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01-04-2008, 10:44 PM   #1
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Arizona Pentax workshops

Posted on another thread, but thought I would try this one. I am fairly new to the Pentax DSLR and am wondering if their are any workshops specific to this camera in Arizona. I learn best "hands on" and would love to discover more about my camera.


01-04-2008, 10:55 PM   #2
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Jennaz, please don't double post, even if it's in a different subforum. But welcome to the Forum.

And, besides, you've answered your own question.

It's a DSLR. You're not wasting film.

Read the manual (or don't!), press the buttons, shoot! Shoot! Spin the dials! You're not wasting film, you can immediately see if anything's gone wrong and immediately shoot again.

It's a Pentax - there's very little you can do to break it, and it can't hurt you. And if it does, it's still under warranty .

Shooting, and playing with the modes, makes it easier to understand what you're doing and explain it to you, rather than explain things you mightn't understand yet, and risk boring you.

Get out there and shoot! Get me a picture of a saguarro, please (they're the only plant I've seen that manages to look smug.)

And when you've got a problem, come back here and tell us all about it. We'll help.

Fill up your memory card!
01-04-2008, 11:16 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by jennaz31 Quote
Posted on another thread, but thought I would try this one. I am fairly new to the Pentax DSLR and am wondering if their are any workshops specific to this camera in Arizona. I learn best "hands on" and would love to discover more about my camera.
Let me second what lithos has said already. The very best thing you can do is play with your camera -- experiment. I have spent hours and hours and hours sitting in my living room taking test photos, standing in my back yard or by the lake taking test photos, experimenting, looking at the LCD, and often deleting photos immediately afterwards. Sometimes I take notes, sometimes I take the photos back to my computer for better viewing. But most of the time, I can tell well enough what I've got from reviewing the LCD with the histogram on.

That said, let me add a little to lithos's encouragement.

You've got a new DSLR. The technical problems you now face fall very broadly into three categories.

First, you need to learn how to use the controls on your particular make and model of camera to do the things you want to do, like change aperture, shutter speed, ISO, etc. All things considered, this is a trivial challenge, easily met by quick study of the user manual, by reading one of the books available about your camera, and/or by playing with the camera and posting questions here when you have them.

Second, you need to learn something about the particular challenges of digital SLR photography. There are several good books on the subject of digital SLRs. In some ways, digital is not like shooting with film and it's useful to know what those ways are. At this level, it doesn't matter too much whether you have a Pentax DSLR, a Nikon, a Canon, or whatever. I'm talking here mostly about taking photos, and not about what you do with them after you take them; but if we add post-processing to the subject, then that would fall into this category of problem, too, since digital post-processing is, obviously, not at all like taking film down to the drugstore to have it developed and printed. Especially if we skip the software/post-processing issue, learning how your digital camera is different from your old film SLR is also a fairly small challenge.

Third and finally, there is the big, more-or-less unchanging subject of photography. This is where the action is at and where it will remain for the rest of your life as a photographer. And at this fundamental level, it scarcely matters whether you're using a DSLR, a film SLR, a medium-format camera, or a point & shoot. Photographic equipment has changed a lot in the last 150 years, but the fundamental principles of photography haven't changed much at all. As a practical matter, especially, the latest and greatest DSLR works very much like a fifty-year old film SLR. When I shoot with my Nikon N65 film SLR, I think and work exactly the way I think and work when I'm shooting with my Pentax K10D DSLR: the main difference is that with the Nikon N65 I can't see the results of my photos right away, and since it costs me to get film processed, I shoot more carefully -- and take fewer photos.

So, I don't think you should worry about a Pentax-specific class. Check out the manual that came with your camera. Get a book on photography (I can recommend a whole library of them if you're curious). And if you're the sort of person who likes to take classes, look around in your town. Community colleges and the big-chain camera stores (Wolf/Ritz and others) often sponsor intro to photography classes. You can go to a class where you're the only Pentax user, it won't matter.

Now, let me return to the advice lithos gave you: turn it on and shoot. This is absolutely the best thing you can do, but you will learn from doing ONLY if you take the camera out of P mode. If you just want to be a camera owner, put it in P mode and forget about reading the manual or taking a class. You'll get some good photos now and then. But if you want to become a photographer rather than just a camera owner, then get out of P mode -- and never ever under any circumstances use your camera's scene modes! -- and learn how to take control of the camera and force it to do your bidding. This means taking lots of very badly exposed photos, but hey, as lithos already mentioned, it's digital, those bad shots cost nothing and you learn a lot from them. Everybody thinks manual mode is hard. It's not.

Good luck.


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