Newbie - If you could give me just 1 piece of advice...

Discussion in 'Photography Forums' started by Tony8, Mar 8, 2013.

  1. Tony8

    Tony8
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    I have just ordered my first DSLR and can't wait to get started! I've been inspired by many of the photos I have seen on here and if I could trouble you I would just like to know what single piece of advice you would offer a newbie like me?

    Any and all advice will be greatly appreciated! :)

    Tony
     
  2. shotokan101

    shotokan101
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    Don't even think about upgrading - just get out and use your camera at every opportunity - find out it's strengths and weaknesses and most of all find out the sort of stuff that you like to shoot :)

    Enjoy your camera

    JIm
     
  3. Ugg10

    Ugg10
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    The best advice I can give is to first do a bit of homework and understand the relationship between -

    Aperture - Shutter Speed - ISO (sesnitivity)

    often called the exposure triangle.

    If you have this basic grounding in the "physics" of photography you won't go too far wrong and this will also open up a lot of experimenting and happy times taking photos.

    Either search on line for tutorials or buy the "Understanding Exposure" book.

    But most of all Enjoy your photography - it's a hobby not a chore.
     
  4. eddiewood

    eddiewood
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    Don't buy another lens until you fully understand why you want it.
     
  5. =adrian=

    =adrian=
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    Start shooting in Manual as soon as possible, preferably from day 1.
     
  6. johnaalex

    johnaalex
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    Remember that one of the great benefits of digital photgraphy is that it costs virtually nothing to experiment - if the shot is not right delete it and move on!
     
  7. Tony8

    Tony8
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    Some great advice there, thanks to each of you. I have been doing as much reading and vid-viewing as possible. Saw a link to Mike Browne's YouTube videos in another thread and I have found many of them to be very informative. His delivery is good and he makes it easy to understand.

    I have also found it helpful to read many of the threads on here and in the Photo Sharing section in terms of understanding how people are capturing some of the wonderful shots on show. Without wanting to get anyone into any bother, does anyone have any recommendations for any other sites/forums?

    Again, many thanks for all assistance, it's much appreciated! :)
     
  8. twist

    twist
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    1) Don't listen to a word Eddiewood says.
     
  9. Some Bloke

    Some Bloke
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    1. Remember to enjoy and have fun with photography and don't be too serious.

    But, if you're taking a shot and some people walk into the scene, sit down and start eating their sandwiches.
    You as the photographer have the right to shout "Get the F out of my shot, you bunch of ..."

    It's all fun, fun, fun :D

    2. Use the camera's and your post processing software's Histogram.

    3. Always know what lens to take with you on holiday.
    That way, you'll never have to ask "What lens (or "lense", if you stupid) for ..." on any internet forum site ;)
     
  10. shotokan101

    shotokan101
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    15 common photography questions from beginners (and how to solve them) | Digital Camera World - page 6
     
  11. RobDickinson

    RobDickinson
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    Its more about what you shoot, when, than what you shoot it with.
     
  12. Bl4ckGryph0n

    Bl4ckGryph0n
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    Get booked in with a therapist now to deal with your frustrations, and persevere.
     
  13. Anthony

    Anthony
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    Tosh! I've been using cameras for 40 years and can count on one hand the number of times I've used manual.
    Use all the built in features that your camera offers and enjoy what you do. You don't need to act like or pretend to be a pro.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 10, 2013
  14. =adrian=

    =adrian=
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    You can as well use your mobile phone for taking snaps. No point investing in dSLR system. Learn photography and how to use the camera and it will free your creativity. You cannot learn if you let the camera to do the thinkinv for you.

    Either do it right or don't do it at all is what I think.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2013
  15. Bl4ckGryph0n

    Bl4ckGryph0n
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    surely 40 years ago they were all manual :p
     
  16. Anthony

    Anthony
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    My apologies - it was 34 years ago. My first SLR was an Olympus OM10 :)
     
  17. Anthony

    Anthony
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    Even more tosh! So if you don't use manual don't bother with a DSLR? Come on - this is the real world where there are those who want to take good photographs without getting all arty and creative. . I've been very happy using SLRs over the years and only recently gone on to a digital SLR. There's enough for a newbie to learn with these cameras without being told to use manual from day one. Peoiple new at this game don't want to be put off before they start.

    Al
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 10, 2013
  18. =adrian=

    =adrian=
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    Call it what you want. It might be tosh to you but that is what I've done and I am very happy that I did.

    If people only want a camera that takes pictures itself, there is no point investing in dSLR. There are many compacts, P&S cameras or even mobile phone cameras that can do this.

    When somebody is buying into dSLR system, I presume one wants more creative control over his/hers photos that other systems can't give. If that is not the case then there are cbeaper and easier to use options out there. Hence my comment that there is no point investing in (expensive) dSLR system.
     
  19. eddiewood

    eddiewood
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    Git!

    Don't listen to Twist, he's a bitter Nikon fanboy. :D
     
  20. Anthony

    Anthony
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    OK - my last post on this and I'll keep it very short.

    You don't need to use manual because you own a DSLR
     
  21. eddiewood

    eddiewood
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    I take it you don't take advantage of the auto-focus system as only the truly creative types use manual focus.

