Things a beginner need, and need to know?


TPF Noob!
Feb 20, 2012
Reaction score
Louisville, Ky
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
Only being here a short time I have learned a few VERY useful things about lighting, background noise, and other little things. My question to ALL you guys/gals that have been doing it for a while, is what things do I need to pick up to make my photography better?

Here is what I have.

Canon T3i w/ lens kit 15-55mm lens
Polarized lens filter and ultra violet filter
72" tripod with levels and the whole shabang.
Canon Camera bag
50mm 1.8f II lens with filters
16G sd card
Photoshop CS5 Master Suite

What else do you guys recommend? External flashes (by model of course), umbrellas, BOOKS, editing software, web links?
The budget is around $3k. I want a macro lens. And I want a lens for sports or fast moving cars.

I am not trying to be a professional. I do take pictures however on a daily basis.

Maybe this will help.
I take a lot of photo's of the dogs. The kids, and their sports events, and some scenery shots. I want to be able to catch that reflection in the dogs eyes when doing close ups. I like to do some black and white shots, and BRIGHT colored shots. I want to learn as much as possible to better enhance the over all picture fun.

Best shooting modes? Do you recommend Manual, AV, or TV? Does it depend on what I am shooting?

Who would be a good mentor of person to follow, that would be helpful with leading a beginner?

Some things I have already learned are the Light Triangle, rule of thirds and background clutter. Applying them is still a learning process (LOL) but my brain is trying to process a BUTT LOAD of new stuff when I turn the camera on. ahaha

Any helpful tips, tricks and overall guidance is greatly appreciated.
You could start by reading the camera manual, and then you could move on to reading the manual again.

I also found doing a web search on understanding exposure, the exposure triangle and basic composition helped.
Best shooting modes? Do you recommend Manual, AV, or TV? Does it depend on what I am shooting?
The official answer is - "It depends". Most people seem to migrate towards Av though. Av is probably the easiest non-auto mode to learn, and it's pretty useful too.

You might want to look into a reflector - the "5-in-1" type are pretty cheap, and have tons of uses. You'll probably want something around 40 inches to start...
I hope your polarizer is a circular polarizer.
I hope your polarizer is a circular polarizer.


I'm a total newb sparky. So I tend to not know that there are different styles for same parts.

Bo4key- Took your advice and picked up the manual again. Read it. And then read it again. I guess I answered some of my own questions. Figures..... lol

For the others that have commented. Thank you. I am going to check out those links that oneguywithacamera recommended. Thanks

I have ONE buddy that does photography and he is a really busy dude. When it comes to shooting photo's the concept is the same with either Nikon or Canon but for equipment, he has all NIKON. I guess I am going to try renting some stuff.
a flash would be nice. i still need one because im suffering low light.
a flash would be nice. i still need one because im suffering low light.

I am wanting one, but don't know what I would need. I think the one I am wanting is the EX430?
My suggestion would be to not spend another dime until you learn some more about your camera, what you truly enjoy shooting, and just more photography knowledge. At that point you will know what you need.
Thanks Scuba. I agree. Learning what I have is my of up most importance to me, but some things NEED to be included with a beginners kit. A good flash is one of them.

The knowledge part is the part that takes some time. Applying what you learn to it is also a time consuming and practice based skill. But I believe that some basic pieces could help the average beginner.
Read the links in my signature. A crash course on the foundations of photography.
With the possible exception of a flash (430 EX II would be a good start) you have plenty of equipment. Read as much as you can and shoot as much as you can.

1) slow down, take your time
2) read, and practice - then read, practice and review your work
3) shoot, and shoot some more, but take your time and learn from each shot.

Most reactions