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07-03-2007, 08:18 AM   #16
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As a former photography teacher I do have a maybe a different perspective than a few of the above posts.

Start with a basic book that does a good job of explaining basic concepts.

Get a handle of what depth of field is. Set up some still images and take them with both narow and wide depth of field. You need to learn how to use the AV setting to control the apperture to do this. About half the great pictures you see are the products of appropriate control of DOF and in many case its the difference between a shot that looks like it was taken by an amature and one taken by a pro.

Second, learn how to use a motion blur. Once again, an amateur might do it by accident. A pro is always aware of opportunities to incorporate one into one of his shots.

Third, practice using your zoom on the same subject, moving forward and backward so that you can get used to the different way the background is displayed by different focal lengths of lenses. Try and keep the subject the same size. When you are framing aa shot with a zoom, you should always be thinking, "do I want to move forward and create a little artisitc distortion with an extreme wide angle, or do I move back, use the longer setting and squeeze in that backgound."

I'm not sayiin that's all there is to learn, but with those three things, you can take some photos that move you out of the rank amateur category.

Those were the goals of my first year program. The more creative you are in learning to manipulate those three things, especially one and 3, because those are decisions you make on every shot, the more professional your pics will look.

Every picture should involve the follwing decisions.

What aperture should I use?
What focal length lens should I use?

Read books that help you understand those decisions first. And immediaelty after that, start studying lighting. After all, light is the actual medium pictures are made of. After understanding the technolgy of the camera, you'll spend the rest of your journey understandng light.

GOod luck.

07-03-2007, 08:41 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
Every picture should involve the follwing decisions.

What aperture should I use?
What focal length lens should I use?
And third, "Where should my camera be positioned?" It's amazing how many pictures could be improved by a couple of steps one way or the other so that the subject can be framed against a better background.
07-03-2007, 05:27 PM   #18
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it is encouraging to read on this forum simple wisdom as written by normhead.

20+ years ago my first photography class assignment "1 scene, 3 different depths of field".

To add my now oft-repeated advice: spend as much time looking at the background through the camera viewfinder as you spend looking at your photo subject. This addresses previous excellent advice by both normhead and TaoMaas.
07-03-2007, 07:21 PM   #19
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The camera's manual has some good info in it. Imagine that! I've been reading that today and have taken some pretty poor pictures of a black rat snack and some raccoons today. Still fun though.

I've been looking on ebay and online for a zoom lens but haven't taken the plunge yet. Is it premature for me to purchase a Tamron AF70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di LD Macro Lens from Amazon?

07-03-2007, 08:47 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by Music Quote
The camera's manual has some good info in it. Imagine that! I've been reading that today and have taken some pretty poor pictures of a black rat snack and some raccoons today. Still fun though.

..... fancy that. Your welcome.

I've been looking on ebay and online for a zoom lens but haven't taken the plunge yet. Is it premature for me to purchase a Tamron AF70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di LD Macro Lens from Amazon?
...Not at all. Because you are now infected with LBA (it happened when you opened the camera box ), so you will be buying lots of lenses in the years to come, so no point in wasting time, and there's no rule as to which lens you have to buy first.
07-03-2007, 09:47 PM   #21
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Music

QuoteOriginally posted by Music Quote
I've been looking on ebay and online for a zoom lens but haven't taken the plunge yet. Is it premature for me to purchase a Tamron AF70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di LD Macro Lens from Amazon?
Premature to purchase, not really but I would recommend you going to your local (or nearest) shop with your camera and try the lens with your camera...take some shots inside and outside using the various focal lenghts and, of course, the Macro capability --which is actually pretty good -- then, if possible, check the results at the shop or back home on your computer. Then, if you are happy with results, go back to your local shop and purchase the lens and then, if you do have issues, you will have a person you can talk to about it....rather then a voice on a phone or somebody at the other end of an email FWIW, I think this would worth whatever the cost difference -- if there is one.

And, sadly, what Grant (GWP) says is (partially) true ....it's actually when you put the battery in the camera and turn it/you on

Cheers,

Jack
07-03-2007, 10:42 PM   #22
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As a newbie in this field, this thread rocks!
07-04-2007, 12:44 AM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jack_Simpson Quote
Premature to purchase, not really but I would recommend you going to your local (or nearest) shop with your camera and try the lens with your camera...take some shots inside and outside using the various focal lenghts and, of course, the Macro capability --which is actually pretty good -- then, if possible, check the results at the shop or back home on your computer. Then, if you are happy with results, go back to your local shop and purchase the lens and then, if you do have issues, you will have a person you can talk to about it....rather then a voice on a phone or somebody at the other end of an email FWIW, I think this would worth whatever the cost difference -- if there is one.

And, sadly, what Grant (GWP) says is (partially) true ....it's actually when you put the battery in the camera and turn it/you on

Cheers,

Jack
Hey Jack.....I've just turned the camera on, ...Anne says she can't see any difference, somethings not working mate...............

Cheers
Grant

07-04-2007, 11:49 PM   #24
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GWP

QuoteOriginally posted by GWP Quote
Hey Jack.....I've just turned the camera on, ...Anne says she can't see any difference, somethings not working mate...............

Cheers
Grant
Hi ya Grant,

Ummmm, you may have to elaborate for me..."what was the initial problem" and "what
difference should Anne be seeing?"

Let me know and I shall endeavour to help out

Cheers and Hi to Anne and the family

Jack
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