Im Brand New...

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Guinness Man, Sep 22, 2009.

  1. Guinness Man

    Guinness Man TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2009
    Messages:
    160
    Likes Received:
    16
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    So, I love photography. Or so I think. It has always been an interest of mine and I am serious about getting into it as a hobby for now and expand how much of my life it takes up in the future.

    My question is, where do I start?

    Should I buy a book and get reading?
    Should I take a workshop?
    Should I just take photos and submit them for critique?
    Should I buy editing software?
    Do I need to buy a fancy SLR camera or will my digital Cannon work ok? (dont know the model, but cost $400, so its not terrible)

    OR...

    Should I just download others peoples photos and claim them as my own? <--haha joking.

    Thanks in advance for helping me get started.

    ~GM
     
  2. shortpballer

    shortpballer TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2009
    Messages:
    664
    Likes Received:
    12
    Location:
    San Diego
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    First off, welcome!! people are very helpful here. I think you should start here. Thats where I started and I know SOOOO much more than I probably ever wanted to know. However I've spent thousands of dollars lol. And I'm not going to lie this stuff is addicting. But I would recommend putting pictures on here and having people critique them. And if you decide its something you enjoy then take the jump and get a dslr. You can get nice semi-pro slr's like the 20D and the 30D for REALLY well priced. I would highly recommend that over getting a rebel. You can get 20d's in the 300 range and 30d's in the 450ish range. I'm actually selling my 30D if you want it. PM me if interested.

    Eric
     
  3. Guinness Man

    Guinness Man TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2009
    Messages:
    160
    Likes Received:
    16
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Great. Thank You.

    I guess my question is are workshops helpfull enough to pay for right off the bat? Should I get the basics down firrst or start shooting away and see what happens?

    In other words, I dont want to be 2 months down the road and $1000 poorer and have the same knowledge I do now.

    I do know tha I need to browse this forum. Tons of good stuff here...
     
  4. Plato

    Plato TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2009
    Messages:
    1,058
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    United States of America
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    You've got to get the basics down first. There are too many combinations to simply shoot blindly and look for critiques.

    My suggestion is that you leave the editing software and the SLR purchase for last. Try some combination of the other options for some period of time (you decide). Even with the limitations imposed by a P&S, you should see the quality of your shots improve. Investigate SLRs and editing software after you learn just what those limitations are and which limitations you want to eliminate.
     
  5. shortpballer

    shortpballer TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2009
    Messages:
    664
    Likes Received:
    12
    Location:
    San Diego
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Personally I learned everything from either this site or from other forums. If you are interested in lighting, then go to Strobist they have TONS of information on lighting and off camera stuff. I bought my first digital camera beginning of the summer. And I've come a long way. Look at my previous started threads to see some of my pictures if you want. But honestly I wouldn't recommend paying for a class. Just watch youtube videos and be on here and ask alot of questions. Obviously some people are going to be kind of mean, but thats with every forum in the world. Spend the money from that class and buy yourself a 20d or a 30d like I said. Thats my 2 cents.
     
  6. hulk

    hulk TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2009
    Messages:
    46
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Toronto, ON
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Start by reading as much as you can, as well as looking at as many pictures as you can. This will allow you to see if you really do indeed like photography or not.

    Yes! I recommend Bryan Peterson's Understanding Exposure and Learning to See Creatively. Also, when/if you buy a camera, make sure to read the WHOLE user manual.

    If that's how you like to learn, yes! But to start, taking pictures by yourself (or along with a book) will probably get you started.

    Yes, but not before you critique them yourself.

    There are a lot of free software that'll do most jobs (especially in the beginning) just fine. Most notably Paint.NET and GIMP.

    You're fine to start with the camera you have now. Read this. He probably goes a little too overboard, but a great read nonetheless.
     
  7. Guinness Man

    Guinness Man TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2009
    Messages:
    160
    Likes Received:
    16
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    This is great info. Thanks. I think my first limitation is not knowing what my limitations are. lol. I really have no idea what my photos will look like when I put my mind to it. I may be a natural at some things and terrible at others. Time will tell. Thanks again

    Sounds great. Thanks. There is more info here than I can possibly digest so I suppose if I want to know something, I can find it here or ask.
     
