Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
07-01-2007, 06:27 PM   #1
New Member




Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Ohio, US
Posts: 23
Where to Begin?

Hi everyone. I am a complete beginner to photography and want to learn this hobby. I purchased a Pentax *ist DL camera kit last year so I cold take fast quality pictures of my children. I leave it on Auto at all times and am using the included 18-55 lens that came with it. I want to be able to do more than that.

Are there any specific books that will help a beginner out? Where should I start?
(I really don't have time to take any classes with my current schedule.)

Any advice is greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Todd

07-01-2007, 06:40 PM   #2
Veteran Member
Stratman's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: St Louis, Missouri U S A
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 2,464
Amazon.com: Understanding Exposure: How to Shoot Great Photographs with a Film or Digital Camera (Updated Edition): Books: Bryan Peterson This is a good place to start, just read it, and it is very informative.
07-01-2007, 07:51 PM   #3
Loyal Site Supporter




Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Frazier Park, CA
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 835
You might try the library - just about any general photography book can give you the basics about what aperture, shutter speed etc. means/does and why you might choose to change one from what the camera might choose. Much of what I know came from a paperback book I bought in the 1980's about how to use a film SLR, the principles are the same. About the only thing that's new is a few terms (white balance replaces using the right film for the light available and ISO replaces ASA).
07-01-2007, 08:21 PM   #4
PDL
Pentaxian




Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Woodinville, WA USA
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,140
I suggest the National Geographic Photography Field Guide: Digital The National Geographic Online Store - Photography Field Guide: Digital add into this the other field guides found here The National Geographic Online Store - Books

These books also have bibliographies that are excelent. I agree with spending time in the library - I have the complete Time/Life series on Photography (about 20 volumes) that makes for a months worth of reading. Read everything you can get your hands on. Look at images - go to photographers sites (especially those you do not like - strange that you can learn so much from people you do not care for) and look at lots of pictures. Read the camera manual. Search for sites on composition techniques - go there and read - experiment - ask for critique not criticism. Be able to explain what the image is trying to say. Ask specific questions - this one is a very good start.

PDL

07-01-2007, 08:40 PM   #5
Veteran Member
WMBP's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Dallas, Texas
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 2,496
QuoteOriginally posted by Music Quote
Are there any specific books that will help a beginner out? Where should I start?....
Wow, you know how to ask a big question!

There are zillions (well, certainly hundreds) of books on photography in print. What makes it hard for any of us to answer your question is, the books we recommend might not be the books you want to read. I found David Busch's Mastering Digital SLR Photography useful. Perhaps it's not for complete beginners, but if you can find it, take a look; it's not really advanced, either. Same thing might be said about Bryan Peterson's excellent book on Exposure. It has already been recommended and I second the recommendation. But again, take a look at it first. You may be looking for something more basic.

I think what makes the most sense is to visit the library (as has also been suggested) and get a book on basic photography; then perhaps combine what you find there with Scott Kelby's Digital Photography Book. Kelby's book is very easy to read, and inexpensive, too.

Inevitably, you'll have to flail around a bit. But there are LOTS of books out there with lots of information. If you can afford to buy, visit your local camera store or the best local bookstore and browse, then buy. Otherwise, you should be able to find a lot of information at even a mediocre public library.

Two other things to remember. First, as a member of this forum, you can certainly ask questions! We like easy questions. :-)

Second, if there's a camera club in your city (and there probably is), find out when they meet and drop in one month. You might find them a great resource, too.

Good luck.

Will
07-01-2007, 09:48 PM   #6
PDL
Pentaxian




Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Woodinville, WA USA
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,140
Here is a site (actually a gallery) that has samples of some of the masters. Nice place to start looking at what some quality images - interesting, boring and inspiring all at once.

Weston Gallery - Fine 19th and 20th Century Photography

You might give serious thought about taking a class through your local college too.

PDL
07-01-2007, 10:06 PM   #7
Inactive Account




Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 364
Another thing to do is set aside a day when you can just experiment, try all the different modes and settings and see what they produce, for example, when testing Av mode set up you camera next to a long fence, or when testing Tv take shots of either passing car or a running tap. that will be a good visual help for you to see what each setting does and then better equip you to make the decisions less daunting, just about any good photography book will do, once you learn the basics of Tv, Av, ISO you have just about master all there is on the technical side.
07-01-2007, 11:22 PM   #8
Site Supporter
Mallee Boy's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Hindmarsh Isl. Sth Australia
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 3,485
Hi Todd,
All the previous advice is very good and highly relevant, any of those publications will help.
However...may I suggest one simple thing that you can do right now, without spending a dollar...?

Get your camera and the book that came with it and go through the book page by page, become familiar (& comfortable) with each and every function. The book is actually quite informative, but have the camera at your side and practice, practice practice.
Remember that the adjustments are often at the margin and a matter of degrees.

