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where do i start?


TPF Noob!
Dec 26, 2015
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I received my first DSLR camera as a xmas/birthday present. I have wanted one for a while now so really happy i got one

Where is the best place to start with learning how to use it to its full potential? I dont have much experience with photography to be honest as only owned standard digital cameras in the past, nothing fancy

Any help would be appreciated
You've already started.... you signed up here! :586:

Take some photos, post 'em, and ask for comments.

Take time to read the cameras manual as well. If there's something you don't understand, ask about it. Go to youtube and search for your camera in all the videos... there's sure to be a few tutorials posted.

And above all, don't get too stressed out by trying too hard. Take it easy and relax.
The exposure triangle is a good place to start. There's some good tutorials on it here Camera Exposure: Aperture, ISO & Shutter Speed

Learn what the different settings mean and how the effect each other. They all effect the pictures differently and each needs to be adjust for different situations.

Check with any local community colleges as the usually offer courses for the general public.
Thank you :) only been taking random photos of my christmas tree decorations so far just to get used to using it so not worth posting lol

Hoping to get some more time to shoot different things soon
Which camera did you get?

Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson is the best place to start. Once you understand how the exposure triangle works, then you just have to figure out the buttons on your camera, which is when you'll want to read the manual over and over.

That, unfortunately, is the easy part. Then you have to learn about light, composition, and color. It's a long journey, but it's definitely worth it. :)
Hi Hypnogirl and welcome to the forum. I agree, the best place to start is understanding the technical side of things initially. Learn the exposure triangle (how shutter speed, ISO and aperture interact and alter an image). Learn how to operate the camera correctly (different focus modes, how to meter in certain situations). When you have the basics under your belt, then move on to the creative side of things, composition, symmetry, patterns, colours, contrast. Set yourself mini projects and go out and try and accomplish them.

Photography is all about seeing and communicating that vision. It's a long learning curve and both in terms of taking pictures and the editing side of things too. It's a challenging art form in many ways, sometimes highly frustrating but immensely satisfying and rewarding too. It teaches you to see the world in a different way and forces you to think about what you are doing in order to problem solve to achieve the results you want.

There is a wealth of knowledge and advice on the forum here and plenty of people willing to help you grow by offering constructive critiques, technical know-how and different approaches to photography. :)
Well theres about 5 steps for photography:

1. Acquire the hardware. A DSLR with a normal lens is the ideal start for a beginner since it allows trying out "everything".

2. Learn the technical part. Read the manual (possibly repeatedly), learn the exposure triangle, photograph with your camera daily until it turns second nature and you dont have to think about the camera.

3. Learn to see artistically. This means learning to see the light, learning composition, and developing your creativity.

4. Find your subject(s). What really interests you, what you really want to photograph ? Obviously one starts this by trying everything. Many great photographers have been experts on their subject.

5. Develop an own style. This starts by copying the "masters", i.e. people whos work impressed you, until you finally might develop an own way to see the world - and this may take years or decades. The really famous photographers each have their signature style, one can successfully spot that a picture is from them. Oh, and each of these people has maybe half a douzen pictures from a whole lifetime that actually make them famous.
Take a class at your local night school and go from there.
I think you need to learn to see pictures. Your camera will take care of exposure. Once you are producing good pictures (as distinct from good photographs) it will be time enough to worry about the technicalities.

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