  8. Guinness Man

    Guinness Man TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2009
    Messages:
    160
    Likes Received:
    16
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Thanks Hulk. (Too much to quote) I will look into all of that. Wow! Im already overwhelmed. We've come so far from the days of Polariods. lol
     
  9. bp4life71

    bp4life71 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2009
    Messages:
    188
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Massena, NY
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I'm new as well...like 2 weeks new! Let me answer the best I can:

    Buying a book- Not necessary, in two weeks here on these forums and reading up on all things photography on the web, I have learned so much that I have a very good grasp of the CONCEPTS and how everything work together to create a good picture.

    A Workshop- This could be helpful, as you would have hands-on instruction by experienced photographers.

    Submit Photos- Just submitting photos for critique by itself will not make you a better photographer. What I like about submitting for critique, is that generally speaking, most people (self included) think their pictures are better than they are because...well, its their picture and they have a bias towards it. It's great to have another set of eyes to look on as it gives you different perspectives. Submitting photos for critique is definitely a tool though. I do it, and many here do also.

    Photo Software- Absolutely. You definitely want to get some sort of editing software. That doesnt mean you have to purchase software, there are plenty of FREE programs available that will get you by until your ready to buy some serious software. I purchased Photoshop Elements 7.0, you can pick it up for 69.99 or buy it bundled with Premiere Elements for 99.00. Thats what I did. No pictures are perfect, plust there are alot of cool effects you can do to enhance your photos.

    Download other photos- (i know your joking :thumbup:) Sure...you can...but what fun would that be?


    Im new to the hobby, just bought me a camera, and did alot of reading on the net. I would say depending on how quick of a learner you are, you could be up to speed in those 2 weeks. Thats not to say you will be a professional...lol, but you will have the foundation to build on. I see people with posts in the 1000's that are asking questions I already know. Book is not necessary, I got a FULL understanding of how to take photos, fool with apertures, shutter speed, f stops etc just from the web. 2 weeks ago I didnt know what a SLR was.

    Any starting point DSLR would be plenty to get going. As others have stated, the lense is the most important. Most beginning DSLR's are going to suffice. I bought a Canon XS for 549.99 and I am taking nice pictures with it so far. Im new, so take all of what I said with a grain of salt. Alot of experience on these forums...but bear in mind most of them are professional photographers or could be. I'm giving you my perspective from someone who was in your shoes 2 weeks earlier.

    Enjoy.
     
  10. hulk

    hulk TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2009
    Messages:
    46
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Toronto, ON
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Although I mostly agree with you, I'd have to say that books do have their use. Although the broad concepts are easily learned (depth of field using aperture, motion control using shutter speed, the "triangle", etc...), there were a lot of little things that I didn't know until I read a book. A book will also help you with getting the big picture (no pun intended :)). Kind of like feeling that you'll know how to handle most (if not all) situations that come your way.
     
  11. c.cloudwalker

    c.cloudwalker TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2009
    Messages:
    5,394
    Likes Received:
    405
    Location:
    An American in Europe
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Start by reading about the basics. Whether it's on the internet or in a book makes no difference. I prefer books because I find reading on screen tiring and I like to be able to refer to things again and again. Plus I like books.

    Workshops vs books is kind of up to you. Some people have no problem learning on their own, some need to be in a structured environment.

    Then, as you read, shoot and shoot and shoot. Another advantage to books is you can take them in the field when you try out different things. Most libraries have plenty of them.

    Unless you go the workshop route, there is no need to spend any money whatsoever.

    Buying equipment before you know how to use what you have is a total waste. I've sold photos shot with a Brownie so your camera is just fine. If the software that came with your camera doesn't do much of anything, get GIMP. It's free and from what people are saying here, it seems to be plenty good enough for starters. But frankly I would mess with image manipulation at first.

    Learn to take good images first. Then learn how to make them better through software. Then start thinking about gear if you're still interested in photography.

    One subject to study is design. Find a book on design that is not geared towards photography if possible. There are a lot of design basics that photo oriented books tend to skip and design is the foundation of any visual art form.

    Best of luck with your learning.
     

Share This Page