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01-03-2014, 04:43 PM   #1
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Upgrading and learning the camera properly

I just upgraded from a K-200 to the K-50 and I'm very happy with the picture quality. I shoot in the P mode most of the time, Groupon had a online school for beginners for $39 which is so so. I have learned a lot about the basic of my camera that I had never known. The one thing I was wondering with all the setting it must take a while to get the right shot. When does it come easy to learn the (Exposure Triangle)? The whit balance the EV settings, composing a picture can take some time and the subject matter isn't always going to wait that long. I have tried to watch all the free videos that I can on the net and ran across (FroknowsPhoto) it seemed like a good video for he takes you on a shoot and shows what the different f-stops and shutter speed do. Has anybody heard anything about this sit or is there a better tutorial out there? Thanks all for listening.

01-03-2014, 05:02 PM   #2
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If you are interested in learning the relationship between ISO, shutter speed, and aperture, I posted some web based camera simulators to the following forum thread:

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/29-welcomes-introductions/149470-joined-u...ml#post1555454

Tim
01-03-2014, 10:36 PM   #3
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Look for ways to conquer one thing at a time, without lots of pressure to produce great shots right away. For example, you want to figure out focus - why are there three modes and six or eight buttons and 11 points and how do I get it all to work? You can go out on a bright day with the camera in P mode and concentrate only on the focus controls. [A bright day will allow you to keep shutter speed high so you don't have motion blur that looks like focus issues.] Take shots and look at them on a larger monitor, seeing if you got the focus where you wanted it to be. See if there are custom settings that adjust the camera to work better for you. If you get focus right, you can move on. If not, at least your question here will be about focus, not everything.

Keep all your practice shots separate but don't delete them, you might learn something from them.

Some settings and controls are not going to be that important to you. It is not strictly necessary to master every mode if you can't think of any situation where you need Sv mode. Set those settings aside, just keep them in mind in case your needs change.
01-04-2014, 11:52 AM   #4
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To make things easier and a lot better when post-processing your images, you should always shoot in RAW. Shooting in RAW allows one to adjust white balance in post, while shooting JPEGs will actually fix the white balance in the image as it's being saved to your camera's card. RAW files have about 70-80% more image data compared to JPEGs. So now that you're shooting RAW, you don't have to worry about white balance; you can spend more brain power thinking about exposure and composition.

Knowing everything there is to know about the settings and what they do is one thing, but knowing why to use one setting over another is your goal. First, read your manual and maybe even read it again. I keep mine in my bag at all times and I read it once a year just to remind myself of those features/settings that I seldom or never use. I would suggest first stop thinking about every bell and whistle that's on your camera. Shake reduction, compressions, resolutions and various other settings can complicate the experience at first. I would suggest treating your advanced DSLR as a simple SLR and trying using the basic settings as one could only do with a film SLR. This will free up your mind so you can spend more brain power on exposure and composition.

To understand the "trinity" I would start with fixing my ISO to just one setting, say ISO 400, and leave it there. Now that you're no longer adjusting your ISO, you can spend more brain power on exposure and composition. Are ya startin' to see a pattern to my madness???

Now just start taking pictures. The more you take, the more mistakes you make, the more lessons you'll learn. No one became a good photographer while reading a book. It's important to understand what an aperture is and how it affects the image. The same goes for shutter speeds. However, nothing beats experience and there's a lot to be said about learning things the hard way.

01-04-2014, 12:14 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by FrankC Quote
I would suggest treating your advanced DSLR as a simple SLR and trying using the basic settings as one could only do with a film SLR. This will free up your mind so you can spend more brain power on exposure and composition.
The whole dSLR amazing technology dials and buttons and switches and settings was much easier for me and my older daughter than my younger children because we started with film cameras (the same film KX, as a matter of fact).

My younger children - my son in particular - have never gotten beyond Green Mode because they simply don't want to take the time to learn how to take photographs. My wife chooses to use P Mode almost always, no matter which camera she is using, because her goals are lower.

Understand that it will take you some time and some diligent practice and you'll be fine - even better if you decide in advance to enjoy the practice time for itself!!

I can make a technically proficient photograph but I still cannot "see" a beautiful image within the environment. I still have to work at that.
01-04-2014, 12:38 PM   #6
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I whole heartedly agree with monochrome. Being proficient with your camera's settings does not necessarily equate to being able to make a good photograph. 90% of what goes into making a photograph happens outside of the camera.
01-04-2014, 01:09 PM   #7
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I'm still on program a lot myself, but I'm learning.

Occasionally, I venture over to Sv or Tv land.

Last edited by dansamy; 01-04-2014 at 01:39 PM.
01-05-2014, 04:07 AM   #8
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Thanks all...you gave me some great recommendations..I will just start taking my time and take lots of pictures.

