New to photography, where to learn?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by cameraman, Aug 27, 2004.

  1. cameraman

    cameraman TPF Noob!

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    I just got a digital camera, I am very new to photography. Where can I learn the basics?

    I tried Googling but a lot of sites I came across assume you know a lot of things already.

    I do not plan on taking any classes or paying for anything, I am just looking for some sites for the basics of lighting, what all the things on the camera do and all that. I just want to learn how to take decent photos, nothing special.

    An example, in the manual it says "AF Mode: Sets the camera's AF mode to iESP or Spot.", but I have no idea what iESP and Spot are..


    Also, I am using Gimp, not Photoshop, anyone have any good sites that deal with photography and Gimp?
     
  2. Sharkbait

    Sharkbait TPF Noob!

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    You can always ask questions in here, for one thing (welcome to TFP, by the way!). We're pretty nice, and love to see more people getting into photography! If you go to a bookstore, check the photography section--there are several good 'beginner' books that explain basic photography terms, concepts, etc.


    As far as the first question you asked there, AF Mode is going to be the way the camera manages its autofocus. spot AF (I'm guessing) forces the camera to focus on a particular area of the frame, probably in the center. the iESP sounds (I might be wrong) like a predictive autofocus. In other words, the camera analyzes all the subjects in the frame and predicts which one is the primary subject. Good for sporting events and such, where the action moves quickly and shifts a lot.

    :cheers:
     
  3. Walt

    Walt TPF Noob!

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  4. chips

    chips TPF Noob!

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  5. cameraman

    cameraman TPF Noob!

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    Thanks. Okay a few questions:

    The higher I make the ISO, the more noise in the picture, what's the advantage of increasing the ISO?

    Should I change the function mode in my camera when shooting or do that in my image manipulating program (Gimp, Photoshop..etc).. for example, should I set the function to Black adn White or just do that after the picture is taken?

    It says "Slow: Specifies whether the Slow Sync flash fires with the first or last curtain, or with a Red-Eye Reduction pre-flash." What is the difference between first and last curtain?

    What is Multi-Metering?
     
  6. Sharkbait

    Sharkbait TPF Noob!

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    Higher ISO means higher grain in the photo, yes. The upside is that the 'speed' is much quicker. If you're shooting a photo of a sporting event, for instance, you might want that higher ISO so that there's less motion blur. It also helps you shoot in lower light. When I shoot a hockey game, I usually run shutter speeds around 1/250s. I'd like to go higher, but that would make the photos too dark, so I set my ISO up to 400 or 800 to compensate.

    As for changing colors and stuff, I always shoot in color, then alter it to b&w in photoshop. It gives you more control over the desaturation process.

    The slow-sync thing is when you're taking a flash shot in low light. Say you want to flash photo your honey while on a moonlit walk, but still want the background to expose as well. So the shutter opens, the flash fires, the shutter stays open to receive light for the background, then the shutter closes. The first curtain/last curtain determines whether the flash fires when the shutter opens or right before it closes. I'm not sure what the advantages are of one over the other, though. Somebody else might be able to explain better...
     
  7. Sharkbait

    Sharkbait TPF Noob!

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    Oh, and multi-metering has to do with light-metering. The camera looks at the frame, sees all the light and dark areas, and takes an average to determine the proper settings. In low light, it might leave too many shadows, in high light it might blow out white areas. In general lighting though, it works pretty well. The other setting is probably 'spot metering', which takes the light reading from one particular spot (usually in the center) of the frame.
     
  8. Digital Matt

    Digital Matt alter ego: Analog Matt

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  9. talonop

    talonop TPF Noob!

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    w00t, A fellow gimper!
     
  10. cameraman

    cameraman TPF Noob!

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    Thanks Shark, by the way; you have nice pictures on your site.

    That's a great link Digital Matt. Thank you.

    fibrousjaguar: yeah :) I am still trying to get used to the UI. To be honest I can't stand it, I'd prefer a Photoshop like MDI interface.
     
  11. Vogelspinnen

    Vogelspinnen TPF Noob!

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    Ok, say u wanna take a pic usin a slow shutter speed n flash of somone running, n get a clear picture of the runnin person wif a blurred trail behind him. if u were to use first curtain, the flash will freeze the motion of the person, n the remainin of the exposure will capture the movement of the person as he runs. the result is that u will get a sharp image of the person wif a blurred trail in front of him, makin it look as if he is runnin backwards.if u use last curtain, however, the camera will capture the blur before freezin his motion, n u will get a nice shot of him frozen in mid-run wif a movement trail behind him...k i dunno if my explantion is clear haha i nt v gd wif words...mebbe some1 can explain it better
     

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