenOE Quote
I know it sounds cliche, but if you've read all the beginning technical information, and you are comfortable with photography already - just let go and use the force!

Just let go. Go out, take pictures. Find what works for you. Let photography be a creative medium as it was meant to be. Make it personal, without need for what others say your images should be.
It's not that I'm looking for approval or acceptance from others, it's that I'm not content with what I'm doing now and I don't know how to improve. I'm sure a lot of that is due to only having my camera in my possession for a week.

A basics book couldn't hurt or be a waste of time. I'm also looking for ways to improve my "employment" of the camera, lenses, an settings before trying to learn the computer side of things. Computers won't fix boring/bad pictures.
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