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07-04-2009, 06:39 PM   #1
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reading material/ online classes

It's apparent I have a lot to learn. Let's pretend (or not) I know nothing about photography or my new camera k20.

Does anyone have any sugustion for reading material or online classes? Something that doesn't read like a manual more hands on.

Thanks in advance.

07-04-2009, 09:21 PM   #2
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Right under your nose, this forum.
07-04-2009, 10:17 PM   #3
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Try the Articles tab for a selection good reads.
07-04-2009, 10:52 PM   #4
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duh thanks

07-05-2009, 05:13 AM   #5
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Catt,

Are you looking for general photography tips or Pentax specific info?

I've found some helpful, general turtorials at this site: Digital Photography Tips and Tutorials.

When I wanted to learn more about outdoor portraits, and product photography, I also found some helpful videos on Youtube.

For Pentax specific learning, it's hard to beat this forum.
07-05-2009, 07:36 AM   #6
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I'd also suggect a basic photography book. I don't really have any specific recomendations - just go to the local library or bookstore and see what strikes your fancy. Mostly, you're lookng for something that explains f-stop, shutter speed, ISO, how different metering systems (eg, center-weighted versus spot, etc) work, also maybe a chapter on macro photography, explanation of focal length. For me, it was one of the old National Geographic Field Guides that taught me a lot. The current version I don't like so much, though.
07-05-2009, 06:35 PM   #7
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I've taken classes at Betterphoto.com, and they're ok...but I've found that I often have specific "equipment & usage" questions that are best answered by the folks on this forum as well as on photo.net. I can't live without my Magic Lantern Guide to the Pentax K10d by Peter Burian, and am continually learning something new from that.
07-05-2009, 09:26 PM   #8
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I guess i am looking for specifics like how to get the best shot in a floresent setting. I have a neice coming any day now and I promised to take pics before I decided to get a new camera that I know anything about. Plus i just sold the old one. I'm afraid of having to have the flash on in every shot and blinding every one in the room. Since I can't create the setting it's freaking me out.

07-05-2009, 09:36 PM   #9
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I'll echo Marc's suggestion and suggest a book myself, which is easy to read and very practical:
Understanding exposure, by Brian Peterson.
A great reference and instruction book.

On fluorescent lighting, you do have the white balance adjustment mode on your K20D, which can be set to Fluorescent (if shooting without flash). With flash, just stick to auto, and try to bounce it (if you have one such flash unit) to avoid harsh shadows if possible (one thing in photos I don't like personally...) But there's a lot to learn in flash photography itself... probably better to just take one thing at a time and learn the exposure triad first, building on that when taking portraits.
07-06-2009, 12:48 AM   #10
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Don't bother with trying to take shots under fluorescent lighting, just go outside.
07-06-2009, 04:21 AM   #11
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I just got a K20D too, and I'm been experimenting with the built-in flash. For now, it's the only flash I have. Altough I prefer not to use it, I understand tht there are times when some flash is nneded.

If the ceilings are white and not over 10 ft, a pieced of curved/folded white paper can be held in front of the flash to bounce it off the ceiling. The effect is much nicer than direct flash. You may need to dial up the flash compensation a notch.

Where the ceiling is too high, I have used a homemade diffuser that I originally used on my point & shoot camera's pop-up flash. It seems to operate much like it did on my P&S camera. It will reduce the light from the flash somewhat and disfuse it. I've also gotten good results by dialing up the flash compensation a notch with this homemade doohickey. It's best to expeirment before hand.



It's just the side of a plastic mik carton (cut and folded), some velcro, and a folded piece of scrap photo paper at the back to help bounce back some of the light.
07-06-2009, 06:39 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sew-Classic Quote
I just got a K20D too, and I'm been experimenting with the built-in flash. For now, it's the only flash I have. Altough I prefer not to use it, I understand tht there are times when some flash is nneded.

If the ceilings are white and not over 10 ft, a pieced of curved/folded white paper can be held in front of the flash to bounce it off the ceiling. The effect is much nicer than direct flash. You may need to dial up the flash compensation a notch.

Where the ceiling is too high, I have used a homemade diffuser that I originally used on my point & shoot camera's pop-up flash. It seems to operate much like it did on my P&S camera. It will reduce the light from the flash somewhat and disfuse it. I've also gotten good results by dialing up the flash compensation a notch with this homemade doohickey. It's best to expeirment before hand.



It's just the side of a plastic mik carton (cut and folded), some velcro, and a folded piece of scrap photo paper at the back to help bounce back some of the light.
OK, you have the diffuser and the pics online as a demo. The only difference between you and Gary Fong is $19.95. I like yours better. Should last longer.
07-06-2009, 09:16 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by catt410 Quote
I guess i am looking for specifics like how to get the best shot in a floresent setting.
I'd say any basic photography on photography that cover digital in particular would explain white balance, which is the main concept you need to understand to work successfully in different kinds of light. The default "auto" white balance setting (AWB) works OK "most" of the time, but if you notice a color cast to your pictures, then you need to take what you learn about white balance to heart and either change to a different WB setting or use the Manual WB option.

In general, fluorescent light is not normally very for portraits - it has a type of color cast that is difficult for cameras to eliminate entirely, and the fact that the color actually changes 60 times a second can create situations where the color is *way* off if the timing of the shutter happens to catch the light at a bad point in the cycle. More than one person has sent their camera back for repair thinking something must be wrong, when actually it's just a fact of life that happens sometimes with fluorescent lighting.
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