Don't be frightened of it, have fun and experiment, thats the beauty of digital, you can delete your mistakes with no cost to yourself.
Good luck,
Grant

07-02-2007, 12:50 AM   #9
Senior Member




Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Sydney, Australia
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 198
I have the David Buschs book as well and found it very interesting as he dosen't go into software, like alot of other books. Great if you just want to understand digital photography.
You can then buy his software books later.
07-02-2007, 02:52 AM   #10
New Member




Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Ohio, US
Posts: 23
Original Poster
Thanks for all of the excellent advice. I'm headed to the library this week and just realized that I have Friday off from work. I'll head out back and experiment with the camera.

We have a beautiful wooded area behind us that is full of deer, rabbit and coyote. Maybe I'll post a few pics later on.

Thanks everyone.

Todd
07-02-2007, 06:35 PM   #11
Veteran Member
Mechan1k's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 2,883
QuoteOriginally posted by WMBP Quote
Scott Kelby's Digital Photography Book. Kelby's book is very easy to read, and inexpensive, too.

Good luck.

Will

I recently purchased this book .... and I found it very informative for a beginner.

Last edited by Mechan1k; 07-02-2007 at 06:35 PM. Reason: typo
07-02-2007, 08:25 PM   #12
Veteran Member
khardur's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: NW Massachusetts
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,496
My once piece of advice, beyond all the great books people have advised - is to go out and practice. Reading will only get you so far, though I'm certainly not dismissing information you can gain from those sources. I'm just more of a "hands on" type of learner..

Even if you can only get out for 20-30 minutes at a time here or there, you still should find the time somewhere to practice a little.

Here's some things you can do: Give yourself little assignments, try to stick to a theme... or leave all your other lenses at home, take one out and see what you can create by limiting your choices - or photograph the same subject but with 5 different focal lengths... learn how to "see" things from different perspectives like this.
It's all in "seeing" a subject and attempting to capture what you envisioned.

Last edited by khardur; 07-02-2007 at 08:27 PM. Reason: added a few words
07-03-2007, 06:40 AM   #13
Veteran Member




Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Westchester Co., NY
Posts: 538
Kodak used to publish a couple of books called THE JOY OF PHOTOGRAPHY, MORE JOY OF PHOTOGRAPHY, etc. See if you can get ahold of the first one; title sounds cheesy, but this book is an excellent starting point. It runs through the basics (the old one that I have predates digital) and moves to various techniques using examples to illustrate. Take a look through this book even if it's film based only; the basic photographic principles are the same for digital.
07-03-2007, 07:19 AM   #14
Loyal Site Supporter




Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Bronx NY
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 5,599
QuoteOriginally posted by khardur Quote
My once piece of advice, beyond all the great books people have advised - is to go out and practice. Reading will only get you so far, though I'm certainly not dismissing information you can gain from those sources. I'm just more of a "hands on" type of learner..

Even if you can only get out for 20-30 minutes at a time here or there, you still should find the time somewhere to practice a little.

Here's some things you can do: Give yourself little assignments, try to stick to a theme... or leave all your other lenses at home, take one out and see what you can create by limiting your choices - or photograph the same subject but with 5 different focal lengths... learn how to "see" things from different perspectives like this.
It's all in "seeing" a subject and attempting to capture what you envisioned.
I have to agree with Dan. Books are good. But practice is good too. When I became a professional musician, my mentor said "musicians play". Well photographers shoot. I'd suggest something a bit different from Dan tho, and tell you to go out and shoot what ever you want to shoot. I've found that if it's more fun I do it more, especially at the beginning. Play with all the different modes of the camera, and as someone else has said go thru the manual and use that as a starting point. Also, don't get discouraged if you shoot more bad pics than good ones, your skill level will improve with time.

NaCl(and don't forget to post some of your shots here)H2O
07-03-2007, 07:49 AM   #15
Pentaxian
TaoMaas's Avatar

Join Date: May 2007
Location: Oklahoma City
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 3,144
I agree with those who suggested visiting the library. Personally, I started with the Time-Life photography books. A few books from the library can get you started in the right direction with no out-of-pocket expenses. If you have any specific questions, please feel free to PM me. I don't claim to be an expert, but I'm always willing to help.

Last edited by TaoMaas; 07-03-2007 at 08:31 AM.
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
beginner, camera, dslr, photography
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Where to Begin? mi77915 Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 9 11-04-2009 03:33 AM
Let the bidding begin!!! blind-bat Photographic Technique 2 08-13-2009 08:36 AM
VLF winning images are now online, exhibits begin showing on Oct. 8th in McAllen, TX Marc Langille Post Your Photos! 9 10-21-2008 11:57 AM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 09:33 AM. | See also: NikonForums.com, part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top