Got a DSLR for Christmas. Starting photography as a hobby.

SaugaPhotoGuy

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Hi everyone. I got a Canon T5i w/ additional telephoto lens, camera bag, and extra battery this Christmas. I wanted the camera because my wife is pregnant and I wanted to be able to take good quality pictures and videos of all those special moments when my child is born. I also have a dog and 3 cats who make for good subjects as well.

My mom had given me her old Nikon D40 a few years ago, but I didn't use the camera much. I have some relatively basic knowledge of Photoshop from when I was in high school (I'm 31 now), but otherwise I'm very new to all of this.

I've been watching a lot of YouTube videos over the last week or so and playing around with the camera and editing things in Lightroom. I'm loving the presets in Lightroom because I find that the right one is able to make your picture really special and transform it into something that looks good.

I'm loving the HDR look. I had always liked that style of photo when I had seen it over the years, and I didn't realize that you could get that look relatively quickly with the right camera and software. I know that the over the top HDR look is considered cheesy, but I still like it for now. I'm sure it's something I'll grow out of as I become a better photographer.

Anyways, I'm enjoying photography a lot more than I thought I would. I have a career in insurance and I don't plan on having photography be anything more than a hobby... but it would be nice to eventually be good enough to shoot a wedding or something like that. If I could get occasional work on the weekends and spend my spare time editing photos, it would be nice to have a bit of extra income (or money to spend buying better camera gear). Though I'm guessing that it would take me quite a few years to be anywhere near good enough.

I just started a photobucket account and put some pictures there that I've taken recently. I haven't had the best of subjects to shoot yet, but I've been playing around with the photos primarily in Lightroom and tried get something out of them. At this point, my editing is probably better than my photo-taking abilities, though I would still consider both to be at the beginner level.

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Congratulations on the pregnancy! If you can learn to take flattering photos of your wife when she's feeling her worst, you'll be Husband of the Year. :) I would definitely be practicing indoor portraits now so you're ready to go when the baby comes!

You're right that you probably will outgrow the cheesy "one-click wonder" HDR and LR presets, however many photographers use sophisticated HDR techniques in their photos, so if that's something you love, stick with it.

Generally, a photography business doesn't do so well as a side job. There are dozens of reasons for this, and if you stay on these forums long enough, you'll see why. Too many people view photography as an easy way to make money, and it just doesn't work like that. But you sound like you have reasonable expectations, and it's definitely good to just enjoy the hobby side of it. I've found that reading and writing critiques are incredibly helpful, and whenever you're brave enough feel free to put an image of yours up for critique too. It hurts, it's awful, but you learn so much. :)

Welcome to the forum!
 
I've found that reading and writing critiques are incredibly helpful, and whenever you're brave enough feel free to put an image of yours up for critique too. It hurts, it's awful, but you learn so much. :)

There's a link at the bottom of my first post to 8 photographs. I'm gonna hold off on uploading my dog and cat pictures until I can get a set together that I'm happy with. But those are probably the best of the non-pet ones I've taken in my first week of owning the camera.
 
If you look at some of the C&C posts, you'll see there's sort of a formula for receiving critique. You post one or two pictures in the thread itself (not the link) and ask any questions you might have. I glanced through your pictures, but I really don't know much about landscapes, and so I don't critique them. I'm pretty much strictly a "people-ographer" for the time being. :) If you post a couple of photos in that section, however, there will definitely be better qualified people that can give you feedback.
 
Cool thanks. I might do that.

And thank you for the warm introduction.
 
Hi there.
I love the HDR / Tone Mapping look as well but we are in a minority here so brace yourself.
I had a look at your pics on Photobucket and they all look fine to me. You obviously like the contrasty look but beware of hiding detail in the dark bits of the photograph.
Take a gazzilion pics and enjoy the experience of doing it. Give yourself little projects like getting the horizon straight, getting sharp hand held pics (take a deep breath, let it out, then click), pick a colour or anything that is special to you. HINT: Pregnant women dont like surprise photographs but love it when you give them lots of notice for hair, make up etc.
If you are the reading type there are loads of free photography books (Google). Take the advice you like and ignore the rest.
 

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