How do I get involved in Photography? And what camera to get?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Ashlorraine, Jun 25, 2009.

  1. Ashlorraine

    Ashlorraine TPF Noob!

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    Hi!

    For a long time now I have wanted to get involved in photography. However I REALLY need some experienced help to guide me in the right direction!

    First off, what type of camera should I get? I am willing to get a used camera and to spend up to 300-500 (but of course cheaper is preferred). Is this a reasonable price? Do I need to pay more? This is my first camera, so can I afford to go cheaper or should I invest in something of better quality? I know good cameras probably cost much more than this but I don't exactly have much to spend...

    Second off, where exactly do I start?...I have always wanted to take classes (I am entering 2nd year of college) but they are impossible to get into because they reserve the spots for art majors (I am a science major). I don't really have the time or means to travel to other places or schools to take classes. Can I just start building a portfolio or how exactly does it work? I want something legitimate to recognize any experience I have acquired. Do you have to take classes for this sort of recognition?

    I want to do photography because I have always felt drawn to it and felt a void when I can't photograph something. I am thinking about incorporating it into a science career in the future (my ideal job would be doing something recording wildlife). Please any advice would be GREATLY appreciated!! I (clearly) know absolutely NOTHING! haha! I am brand new to this but super excited to finally learn. Thanks! :)
     
  2. Samanax

    Samanax TPF Noob!

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    For a budget of $300-$500 you're going to have to look at the used market for a decent camera. My suggestion is to get a DSLR with a decent starter lens instead of a P&S or advanced bridge P&S since a DSLR will let you go full manual with the controls. I'd stick to Canon or Nikon instead of one of the other brands since most pros use either Canon or Nikon.

    You can get a head start on formal classes by studying what you can on-line. There is a lot of free on-line information about photography...I'd start here for now and then maybe check out this web site.

    You need to put your work out there so get a on-line gallery or blog and just keep posting your best work. Join lots of photography forums and social networking sites and get your stuff out there. If it's good people will notice.

    Don't be discouraged if your early stuff isn't good...photography is something that takes time to learn and develop. Some say you really don't get good until your 7th year of shooting.

    Good luck.
     
  3. musicaleCA

    musicaleCA TPF Noob!

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    Well, a little over three months ago I was in exactly the same situation you are. I actually hadn't held a camera for a couple years before I got my 450D. o_O So, here's what I did:

    To learn, I just read, read, and read some more, and listened to podcasts like TWiP (This Week in Photography), and now PhotoFocus as well. I learnt a lot just by listening to pros in the field talk about various camera things, even if at the time I was still trying to really grapple with the concepts. Learn exposure, learn exposure, learn exposure. You absolutely need to know how ISO, shutter speed, and aperture relate to each other, how stops work, and what the benefits and drawbacks of adjusting each of those three settings in either direction are. You'll quickly learn that photography is often a balancing act.

    Some people may say you ought to take classes, but frankly there's a lot you can learn by yourself by getting some good reading materials, and even just reading the camera manual. You can start building a portfolio whenever you've got great pictures; the advice I keep having repeated to me by everyone in this field, it seems, is that a few really awesome shots are way, way better than a lot of good to mediocre ones. That, and your port will be a foundation for your reputation, so you may want to really get your work to a point where you're really nailing good shots before you start building a port.

    As for what camera to get, that's like asking what size shoe to buy. Whatever fits. For this, you should freely dive into researching the various camera manufacturers; most people shoot Nikon or Canon, but that doesn't necessarily mean you have to if there are features you want that another manufacturer provides. (As stated, Canon and Nikon are solid brands though, and given the economy too, we might see some of the smaller manufacturers leave our sights; Canon and Nikon won't be leaving us any time soon.)

    And, finally, you get what you pay for in photography, pretty much always. If you spend the money to get a kit lens and entry level DSLR, then that's what you'll get, with all the caveats. (Some people above us mere mortals don't do this...Tharmsen here is an example. I am jealous of that gear...yeesh. :lol: )

    Oh, and get a DSLR. If you're into photography big time, you're going to want the flexibilty of interchangable lenses.
     

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