What would you have wanted to know when you started?


TPF Noob!
Jul 12, 2013
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Hi everyone!

I'm new to photography but have always had an interest in it. I'm a fan of editing but I'd prefer to take the pictures myself. With this being said, I was wondering what some of you more 'senior' members would have liked to know prior to starting out with photography (i.e. Types of cameras, best conditions, exposure settings, etc.)

Thanks in advance!
I just got my first DSLR 1.5 years ago & am still learning a lot every day! But the one thing I like to tell people just starting out is don't be afraid of the manual setting! It took me a long time to get away from aperture priority, but once I started tinkering with the manual settings I never went back!
The cocaine habit was actually be cheaper.
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Kind of difficult since I learned so long ago, back in the film era, prior to autofocusing--I'm not sure what *I* wish I would have known then is all that applicable today, but I guess I would say, I wish I would have learned more about the curves tool and the Red, Green, and Blue channel black point establishment a bit earlier in my digital shooting career.
What would you have wanted to know when you started?

1. That overexposing colour negative film by at least one DIN number is good. I almost always do this now, 320 instead of 400 or 160 for 200, etc.

2. That asa (as it was then called) 400 is the best thing since sliced bread. It's what the 27 in my user name means: DIN 27.

3. That 80 + % of my photos thirty years from now would have been taken using a 50mm prime lens. I might have saved myself some money on glass.
Thanks for the suggestions everyone! Squirrels, I got an e-copy of the book and I've started reading it! Can't wait to start shooting during my semester abroad in the fall!
Two things:

1. The Exposure Triangle

2. Depth of Field

Had I known the fundamentals of those two things at the beginning I would have saved a LOT of trial and error mistakes because UNTIL those are understood nothing else is going to make any sense at all.
As a beginner , I would like to know some of your basic tricks and tips on how to take better-looking photos
It's a can of worms mate. As soon as you find out one thing you want to learn another and there is a lot to learn. I'm by no means the same standard as the good photographers on here, though that is what I aspire to (there are a lot of very skilled guys here).

In a very basic format, what you need to take a better than average photo (by that I mean the averege guy in the street given a camera) is:

How to read your in camera light meter to expose properly
Shutter speed to control blur
Depth of field to get the focus zone
ISO to avoid grain or compensate for low light
Minimal focus distance
Difference in metering modes
Basic composition
Fill the photo with your subject (generally speaking)

Then you have the camera basics (there are a lot more but that will do for a start)

Next you need to learn light, how and when to use it and how it creates mood and feel of a photograph.

One of the first things my dad showed me was how to use the light meter. IMO its a good place to start (and very important if you shoot film)
How to use flash. Of course, when I started, "flash" came in blue-coloured bulbs that would go pop and burn your fingers when you tried to take them out.
To read less and shoot more.

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