new to this art

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by lrryan, Feb 4, 2005.

  1. lrryan

    lrryan TPF Noob!

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    my husband bought me a Cannon Eos Elan 7 for christmas a few yrs ago. I am so excited to capture all the wonderfull things on this earth on film but I just don't feel that I quite understand how to do this the way I want or see it. I have read my manual and serval other books as well as attended a small class that the camrea shop where he bought the camrea at held. I am a hands on learner and I feel that I would do better with someone who would go out with me and walk me through the process. Any ideas. Hireing an insrtuctor is not much of an option due to the fact that I am a stay at home mom and am on a limited budget. I would like to get good enough at this that I could possibaly earn some money doing it.
     
  2. Digital Matt

    Digital Matt alter ego: Analog Matt

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    The best thing you can do is get out there and shoot. Write down your settings for each shot, and then when you get the prints, check them against your settings. See what worked and what didn't, what you like and don't like, and you'll start to see what you want to change to get the look and feel your are striving for.

    It would be nice to take someone along with you, but it's your vision that you are trying to express, so in the end, you have to figure out what you want to do.
     
  3. Rob

    Rob TPF Noob!

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    As mentioned above, the notebook idea is great for learning two of the most important things off-by-heart: The effect of the aperture (f number) on your shot, The speed at which you can hand-hold (e.g. 1/125th) your lens.

    To improve your composition, you MUST stick with one non-zoom lens for a couple of months. It's difficult enough worrying about the speed, f-number and focussing; without the extra issues of zooming.

    One method I have used to teach others is to get them to select ten of their favourite magazine photos. I'll then give them my opinion on the settings which were used to take them. They then try to recreate the shot, and we look at what they did better, or worse than the originals. This has the added bonus of letting the new photographer try and create something they like, unlike the art-school method of painting a bowl of fruit endlessly.

    Good luck, have a try at some adventurous photos - you only learn from mistakes, not successes.
     
  4. KevinR

    KevinR TPF Noob!

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    I know your budget is limited, but you may want to check out your local community college or local photo clubs for a beginning class. Shouldn't be that expensive, alot of the classes are in the evening, and what you would spend on film and processing trying to learn by yourself, you could use to learn at a faster rate.
     
  5. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    Practice, practice, practice... Taking notes is important if you want to remember what you were doing when you look at the photos later. Classes are good because you get to talk to other photogs and the assignments are designed to help you understand different aspects (hopefully).

    Use your kids as models; you will probably take better photos of subjects you are interested in. I'd start off making sure you understand aperture and shutter speed. Aperture controls exposure and depth of field. Shutter controls exposure and time/motion. Take pics of your kids (and take notes) with a wide open aperture ( somewhere f/4 or less, this gives you less DOF) and a closed down aperture (f/16 or f/22, more DOF). And then take pics of them running around with a high shutter speed (1/250th or better to freeze motion), and again with low shutter speeds (1/30th or slower to show motion blur).

    As suggested above it's probably a good idea to try and stick to a single focal length; set your focal length if you are using a zoom, and try not to change it (35mm or 50mm is where I'd start). With most consumer lenses as you zoom the f/stop changes.

    Periodically reread your camera manual. There is a lot of good info in there, and as you learn more about photography it'll start making more sense.

    Also check out the FAQ sticky post at the top of this General Photography section. Just keep trying. Start with the basics, and as you learn them, you can add more complicated ideas.
     
  6. lrryan

    lrryan TPF Noob!

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    thanks to everyone for their ideas. It sounds like I just need to go out and practice alot. I did find a local club and they have outings that I plan on attending.
     
  7. Nikon Fan

    Nikon Fan TPF Noob!

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    Sweet, you're from Springfield!!! I live like 30 miles from there, and there is someone else on this forum from Springfield as well... I bet you got your Camera from Lawrence Photo!!!! Good luck with the practice, I can't really add any new advice to what's been said except HAVE FUN :)
     
  8. lrryan

    lrryan TPF Noob!

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    Yeah I did get it from Lawrence. Do you know of great places to get good shots.
     
  9. danalec99

    danalec99 TPF Noob!

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    You do not necessarily have to go to a scenic place to practice. When I started, my subjects were my wife, furnitures & fixtures etc. Whatever I saw in front of me was a 'subject'.

    While you check out the local colleges, I would suggest you also look in to New York Institute of Photography. It is a great place for beginners. They mail you the study materials. You can opt to pay the fee in easy monthly installments.

    You can make money with photography, but let that not be the motivation at the moment. Photography is not rocket science, but not easy at it seems either! :)

    Good luck! :) :thumbup:
     
  10. Nikon Fan

    Nikon Fan TPF Noob!

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    I bet the fountain at the SMSU campus would be awesome for some night shots! The train station may also be a good place to take some pics, but I personally haven't ever tried it out but would like to. There's always the Nature Center, but again I haven't taken pics there either. I'm a student on the SBU campus in Bolivar, so most of the locations I go are closer to my area :) There's a member on this forum who's screenname is mistakendavis, he may be able to give you some more info on the Springfield area and some locations. If you ever go down to Branson there's tons of places there... that's about the extent of places I can think of at the moment :) I'll be sure to post more when I think of them!!!
    Good luck with your photo taking, and hope to see you here on the forums more :)
     
  11. lrryan

    lrryan TPF Noob!

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    Thanks, you know I forgot how pretty sms campus is. also downtown has some neat things. yeah Branson is great to. thanks for reminding me of all our beauty around me
     

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