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02-10-2009, 01:42 PM   #1
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First DSLR - What References to get?

I just got a good deal on my firt DSLR - a K10D. It is a lot of camera, but I want to learn the ins and outs of it and improve my photography....I doubt I will out grow it! Lots more settings than my old Pentax 35MM SLR and my P&S Digital.

So here are my questions:

1. Is there a good DSLR Reference book that discusses Saturation, Contrast, Noise, etc. - explains what it is, how to control it, modify it, etc.? I can read the manual and find the settings of course, but UNDERSTANDING what you are accomplishing can make a big difference.

2. Is there a good book on PHOTOSHOP for beginners? I want to be able to manipulate the RAW images and would like something that is fairly basic (kind of a step by step guide). Photography is one of many things that occupies my time, so I am looking to be able to jump in and get results without taking too much time away from my family (and I understand that they may not be OPTIMUM results).

Here is the kind of photos I currently take (to display my leather goods) - but there will of course be photos of the family too.



02-10-2009, 01:47 PM   #2
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I recommend "Understanding Exposure" by Bryan Peterson. It's not DSLR, or digital, or even SLR specific, but is a very good book to read for all would-be photographers. It explains the effects of shutter speed, aperture and sensitivity settings in a very easy-to-understand manner with lots of example pictures, and has lots of little tips and tricks on how to use the camera's light meter in different situations.
02-10-2009, 02:16 PM   #3
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Echoes Erik above. I don't have photoshop, I do have photoshop Elements 5.0 and can heartily recommend "Photoshop Elements 5.0: The Missing Manual" by Barbara Brundage. Excellent work. Written simply enough for a rank beginner to understand, but also delves fairly deeply into the program. Don't know if there is a "missing manual" for the full photoshop but it's possible.

NaCl(it is a pretty wide ranging series)H2O
02-10-2009, 02:41 PM   #4
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Welcome to the forum.

I can recommend Adobe Photoshop for Photographers by Martin Evening, he appears to have one for at least CS3 & CS4 and a believe also for the other Photoshop versions too.

02-10-2009, 03:05 PM   #5
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Digital SLR Masterclass - Andy Rouse
Excellent for digital workflow, al the way from using the camera to finished print.

The New Manual of Photography - John Hedgecoe
The best general photography text I've seen, recently re-written too, so quite up to date.
02-10-2009, 04:04 PM   #6
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and for product photography, you can build a light tent out of an old cardboard box and some gift wrapping tissue (look at the strobist blog for an example).
02-10-2009, 04:18 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Erik Quote
I recommend "Understanding Exposure" by Bryan Peterson. It's not DSLR, or digital, or even SLR specific, but is a very good book to read for all would-be photographers. It explains the effects of shutter speed, aperture and sensitivity settings in a very easy-to-understand manner with lots of example pictures, and has lots of little tips and tricks on how to use the camera's light meter in different situations.
I second that book, as well as the other ones in that series.
02-10-2009, 04:20 PM   #8
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Welcome to the forum. In answer to your first question about books may I recommend, The Practical Illustrated Encyclopedia Of Digital Photography, By Steve Luck. published by Hermes House. It's a step by step guide to taking Photographs. It explains digital Photography from pixels and resolution, camera sensors, to practical use of Light room and Photoshop explaining contrast, light, shadow, levels, curves, and ways of composing photographs and the different styles of photography. I came upon this book last week at a Borders book store, and sat down to see what it explained. After a few minutes I realized it was gold, and snapped it up. I have to tell you it was on sale for a rather low price of $5.99 (USD) I just couldn't believe how well it explained clearly how things were done. It's a great book for beginners and a great wealth of information for any photographer.

02-11-2009, 07:59 AM   #9
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Thanks for the replies - I will check them out.
02-11-2009, 05:06 PM   #10
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I'm new to DSLR and have the K10D also. I found the Magic Lantern Guide for the K10D by Peter Burian pretty useful. Its kind of an ops manual that explains what you're accomplishing with each setting in an easy to understand form. I carry it with me instead of the Pentax ops manual.
02-11-2009, 08:15 PM   #11
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The Peterson book bugs me because it talks about aperture, shutter speed, and ISO as a triangle. It can be thought of that way, because there are three values, but mathematically a cube (or rather, rectangular prism) is actually the perfect analogy, with each setting corresponding to the length of a given dimension. Increase any option increases the volume, which corresponds exactly to exposure value (EV). Someday I'll make a little Flash or Java applet to illustrate this.

On another note, I highly, highly recommend The Photographer's Eye by Michael Freeman (not to be confused with the book of the same title by John Szarkowski, by the way).

This is an excellent book for getting started, especially in thinking about photography as a language rather than the product of settings on an electronic gadget.
02-11-2009, 08:48 PM   #12
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1. Honestly, you can figure a lot of that out yourself through trial and error and it's part of the fun. What you can't figure out for yourself, the internet should suffice.

2. Photoshop is a great program but it's more centered for digital imaging rather than photography and there's a really big difference depending on what you want to do. I would recommend trying out Lightroom instead of photoshop to start with. It nicely streamlines all you need to make simple corrective edits and it's very intuitive. More importantly, it minimizes the amount of time you sit at your computer. I have both CS3 and lightroom and I almost NEVER touch CS3. In fact, I didn't even bother to install it on my new installation of windows because lightroom does everything I need.
02-12-2009, 09:11 PM   #13
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I'll recommend "The Digital Photography Book" by Scott Kelby (there's a second one as well, called Part 2). Each page is basically a stand-alone instruction on how to perform a certain function or create a certain look. It's written like how a photographer/friend would tell you how to set your camera for a certain shot. Meaning, he doesn't go into the background of why it works, he just goes for this is how to do it.

The other books suggested are also nice, and some of then really get into the "why" as well as the "how".
02-13-2009, 09:08 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by tvfd911 Quote
I'm new to DSLR and have the K10D also. I found the Magic Lantern Guide for the K10D by Peter Burian pretty useful. Its kind of an ops manual that explains what you're accomplishing with each setting in an easy to understand form. I carry it with me instead of the Pentax ops manual.
The Magic Lantern guide is a good complement to the Pentax manual. I would also suggest The Digital Photography Companion by Derrick Story.
02-13-2009, 09:25 AM   #15
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depends..if learning how to use camera then there are a few but if looking for books i recommend going to local library and grabbing several types of books.

1. How to use dslr camera in general.
2. How to get a good composition and lighting.
3. How to correct pictures in photoshop/lightroom etc.

now i am at 4. How to carve a niche in the photography business + learning more on what the K20D can do.
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