    You don't want to be playing around with that metering system either, that's for point'n'shooters. Real photographers use the force for getting exposure.

    I mean, you wouldn't want the camera to do all that for you now, would you? It'd be like having "a camera that takes pictures itself".

    A good shot is a good shot. I couldn't care less if the camera user was using PASM or Auto.

    I would advise Tony to ignore utter nonsense like starting out in manual, even that no-hoper Twist wouldn't advise that. :devil:
     
  22. =adrian=

    =adrian=
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    You can use your camera however you like, I don't care. Can't be really bothered replying anymore too. I said what i wanted to say already.

    PS I use manual focus a lot in my studio work.
     
  23. shotokan101

    shotokan101
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    I think that the key here is that it's perfectly "O.K." to treat a DSLR as a "Big Boys Compact" :D and shoot using Full Auto mode - or (shudders quietly inside) the Scene Modes :rotfl: if all you want is better quality snaps.

    It's equally "O.K." to start off in full auto with your first DSLR and if it does what you want then it's just as O.K. to keep using it like that and under most circumstances a modern DSLR will deliver "acceptable" results.

    However if you want to get a bit more creative with your photography and want to achieve a particular effect (e.g. shallow DOF to isolate main subject) or you want to shoot action subjects such as sports then you will need to get to know the "semi-auto" modes - Aperture Priority and Shutter Priority.

    Sure it can all be "done" in full Manual mode (strictly speaking) but IMO that requires a lot of experience and a a good understanding of the basic concepts affecting exposure - ISO/Shutter-Speed/Aperture.

    Yes I think that everyone should try full Manual at some point as there are definitely some circumstances where you can achieve better results - but most of the time either Aperture Priority or Shutter Priority will do what you want with much less hassle and you'll probably get more "keepers" and miss less opportunities while messing around setting manually.

    Jim
     
  24. Tony8

    Tony8
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    Some interesting debate it seems, and I appreciate both sides of the argument :)

    One of the main reasons I am investing in a DSLR is indeed to be able to capture some more creative shots with things like shallow DOF, slow shutter speeds etc... so I will have fun learning, that's for sure.

    Once again, thanks for taking the time to reply with your helpful comments and advice, much appreciated.

    Tony
     
  25. Jon_C

    Jon_C
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    Here's a fellow novice's perspective. (I bought my first DSLR, a Nikon D3100, in November.)

    I read (and frequently refer back to):

    Bryan Peterson 'Understanding Exposure'
    Scott Kelby 'The Digital Photography Book'

    The former is recommended a lot on AVforums and for good reason. I bought the Kindle version because it's handy to have with me when I'm out and I can't remember how to do something.

    The latter is one my girlfriend bought me years ago and I've only just read thoroughly. Again, very helpful to a beginner like me.

    Both are well written and explain how to achieve certain types of shot with examples. They're like having an expert with you who tells you how to do things without blinding you with science, although the technical explanations are there to an extent in both books.

    For my first month I was afraid of manual mode until I got my head round it and realised what it can help you achieve. Even roughly recreating one of the shots from the books in manual mode makes you realise it's not just for experts and gives you extra control. For me that was the main point of upgrading after having used compacts and camera phones for years. The other point is the step-up in image quality due to the better sensor etc.

    If the latter is your sole reason for buying a DSLR, fair play but a little reading and experimentation with manual mode can be very rewarding. I've got some shots I'm really happy with already and I'm far from an expert. It doesn't take much experience to recreate basic techniques. I think experience will just make them second nature.

    As a beginner, I do see the merit in leaving my camera on full auto (and burst) mode when it's not in use, though - in case I chance upon something that requires getting the shot quickly and without time to consider creative options.
     
  26. Tony8

    Tony8
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    Thanks for that Jon, appreciate you taking the time to share your advice as a fellow newbie :)

    I will check out the recommended reading too

    All the best,

    Tony
     
  27. mucca_D

    mucca_D
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    Hope you don't mind Tony, I am going to give you two.

    1. When I get asked what mode I shoot in. My answer is "I shoot in whatever mode I need to get the shot I need"

    To expand a little for you to learn WHY the camera does something in one of the modes. DO put it in auto and take a pic. Then change to AV,TV or M and set the exact same settings and take a pic. Then change one up or down and see what it changes.

    2. At some point in the next few months, you are going to show off an awesome photo. You will be very proud and so you should be, its a cracker! With in a day or two of this event, you are going to be asked to do a wedding for a family member... SAY NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1


    Welcome to the[-]art[/-] Pain of photography

    That is all
    Doug
     
  28. RobDickinson

    RobDickinson
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    Auto modes are fine so long as you understand what the auto bit is doing and how to make it do what you want instead.

    Dont sweat the mechanics, concentrate on the art.
     
  29. arthurdentpc

    arthurdentpc
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    I'm going to disagree with shotokan here :eek:

    The first thing our tutor said when I started the course I'm on was "the only modes that exist are M, A and S. P does not exist, Auto does not exist, the woman in the hat does not exist ....."

    I think it was the best advice I got tbh, I see so many who start on Auto then when they try something new and it doesn't work go back to the Auto safety net. Better to learn all that stuff straight off imo.
     
  30. eddiewood

    eddiewood
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    He gets that a lot.
     

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