1st time poster w/novice Q's


TPF Noob!
Mar 7, 2008
Reaction score
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
Please accept my apologies for failing to introduce myself when I first joined, but I lack credentials/experience enough to post anything that may be considered interesting in an introductory thread.

Additionally, please allow me to also apologize for my questions, which are, to say the least, basic in nature. Sadly, after reading this forum, it has become obvious to me that even the "beginners" knowledge in here, far surpasses my skills, or knowledge, of photography.

Well, enough stalling, here's where I show my ignorance.:(

Is there a book, site, oracle, etc. that I can go to that would improve my understanding of shutter speed, aperture and what all those cool numbers such as 55mm-250mm mean?

I do understand shutter speed and aperture, in the sense that I understand why they are important and what exactly they do, however, measuring, and more importantly, determining how much or little I should use is giving me fits.

I liken it to understanding the ingredients in a cake and why they're important, but I'm not able to get the proper measurements down. Sugar, flower? Yeah, they both go in, but I daresay I should not add a pound of the first and a table spoon of the latter.

Ok, I've shown my ignorance (yeah, I'm mortified). If I should pose this in another place, please let me know.

BTW, I don't have a DSLR, at this point, because I believe I should have a firm understanding of the above before pursuing better equipment. I should be somewhat worthy of the tools I choose. I am currently using a Panasonic FZ18, which provides me numerous options...Which I'll appreciate even more as soon as I figure them out.

All feedback, comments and ridicule welcome, I've got thick skin and can take it, so long as I'm learning (kidding, this place strikes me as a friendly site).

I would like to offer my thanks, in advance, to those of you who offer assistance.
Oh, my! Ridicule is, hopefully, something you will NOT encounter on the Forum. Those of us who post here are well aware that there was a time when we didn't know the first thing about photography.

OK. Let's get to it.

First, a big Welcome! TPF is a great place to find answers to your questions. I doubt there's an odd corner of photography that someone in TPF hasn't examined in depth.

Next: Where to begin? If you've a local library, check with the librarian to locate a book with a title similar to 'The Complete Guide to Photography' or thereabouts. In other words, a general introduction to photography. There are also all sorts of articles on-line covering specific topics. [Fact is, there's one on TPF on shutter speed, aperture and ISO (film speed). The article is centered on b&w film photography, but the concepts are the same for digital rigs.]

[Perhaps someone will chime in with some specific book suggestions.]

You noted your present camera and hinted that you do not fully understand its various functions. A good way to approach this is to learn one function per week. Trying to learn everything at once can result in mental overload and confusion.

And don't be afraid to log in and post questions. We'll answer.
The technical side of photography [shutter speed, aperture, lens focal length, ISO, etc.] can be off-putting at first, but certainly nothing you can't master relatively quickly.

Again, Welcome to TPF.
I don't really understand much, either, but I found this website that I refer to occasionally. It seems to explain things fairly well and helps me understand how things work a little better.

Hope it helps you, too. :)
Digital Photography Tutorials
First off, we all start out as not knowing. So no need for this "Sorry for my ignorance", "I suck", "I'm stoopid" talk. This is a happy place, and we don't need that self defeating negativity :)

As for what to do to learn, if taking a photoclass is out of the question, then I would highly recommend the book "Understanding Exposure" by Bryan Peterson. Do a search on this site for the book to see how many times it is referenced. I own the book and thought it was a very good, well written introduction to the knowledge you are seeking.

As you read the book, take your time. Try things with your camera, practice practice what you read about.

Have fun! Post up questions once you feel comfortable to do so.

And welcome to the community
Welcome to the forum!

You can take a look at this link and see if it is helpful. If you still have questions, feel free to ask.


I was a noob about a year ago. Did not know too much about those numbers as well. I knew what shutter speed and aperture was at that time but do not know too much about their relationship. I read a lot on the net as well as books. Of course, learn quit a bit in here as well. There are a lot of information you can find in this site. By the way, feel free to use the search function here and see if you can find anything useful.

For example, the tutorial page was found by searching the word "faq".

So enjoy your stay in here.
Is there a book, site, oracle, etc. that I can go to that would improve my understanding of shutter speed, aperture and what all those cool numbers such as 55mm-250mm mean?
[ame="http://www.amazon.com/Understanding-Exposure-Photographs-Digital-Updated/dp/0817463003/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1238094817&sr=8-1"]Understanding Exposure: How to Shoot Great Photographs with a Film or Digital Camera (Updated Edition)[/ame]

[ame="http://www.amazon.com/Betterphoto-Guide-Digital-Photography-Amphoto/dp/0817435522/ref=pd_sim_b_5_img"]The Betterphoto Guide to Digital Photography (Amphoto Guide Series)[/ame]

Most reactions