Where to start?


TPF Noob!
Apr 3, 2006
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First post on this forum!

I am just one of those people who likes to take photos. I don't want to do it as a job and find it a great way to relax.

I currently own a Fuji Finepix S5000. I bought the camera as it gave me full manual control on all functions and have a nice zoom lens. However, the lens is not perfect. Vignetting and barrel distortion are common problems. Aperture, ISO settings and shutter speed settings are all a bit limited, but it still works good for now. I still need to sort out the operator! :lol:

I decided that I will not spend on better gear unless I get the basics of photography right. OK, I have my nice shots, but most of the time I do not understand why they are nice and thus cannot do it over! I still need to understand more about composition, lighting and have still little feel for SLR lenses and what they can do. On the technical side of the camera, I can manipulate most things to get some of the effect I wants and at least knows what aperture and shutter speed can do.

I am a VERY logical person. In my day job as engineer it is a great blessing and I am very creative in my field of expertise. However, I think the most important thing is that I do not have the photographers eye for detail that one need to frequently take good shots. Or perhaps I should concentrate a bit more on a genre where my logical thinking can come more to it's right. (I still know nothing about genre's as well!)

Now my Question:

Is there any good book available that can help me to get to learn the things of photography more single step and then put it together? For example: First of all learn how to use aperture and shutter, but you still do not worry about composition, light, texture ect. Then it takes you through the essential elements a step at a time and in the end learn to combine it all.

I do have a book from John Hedgecoe : "The book of Photography" and it is a great book, but it is written on a level that I find difficult to follow.
I have plenty of books that I find useful but no single book with all the answers. I find the best thing to do is start with a goal in mind. Try taking photo's for some old challenges or themes.

Decide what sort of shot you want to take, if you don't know how to acheive an effect that's the time to do some reading.

- take your shot
- don't be afraid to experiment
- takes notes of lighting, apperture etc
- compare the finished shot to your notes, look at what worked and what didn't.
- wash / rinse / repeat.

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