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Thread: Beginner Shutter bug

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    Member mntransplant's Avatar
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    Default Beginner Shutter bug

    I love all the great pics everyone shares on this forum! Does anyone know where I can get started in learning about photography. I have practically no experience but would like to start capturing on film some of the beauty that i see when i'm out and about. I'm not looking to break the bank right off the bat, but i realize that this like everything else is dependant on the quality of gear. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you all in advance and keep the pics coming.

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    Here are a couple free sources to start your education:

    http://photo.net/learn/ -- A collection of varied topics, some basic and some advanced.

    http://www.morguefile.com/archive/classroom.php -- A regular photo course covering all the basics.

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    Member Majik Imaje's Avatar
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    Purchase a camera that you can afford, the brand name does not matter one bit. Every camera is capable of creating an image.

    Now you have some reading to do.. .. to learn some of the 'basics' but my advice is get out there, and CREATE images. Then do the reading, to see if your making progress.

    There is no way to cut corners for the practice you need to become familiar with your new 'hobby' .

    Practice makes .. .. 'better' !! Keep on practicing and you will keep getting better and better !! OR... ... .. you will keep making the same mistakes !!

    THIS IS THE ONLY WAY TO LEARN. there are no shortcuts to experience !!

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    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    I would start off with a entry level book on digital photography. Jim's suggestion to photo.net is a very good one. Tons of info on that forum. Take a look at the Nikon and Canon forums. I like the nature forum as well. Nikon and Canon would be my choice for a camera due to all the lenses that are available (among other reasons). As your interest grows, you will likely add some lenses and at that time you will value having the many choices that Nikon and Canon offer. A Canon Xsi with kit lens would be a good start. If you have a little more money to spend and have a sincere interest in photography, look at the Canon 40D. It is an amazing camera. Get a few books and get out and have fun. Photography seems like a tough nut to crack, but like most things is much simpler than it first appears. Just got into it a year ago myself. Feel free to pm with any specific questions. Happy to help if I can. Below are a few links that may generate some thought...

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...Si_a_k_a_.html

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...tography_.html

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...Rebel_XSi.html
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

  5. #5

    Default my advice

    I have been shooting for 15 years, my advice is if possible and you have the time take a black and white film fine art class. You will really learn the important basics about photography in that class, and it all transfers over to the digital medium! Otherwise, just do it, shoot digital as it is free after the cost of the gear. I would stick with either Nikon or Canon digital SLR. visit kenrockwell.com next best thing to a class.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by mntransplant View Post
    I love all the great pics everyone shares on this forum! Does anyone know where I can get started in learning about photography. I have practically no experience but would like to start capturing on film some of the beauty that i see when i'm out and about. I'm not looking to break the bank right off the bat, but i realize that this like everything else is dependant on the quality of gear. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you all in advance and keep the pics coming.
    eh no it is not *all* dependent upon quality of gear--it is dependent upon your knowledge of the principles of photography and creativity. when you learn about photography you can make great photos with cheap gear. Yes more expensive gear provides more features but great photos come from all types of gear not just the expensive stuff. If you want to be a good photographer you must study light and study the work of the great photographers, contary to what the marketing people will lead you to believe photography is NOT about gear. I personally think one of the best ways to learn photography is take a B&W art class use a manual camera. I was shooting for about 6 years and I had many classes and thousands of dollars of gear and decided to sell it all bought one little manual focus camera one lens and NO meter NO flash used the sunny 16 rule for metering. I shot for a year that way it really taught me about light, timing, the important things. Spend some time at kenrockwell.com

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    Member Floyd_Davidson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mwalker View Post
    Spend some time at kenrockwell.com
    Rockwell is entertainment, but it really is not a good idea to base purchasing decisions on anything he says.

  8. #8

    Default eh well I have to disagree

    Quote Originally Posted by Floyd_Davidson View Post
    Rockwell is entertainment, but it really is not a good idea to base purchasing decisions on anything he says.
    Can you demonstrate to us that his reviews are flawed? Can you show us where his free tutorials are wrong? I highly recommend his reviews and tutorials there has gotta be some reason his website is the most popular photo blog on the web! http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech.htm

    Rockwell is a talented photographer and educated engineer, he invented one of the first digital chips he knows what he is talking about and speaks his mind even if it flies in the face of the marketing people.

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    Member Floyd_Davidson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mwalker View Post
    Can you demonstrate to us that his reviews are flawed? Can you show us where his free tutorials are wrong?
    The URL that I cited is filled with examples.
    I highly recommend his reviews and tutorials there has gotta be some reason his website is the most popular photo blog on the web! http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech.htm
    It isn't, but regardless I did say and do believe that yes it is entertaining. But the problem is statements like this one from his article on dynamic range,
    "Cameras which test with greater dynamic range aren't any
    better than other cameras. They simply have lower contrast.
    Which is best for you depends on what you shoot."
    That should peg your BogoMeter!
    Rockwell is a talented photographer and educated engineer, he invented one of the first digital chips he knows what he is talking about and speaks his mind even if it flies in the face of the marketing people.
    If you say so...

