Where did you learn to take photos


TPF Noob!
Jul 5, 2003
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Kalispell, MT.
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I have only been on this forum for like 2 weeks nows and there are some great people with some killer knowlege. So where did you learn to use a camera? I have just picked one up and started to take pictures. I have not read any...well that many books on photography so i don't know alot of the lingo, but I am learning. I have like 3-4 slr and one digital, a box of pictures i have taken and alot of hard drive space taking up on my computer. i just got the digital one so they are mostly of my dog or anything on my table, learning how to use it. So, I just wanted to know how everyone learned.
i learned from my hubby, who has been a serious amateur for about 10 yrs .... he taught me everthing :) .... i just picked up his cam one day and started experimenting *i learn by doing* ... after that, i asked him all the pertinent questions and read the manual 3 times (i have an Olympus 2500L, digital) ....

he explains to me how to get the shot that i want... i do my shots, i have him look them over, if they dont pass the sniff test with him, i get rid of them (well, most of the time) .... he tells me what he does and doesnt like about them ... (and beleive me, he will tell me the truth :eek: , no sugar coating it :lol: )

lots and lots of practice .. im getting more familiar with the camera everyday .... for the past week, i've been practicing making panaramic shots in a stiching program ... that part is easy, the 360° can be a little frustrating if my seams dont overlap properly ... so thats my goal right now..

were both gathering photos to build a website that we will share... i said to him, "i dont think my work is good enough to sit alongside yours :? .. i dont want to shame you." :p
...don't sweat the technical stuff, you can learn all that as you go along

But, if you really want to learn how to use a camera - then learn, understand and master the relationship between aperture and shutter

To advance the quality of your images - master metering

Then, to become a "master photographer" - fully understand the relationship between all three of them and how they work on your system with the different mediums

It's that simple...




P.S. You might find this conversation interesting - "Has anyone noticed Digital Cameras don't make it Better" - but be warned, these guys 'n gals talk on even more than i do ;)[/i]
Oh Great!
No sweat dude!...didn't think it was that simple!
I suspect you may have over-simplified it just a teensy weensy bit but obviously you're correct in that the basics have to be mastered, however, the relationships to the subject matter is where the crunch comes i.e. what to do in any particular situation.
I'm finding that trial and lots of error is slowly working for me (the old memory sometimes needs several re-fresh cycles) but the information from people like yourself makes it clearer and gives a solid starting point.
So thanks again for your help and input.
the way i learned was by picking up the camera and pressing the button. plain and simple. how are you ever going to remember the remarkable things in life without proof?

I started with a point and shoot when I was 11 or 12 (if you don't count the 110 Barbie camera I had when I was 9! :D ) But I wanted to learn the technical things. So I read some in a few photography books at the bookstore, though I mainly looked at the pictures, which helped my eye out alot. I found an old Argus rangefinder (I think it was made in 1936, though I can't remember for sure) that my dad had in his collection of antique cameras. So I started playing around with aperture and shutter speed on that until my step-grandfather gave me a Canon FT-QL, made in '66. The meter, counter, and several of the shutter speeds didn't work (had a sticky shutter), but I learned so much with it! I used it for about 5 years until I got my Nikon F4, which I'll hopefully use for the larger portion of the rest of my life! It was really a whole bunch of trial and error. I'd love to know how much money I spent on film and development! Not having a meter forced me to really learn how film sees things, which I wouldn't trade for anything! I love not being a slave to my meter. Though I'd never say it's not useful! I kept reading in some books, and that explained some things to me when I couldn't find anyone to answer my questions, which was normally the case. Anyhow, it was a long slow process for me with lots of failures, but I had a blast! If I'd had a forum like this perhaps it wouldn't have taken so many years!
I started taking pictures around 35 years ago. I started with an old Fujica "range finder." I studied with a pro in my area for around a year or so, then took "The School of modern Photography" course from New York. I spent much leasure time reading A. Adams Zone system to understand the relationship of the shot to the latitude of the film used. Then came the black and white filter systems. What does what to what. What do I "realy need to have". Other than that I've just had fun in the field and darkroom. I did buy a class, (video and books) from a pro back east, Bob somebody, that is a great help in the color enlarging and printing area of the darkroom. Those days are mostly gone now, what with the auto this and the auto that, but while the autos might give as good a picture, we sure had a fun and interesting hobby. Shoot, shoot, and shoot. Have a fun time.

Although I've always had a vague interest in photography I never would have taken it up but for the advent of digital cameras.
I have this need for instant feedback which only a digital can give.
With a regular camera I suspect that by the time I had the pics developed and back in my hands I would not be able to fully relate to what I did when I took the shots and with the cost of the pics I suspect I would have lost interest before getting useful at it.
With my little digital I can also take a bunch of shots and discard any I don't like with no cost impact.
This might help to explain why I got as old as I am before buying a camera.
I am enjoying it now though and learning fast.
I started like alot of other people just by practicing. I got to the point that I wanted to know how to use the "rest" of my camera. I took a photography course and learned how my camera actually works. That really helped me.
i just took pictures of things I liked, that's how I started...

the last couple of years people have been telling me to
do something with my "talent", and since I found this forum
I'm getting more and more interested in developing my skills

I'm saving money now for a better camera and my own dark room
What kind of digital camera do you have? Unless you paid a good bit of money I have a feeling that it may not have manual settings, in which case I would suggest setting the digital down for a little while and playing with the SLR. I know what you mean about cost effective stutf, but you will learn a lot from manual settings. I think the best thing you can do, other than going out and practicing is find a buddy who knows a lot and talk to him, this forum is nice but u need a real person if you know what i mean. Secondly I want to explain what aperture does for you. You may already know this, but just in case i'd like to share cuz i know it helped me out a lot.

Aperture changes depth of field. Depth of field is the distance between the closest object to you that is in focus and the furthest that is in focus. Adjusting the f-number (aperture) changed the size of the opening of the lense. The smaller the opening; the larger the depth of field. So if you're going for a shot of a specific subject and you want it to be in focus and everything else to drop out you use a big hole (which is a small f number). But if you're taking a landscape you do the opposite. By the way, the f numbers on your lense/camera you should htink of them like this. The smaller the number the smaller the bepth of field.

Well I hope I've been helpful in some way. and if you already knew all this, then I hope someone who didn't reads this, cuz that was a lot of typing to waste
I learned by practicing. Ive been shooting for about five years now, and have determined that composition makes good photos. You can master the camera and all that, but unless you have developed an eye for a good photo, it doesn't really matter.
there is a balance between art (composition, etc) and the technical (exposure, etc). as one progresses the other must eventually catch up or your work will stagnate.

i was fortunate to once have dated an architect. she beat composition into me. from the golden mean, to converging verticals, to spatial juxtaposition; she had a field day with me. and i thank her for it. i've asked and observed what other photographers read/have read. i have close to two dozen books on the subject and refer to them often. i started with a konica tc camera with an in camera, general meter. i had to compensate my exposures based on 'gut'. that taught me a lot so that when i bought my f100, i was so tickled that i shot film until my viewfinder eye clouded over.

shooting a lot helps. shooting a lot using every bit of knowledge that you have up to that point helps much more.

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