Complete newbie to photography advice please!

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by sean ybarra, Oct 7, 2018.

  1. sean ybarra

    sean ybarra TPF Noob!

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    I'm completely new to photography I always wanted to get in to it and learn and participate as a hobby/and develop a new skill but I'm at a loss on how to go about learning I usually read a lot and participate in forums like I am now. So I was wondering if any of you can recommend a good overall encompassing book to learn photography or several books for learning how to compose pictures for beginners, photo theory, or just photography for beginners. I recently bought a sony A6000 so that's the camera I'll be learning with the lens I'm using is the stock lens thats 15-50mm i believe. Any advice or stories about how you learned would be great too thank you :D


     
  2. 480sparky

    480sparky Chief Free Electron Relocator Supporting Member

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    Reading is fine, but nothing beats going out and shooting.
     
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  3. sean ybarra

    sean ybarra TPF Noob!

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    I understand that through practice one gets better but if I start taking pictures of everything with zero knowledge would that be a better method of learning rather than learning through some text first than applying that slowly over time?
     
  4. 480sparky

    480sparky Chief Free Electron Relocator Supporting Member

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  5. Gary A.

    Gary A. Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    You might want to look into a community college or adult school beginning photo class(s). The classes are affordable and offer a formal structure. Just make sure the class is for digital and not film.
     
  6. TCampbell

    TCampbell Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Understanding Exposure (by Bryan Peterson) is popular. That'll get you the basics of camera operation (you'll actually understand quite a bit more about how to use the camera.

    Another good book is The Photographer's Eye (by Michael Freeman). This is a book on photographic composition (why two photographers can go to the same place, use the same camera... and for some reason you'll like the photographers shot by one photographer more than the other. This is because one of the photographers probably understood "composition" better than the other.)
     
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  7. Gary A.

    Gary A. Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Trial and error, while quite effective ... is also long and can often be painful.
     
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  8. Designer

    Designer Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Practice is good for the mechanics of it.

    Studying composition is for the art side of things.

    You probably need both to be successful, and you can do them concurrently.

    Get a book on the basics of photography, and one on artistic composition. Read both. Practice. Then get some critique on what you did.

    There is a thread on here (search) that helps people post for critique. When people offer a critique, learn from what they are saying, then go out and try some more.
     
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  9. 407370

    407370 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Hi Sean,

    What are you interested in? take pics of that.

    Look at ways of improving them by better lighting, composition, post processing etc. Try longer / shorter exposures or handheld Vs tripod or make a vertical / horizontal panorama.
    Youtube is your friend. Pick a type of photography and look it up. Digest all the advice you like and ignore the rest.
     
  10. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    I think reading and looking at a structured overview of the sub-fields in photography makes a lot of sense. here's a book that will show you a HUGE amount of information, and which will offer you many lessons you can do. https://www.amazon.com/John-Hedgecoes-Introductory-Photography-Course/dp/0240803469

    This is about photography, a book about how to see,and about how to approach,and how to position yourself and your camera, in relation to the light. This book was written by a master instructor,and an accomplished photographer. He was the first-ever full professor of photography at London's Royal College. He is the man Queen Elizabeth selected to photograph her official portrait which was later used on British postage stamps. This is not a modern-day cookbook about how to "run a digital camera", or about "how to use the sliders" in Lightroom, etc.. Nope. This is an introductory course in photo-graphy. Not a step-by-step,paint-by-numbers book about digital imaging...this is a book that will show you and teach you a huge amount about "photography".

    The basics of photography have remained mostly unchanged for decades. I still recommend this,specific author's books, because of how well they were written and illustrated.
     
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  11. webestang64

    webestang64 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Get to know your camera inside and out. Study the manual!! Learn all the functions and what they do.

    Maybe take a few photo classes at a local camera store or community college.
     
  12. ac12

    ac12 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Find a class where you can learn with teacher.
    If you get stuck, which is EASY to do at the early stages, a teacher is much more help than spending hours or days searching the internet for something you do not understand.

    Study the camera manual, and KEEP IT WITH YOU in your camera bag, or a PDF of the manual on your smart phone.
    There have been several times where I forgot how to do something, and I had to look it up in the manual. Or worse, did not have the manual, and had to wait till I got home to read it. Cameras today are extremely sophisticated and complicated, compared to the simple film cameras of yesteryear.
     

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