What have I gotten into?

Discussion in 'Digital Discussion & Q&A' started by BoltAction, Feb 12, 2010.

  1. BoltAction

    BoltAction TPF Noob!

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    So I just got me a Canon XSi. I am not a professional nor trying to be. I spend a lot of time hiking and outdoors. I want to take better pictures than I am now with my point and shoot.

    I've been doing some research and finding this stuff is way over my head right now.

    How bout a little help? What do I need to really get started taking some great outdoor photos? I'm not looking to spend a fortune at the moment. But I would like to upgrade the lens without draining my bank account. Maybe add some accessories if I have $ left over.

    Thanks for the help guys.
     
  2. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Stage one slow down and stop - get yourself a copy of Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson and get a decent understanding of exposures and controling the camera. This will unlock a lot of the potential of the camera to create and capture great images and the book also gives some good creative ideas that you can experiment and work with.
    Getting these early building blocks of understanding is a key step otherwise a lot of lens and gear suggestions will be asking you to make choices when you don't quite know enough of the experience to really be able to make the choice.

    I would also advise that you try to work out what sort of images it is that you like to or want to be able to capture - since the most important thing for gear selection is that it meets your needs (and budget of course). Everyone is indevidual and will lean toward certain different requirements
     
  3. icassell

    icassell TPF Noob!

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    :thumbup::thumbup::thumbup:
     
  4. BKMOOD

    BKMOOD TPF Noob!

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    Great photographs have more to do with YOU as a person than your camera. Countless great and legendary photographs have been taken with cameras far less sophisticated than yours. So don’t get caught up in the mindset of needing the latest and greatest camera to do good work. That’s what the sales guy wants you to believe and its nonsense. What you have is probably more than fine for the level you’re at.

    I agree with Overread. Take it slow, read some books and understand why cameras and lenses work the way they do. In particularly, get to know your camera inside and out. Failure to obtain this knowledge early will result in the waste of a lot of time and money.
     
  5. TexasJeff

    TexasJeff TPF Noob!

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    My first rule of lenses if never buy one you dont have an immediate need for.
    Unless you have the cash to throw around then hey good for you!
    I would learn to shoot in manual mode (the users manual will help you here), and gain understanding of the other basics mentioned here. BKMood sort of nailed it too. Learn to see things. They are there whether you see them or not, to paraphrase an old Plato quote.
    Above all have fun and dont be afraid to experiment.
     
  6. lvcrtrs

    lvcrtrs TPF Noob!

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    You didn't say, but hopefully your Xsi came with the kit lens. Everyone always says read the manual, it's not meant to be a smart #@% comment. Get a cup of coffee or glass of wine and sit down when you are relaxed and start going through it. Have some sticky notes to mark pages. You will do this a few times as time goes on. Pick a few things and go out and try them out. Don't try to or expect to get it all at one time.

    So many people want to go out and get more/new equipment (lens etc) right away. I think noobe(s) should try to learn and work with the equipment in their hands before dropping a lot of money early on. Every lens has its merrits. Do what you can with what is in your hands. If you are new you can learn from everything you touch.

    It would seem that there is some reality to what we think we'll get out of our camera (any camera) vs what we actually do being different. It's taken me months to come to terms with the fact that some post processing is required for me to get near what I want. That means picking a program and learning it (some are free, search the forum for info). Just want you to be aware as i believe there is a lot of frustration in that area. Bear in mind, you don't have to learn all the in depth more challenging aspects of the program right off, the basics can go a long way.

    Then, post you pics here for constructive feedback. Most of us, no matter what our level of expertise (or non-expertise :lol: in my case) have leaned a lot from the forum members.

    Look forward to your pics.
     
  7. BoltAction

    BoltAction TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the info guys. I'll stick with the kit lens until I get a good feeling for the camera. Hastings ordered me a copy of Understanding Exposure.

    It seems with any hobby I want to jump right in and get everything I thing I need. Maybe that's why I'm always broke. :sillysmi:

    Again, Thanks. I'm planning some day trips now to some local parks. I thought that would be the best place to learn, away for all my distractions.
     

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