    But in fact I don't know of anyone with decades of experience in the field of photography that recommends Rockwell as credible. Here is a list of at least some of the credible web sites available,

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    Supporting Member AlaskanSD's Avatar
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    Rockwell is an anomaly. I appreciate the heck out of him because when you boil it all down, your equipment is irrelevant. Spending $$$ on stuff doesn't make you a good photographer.

    Second, I think his personality just annoys some people so they try to peg it on his information.

    With that said, just get out and start clicking the shutter. Play with exposure and composition. Experience is the best educator.

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    I find it interesting that Photo.net has blocked hyperlinks and references to Rockwell's site on some of it's forums. They aren't being spiteful, they just find him very controversial, and occasionally very wrong headed. It was getting too difficult to help all the new photographers figure out which parts were the wrong parts, so they just block him now. He does have some good information, and he is always controversial, but it seems he writes some outrageous things just to get more attention to his website. He is a successful marketer though.

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    Member Floyd_Davidson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlaskanSD View Post
    ... when you boil it all down, your equipment is irrelevant. Spending $$$ on stuff doesn't make you a good photographer.
    You need a reality check on the cause and effect there. Ever notice how the better equipment is all described as "professional"? Ever notice how the best photographers all use top of the line equipment that cost big bucks? What you say can't be right!

    It is very true that just "spending $$$ on stuff doesn't make you a good photographer", but it does NOT follow from that statement that "equipment is irrelevant". And (I don't mean this personally, but) every time you see someone say that, the first thing to realize is that they do not understand the topic! That applies to Rockwell, to the two or three people on this forum, and the many in other forums, who make such claims.

    A "good photographer" can indeed make good photographs using almost any equipment. But that misses the point! Nobody can make just any good photograph with just any equipment! Only photographs that can be done with "almost any equipment" will be "good". The simplest P&S can take a great picture of a dog or a kid or a pie. It won't take great pictures of the moon, of flying eagles, of a knat's eye, of the ball leaving the pitcher's hand at the World Series, or any of a number of other scenes with special requirements. It requires that you spend big bucks on ****ed good equipment if you want to do all of those, or even any of those.

    The quality of equipment doesn't make a photographer, but the aspirations of a photographer are indicated by equipment acquisitions.

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    Supporting Member AlaskanSD's Avatar
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    This thread is getting off topic - I think Rockwell hijacked it. HA!

    That being said, a large format camera I could build in my shop for $100 similar to what Ansel Adams used, has MUCH higher dynamic range and detail than a $7,000 1Ds Mk III and a $2,000 lens. Not saying we won't eventually get there, but at this point it's humorous.

    You go to any high end landscape gallery where there are 8' wide gorgeous photos on the wall, in AK, CA, etc, and you'll find they were shot with Large Format.

    A simple lens, bellows, film. Maybe my statement should have been, "the price or age of your equipment is irrelevant" because theoretically, I could make a large format camera body out of cardboard and duct tape.

    Think what you may. I digress - where's my XSI?

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    Member Floyd_Davidson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlaskanSD View Post
    This thread is getting off topic - I think Rockwell hijacked it. HA!

    That being said, a large format camera I could build in my shop for $100 similar to what Ansel Adams used, has MUCH higher dynamic range and detail than a $7,000 1Ds Mk III and a $2,000 lens. Not saying we won't eventually get there, but at this point it's humorous.
    The last several models from either Canon or Nikon will in fact have significantly higher dynamic range.
    You go to any high end landscape gallery where there are 8' wide gorgeous photos on the wall, in AK, CA, etc, and you'll find they were shot with Large Format.
    Probably true, but not necessarily. In fact much of the imagery being done at that size today uses digital cameras, with multiple exposures stitched together. The resolution obtained that way exceeds Large Format film by a significant amount, but of course can only be used on things such as landscape photography where the subject is stationary.
    A simple lens, bellows, film. Maybe my statement should have been, "the price or age of your equipment is irrelevant" because theoretically, I could make a large format camera body out of cardboard and duct tape.

    Think what you may. I digress - where's my XSI?
    But you won't find, regardless of what Rockwell says, any professional photographers using a cardboard and duct tape camera on assignment.

    That is because the equipment does make a difference.

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    This whole thread has been fun to watch & had some good advice but is getting a bit off track.
    You might check with your local college. I haven't taken advantage of it yet, but our local community college has several evening digital photography classes available (ot at least has in the past). Probably a good place to start.
    Vance in AK.

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    "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you."

  16. #16
    Member Majik Imaje's Avatar
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    A good place to START, is by studying images that were created by distinguished professionals.

    Study images and learn how to compose an image. THIS IS THE ESSENCE OF PHOTOGRAPHY !

    PLAIN SIMPLE AND straight forward & free !

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