01-10-2014, 10:34 PM   #9
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Learning beyond P mode

I agree with FrankC above. The "exposure triangle" was much more simple when I started 30 years ago with a Pentax K-1000. It was recommended by the media specialist at the college where I was teaching because it had almost nothing automatic. And since it was a film camera, the ISO was set as soon as you loaded up and closed the camera.

That left setting either the shutter speed, or the aperature, and then adjusting the other parameter until the little light meter in the viewfinder showed the exposure was OK. Next lesson: Fast shutter speed for stopping motion; slow for low light. High aperature number for "everything in focus" and low for "artsy shallow depth of field."

Fast forward to my first DSLR a couple years ago. It does EVERYTHING for you if you let it. I'm much more comfortable in M, Tv or Av mode because of my early experiences with the K-1000. And it still blows my mind to set an ISO over 400. Ordinary film didn't HAVE such numbers! LOL But the K-x handles ISO of 1600 quite nicely.

Enjoy your learning! It's a lot cheaper now than than when you had to learn by developing your film.

Hallie
01-10-2014, 11:18 PM   #10
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Too Much Info?

Hello hmcfly,
It sounds to me like you've got 'beginner overload' with the many options and choices available.
But just ask yourself, do you really need to know everything about every possible photo situation? Right away?
Of course not.
Say, you want to go out and get some night exposures, nice clear high-resolution colors, streams of taillights, neon signs, that kind of thing. Well, by looking at a few sample photos here (or, elsewhere) and studying the EXIF data, you see most of them were taken in Av mode, with long shutter speeds (several seconds), higher f/stops (f/8. f/11, etc) and low ISO. So, copy those ideas and try it. Shoot in RAW and as mentioned, save the WB for post.
Oh, yes, you'll need a tripod!
Next, you try some action or sports-type shooting. Again you check the data on some samples and see that the aperture was wide-open, the shutter speeds were in the thousands of a second and the ISO was 1600 or higher. Try those settings and see how they look.
Sure, it would be great to understand every bit of theory behind those choices and maybe your particular learning process needs to understand fully before trying it out. But, that's where the overload sets in, and it can work against real progress.
Between the two (admittedly extreme) examples I gave, you see that fast shutter speeds, high-ISO and wide apertures 'freeze' action at the cost of more noise and less depth of field. I could (and just did!) explain this, you could watch a video demonstrating it, or...you could look at your own photos and see it.
Which method will stick it into your mind better?
Just an idea for you,
Ron
01-10-2014, 11:29 PM   #11
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The exposure triad is still fundamental to learning about what makes a good photograph. It is not dated knowledge just because cameras are getting better at metering scenes. From there, learning the art of lighting your subject goes a long way in achieving excellent results that take your photos to the next level. Tutorials abound on the net, but I do find that there are specific jewels around for particular topics. Luminous landscapes for landscapes is excellent, Tangents by Neil van Niekerk is simply brilliant for learning about portraiture and lighting. All the best in that.
01-14-2014, 08:50 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by rbefly Quote
Well, by looking at a few sample photos here (or, elsewhere) and studying the EXIF data, you see most of them were taken in Av mode, with long shutter speeds (several seconds), higher f/stops (f/8. f/11, etc) and low ISO. So, copy those ideas and try it.
You know, I've tried that, and I've tried shooting in av, tv modes as well. Then, when I started shooting in manual, I quickly realized that guessing without understanding and knowing fundamentals irritates me. Guessing or learning from someone's pictures is a long way, imo.
So, I started studying exposure, exposure compensation, metering, focal length, focusing, lenses, contrast, composition ... you can continue. It's a lot to learn, but I think it is necessary to take control over the camera.
All camera auto or semi auto modes can be very helpful in different situations. Understanding all about your camera and how it works- it will give freedom. At least I hope so. It worth trying.
01-15-2014, 06:50 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by hmcfly Quote
I just upgraded from a K-200 to the K-50 and I'm very happy with the picture quality. I shoot in the P mode most of the time, Groupon had a online school for beginners for $39 which is so so. I have learned a lot about the basic of my camera that I had never known. The one thing I was wondering with all the setting it must take a while to get the right shot. When does it come easy to learn the (Exposure Triangle)? The whit balance the EV settings, composing a picture can take some time and the subject matter isn't always going to wait that long. I have tried to watch all the free videos that I can on the net and ran across (FroknowsPhoto) it seemed like a good video for he takes you on a shoot and shows what the different f-stops and shutter speed do. Has anybody heard anything about this sit or is there a better tutorial out there? Thanks all for listening.
Any book on basic photography will address the questions you have. I believe the best was done by freeman Patterson,

There are a few basic rules you need to know but they will all be spelled out,


Even if you get a book for film, there is a direct relationship to everything you can set on your camera in digital. The only real change between film and digital, is that with film, you were restricted to one ISO and WB for each roll, with digital, you can change this shot by shot, if you want.
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