Need some help

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by dtmcnamara, Dec 24, 2008.

  1. dtmcnamara

    dtmcnamara TPF Noob!

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    Ok so I know most people learn their photography stuff in school and classes but how else can one learn the art of cameras?

    I have always loved taking pictures, but the settings on these DSLR cameras are crazy. I have asked a lot of people where I should start, manual mode, AV, TV, etc...and it seems everyone has their own unique way to start.

    I have played around with my 50D now for about a week now. I am the type that just liked to get out and test things out. I usually go to a parking lot with my camera, tripod and laptop around 9pm and just shoot. I want to master the art of taking pictures at night.

    My only problem is that I can never get my settings right. I usually sit with my laptop open with "cheat sheets" out on what to set the camera too and then adjust from there, but it usually never works out like I want it to.

    my question is:

    A: How can I learn what everything does (good book referances please)
    B: are there any good setting "cheat sheets" that yall use that I could as well?

    I am looking for just a general, if its dark out set it to ISO xxx with Fx.x and shutter speed x and then adjust this or that from there....

    I know every location would be different, but I guess I just need to know a good starting point to set the camera too.

    THANKS.

    PS- Yes im a noob with a 50D...the only reason I have it was becuase circuit city here in atlanta went under and it was on sale new for $900 :)
     
  2. forzabrian

    forzabrian TPF Noob!

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    You may want to think about watching some Youtube videos. The best part is you can find tutorials on how to do things with your exact camera model.

    I have a D60 and typed it into the youtube search and came up with numerous video tips and tricks. The best part of these videos for me is that I can watch the video and follow along with my camera in my hands. VERY HELPFUL!
     
  3. dtmcnamara

    dtmcnamara TPF Noob!

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    lol....i cannot believe i never thought about that

    i look at youtube for photoshop help all the time.

    lol. thanks. I will check it out
     
  4. DavidSR

    DavidSR TPF Noob!

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    I learned everything by going out and shooting. I have shot in Manual mode most of the time, but most would tell you not to. AV for how much you would like to get in focus and if you want to have a shallow DOF and TV you can use for sports to stop movement. Just make sure you set your ISO high enough so your picture can expose correctly. Also, when I first got my XTi..I read my manual front and back and did it a few times. Since I have bought my camera I haven't purchased any books for it..only for Photoshop and I hardly use that one :).
     
  5. gsgary

    gsgary Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    You need to get out in the day time and shoot so you can understand exposure before you go out at night, but for a average setting for night try f20 @ iso100 20 seconds
     
  6. dtmcnamara

    dtmcnamara TPF Noob!

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    ya. i generally work during the day so by the time I get off its already dark. I have a remote coming in monday so hopefully I can start to play with long enposure times soon and not worry about a shaking camera.

    Hopefully I will get a few good shots over the next few weeks and I can post them up for some C&C. THANKS
     
  7. LiveWave

    LiveWave TPF Noob!

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    Reading the camera manual helps. Well more like a camera novel.
     
  8. benhasajeep

    benhasajeep TPF Noob!

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    The best thing to do is get a good handle on propper exposure. There are so many variables in lighting there is no correct answer anyone can write about. There are some rules of thumb to get you close, but none that will be right on for even just a few situations.

    Examples would be - Is the full moon out, crescent moon, no moon near pitch black dark, well lit scene but shooting in the dark. Is it just dusk and getting darker by the minute.

    By knowing propper exposure. You will know what to do as the conditions change. Like as it gets darker you know that you need to slow the shutter down 1 stop. And as it gets darker you need to keep making an adjustment. Or you have slowed the shutter down enough that camera shake will be a problem, so now you raise ISO to get the same effect. Or the scene is so dark you have adjusted shutter and iso so now you need to adjust aperture. Or maybe you have adjusted all 3 and now need to change to faster lens so get more aperture lattitued.

    There is a 3 way relationship between shutter speed, aperature, and ISO. Need to get a good understanding of this. So, first instead of looking into how to shoot at night. Look on the web for links / videos / instruction on exposure. Start with a good foundation and it will help you in the future. I am on a work computer so I don't have any links to give you. But there are several good ones out there. No need to buy a book.

    The camera manual will tell you how to use the controls, and might have a little blurb on why to use them, but the manuals are very limited. I know there are several good sources on the net though. Do a search on propper exposure in photography. And read up on a couple of them. Then go practice some.
     

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