Beginner Level: I need Pointers to Study

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by SaloT, Apr 1, 2016.

  1. SaloT

    SaloT TPF Noob!

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    1. I own a beginner level camera Nikon D3200 with 18-55mm lens. I just learned the aperture, ISO, and speed shutter. I need some pointers to study with my camera without buying any speed shutters, or camera lens upgrade because I'm saving up for an enthusiast level camera. What else can I do with my camera and lens? I can photograph like this (see photo) but I can't photograph trail lights or turn the water into silk.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    (no trail lights) :(

    2. I only have a limited budget, but I'm rooting for D7200. Is this a good practice camera who wants to take photography to the next level?

    3. If ever I bought this camera, how much would more should I spend for camera accessories like camera lens, speed shutters, etc. I want to try every aspect of photography.


     
  2. calamityjane

    calamityjane TPF Noob!

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    I suggest learning everything you can about your current camera and lens before buying anything else. Go out and shoot on a regular basis, anything that interests you, in all sorts of light and weather. If there's a local camera club to you, join and participate. Learn from what others are doing, as well as your own efforts. Practice is what it takes to get to the next level - not a new camera. Best of luck!
     
  3. cherylynne1

    cherylynne1 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I think your next purchase should be a good tripod.

    The d7200 is an excellent camera, and probably worth buying eventually if you get serious about photography, but the things you mentioned can be done with your current camera if you get a tripod.

    What you're looking for with silky water and light trails is long exposures. That means a shutter speed of at least one second or longer. You'll need to set the camera on a tripod, put a timer on the shutter (so that you don't accidentally shake the camera when you press it) and set a long shutter speed. If you can afford a remote shutter, that would work instead of the timer because it means you aren't touching the camera when you click.

    But you have to have a reliable tripod for this kind of work. A cheap one will shake with the wind and ruin the shot.

    Another thing that could really help is learning post processing. Most of the "wow" shots have at least some post processing involved. I subscribe to Adobe, and get both Lightroom and Photoshop for $9.99/month. If that's possible for you, I highly recommend it. There are far more tutorials out there for these two programs than any others, which has really helped me learn how to use them.
     
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  4. table1349

    table1349 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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  5. SaloT

    SaloT TPF Noob!

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    Thank you calamityjane. Actually it will take time before I can buy my prospect camera. Probably 6 months from now. Problem is, I'm in Saudi Arabia where rules are strict. I can't go out at parks without permit and there are no rivers but I can photograph the artificial fountains. I can go to jail by photographing children or their people. That's why this forum will be my haven to take advice from people.
     
  6. SaloT

    SaloT TPF Noob!

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    yeah, the one i'm using has free tripod upon purchase but no remote shutter. Is it possible that the cars are not that fast enough that's why there's no light trails?

    how long should I set my exposure for silky water?
     
  7. SaloT

    SaloT TPF Noob!

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  8. cherylynne1

    cherylynne1 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    No. Even if it was just people walking, as long as the shutter speed is slow enough they will appear as a blur. Try it with the tripod you have and you'll see.

    As far as the water goes, it depends on how blurred you want it. Some use a shutter speed of one second, some use a shutter speed as long as 30 seconds. It just depends on your artistic vision. Try a few different speeds (1 second, 5 second, 10 seconds, etc.) and see what you like best.
     
  9. Alexr25

    Alexr25 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    That is one possibility, the other is that your shutter speed was way too fast. The last example you posted showing the cars was taken with a shutter speed of 1/15 sec, aperture of f/5.6 (wide open) and an ISO of 12800. If you had dialed back the ISO to 1600, closed down the lens to f/8 and set the shutter to 1 sec you would start to get good light trails, dropping the ISO further to about 400 and setting the shutter to about 4 or 5 sec would give even better trails. Of course at those shutter speeds you must use a tripod.
     
  10. Watchful

    Watchful No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Just keep snapping shots. Sitting in your living room. Outside, on your patio. Learn to see as if you are looking through the camera even before you look through the lens. Imaging what will be in a shot at different zoom levels and then see how close you got. Knowing what and how your camera sees instinctively will help you get the shots you envision. Just get as comfortable with it as you can.
     
  11. soufiej

    soufiej No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    IMO you are selling short your current camera. The baseline Nikon's and Canon's are cameras which offer image quality equal to far more expensive cameras from either company. I would strongly discourage you from placing your confidence in a more expensive camera as an upgrade to your photographic skills. Make the step to a more expensive camera only after you have exhausted the full potential of what you presently use.

    Learn your D3200 to the fullest extent of your ability.

    The feature sets offered with the D3200 and the more expensive Nikons are typically very similar. How you access any individual feature is a matter of the more expensive camera possessing more buttons you must learn and master.

    I think, if you look carefully, you will see the D3200 has virtually every commonly used feature found on the D7200. Those few features not included on the lower prices camera are not "commonly used" by the vast majority of photographers. Their exclusion, therefore, means little to the student photographer.

    How you access a feature is a tiny bit more difficult with the D3200 since many features will be found by scrolling through the functions list and the menus. This is hardly a bad thing for a student photographer.

    Scrolling and observing will provide you time to actually consider the shot you are about to take. You will learn how to make decisions which will affect the quality and impact of your photograph. It will also make you more familiar with the less often used features of the camera.

    Your better first move would be to acquire better lenses for the D3200 IMO. Until you own a few lenses to select from, the skills of a photographer are seen in how they figure out how to make do with the equipment they have in hand.

    You can seldom go wrong with a faster and sharper prime lens vs the kit lens which was included in the D3200 package. A 50 mm prime is a safe bet with your camera and will up your keeper rate by increasing the precision of the D3200.

    A single 50 mm prime lens is also far less money spent than buying a D7200.



    You also seem to be confusing camera tricks with learning photography.

    Concentrate on the basics of producing good photographs people want to look at.

    What other photographers do is not what you should be aiming for right now. Learn how to take a shot of a stationary object that has good composition. Develop your skill at taking a photo of a human being which captures the essence of that person's inner being. Focus your attention and your camera on the person's eyes and tell a story with your camera. The story of human life as captured by your camera is infinitely more interesting and has far more lasting value as a record of their being than are tail light trails.

    Your best bet is to take a photographic course and stick with the lesson plan offered. Free, on line education is available if you are on a budget.

    Read your owner's manual several times to embed the data into your actions with the camera. If photography is about having fun with technology, then you do not want to be frustrated by a lack of knowledge regarding the technology.

    Then simply take photos often. The more you use your camera, the more comfortable you will become with its functions and features and the more you will search for those ideas that are uniquely your own.
     
  12. zombiesniper

    zombiesniper Furtographer Extraordinaire! Staff Member

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    As stated above the best thing you can do now is to learn the functions of your current camera and how they affect the picture. Even the most basic DSLR can take a beginner (such as myself) some time to learn and become familiar with.

    A couple of tips for water and light trails like has been said is to have a longer shutter speed, higher F stop and then adjust ISO for exposure.

    The below pic was taken with the following settings with a basic kit lens on a low end Canon camera.
    3.2 seconds
    F29
    ISO 100
    [​IMG]brook by seastud, on Flickr
     

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