Help me please, im a newbie

Started May 3, 2012 | Discussions
Tess85
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Help me please, im a newbie
May 3, 2012

hi guys,

I have recently got the cannon d600 as i have taken great interest in photography, to be honest at the moment im finding it all very confusing!
Are there tips some of you experts can give me?

as i literally dont have a clue. I am a quick learner and im very keen so hopefully will pick the basics up very quick.

thanks tess

Nikon D600
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Braxton7
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Re: Help me please, im a newbie
In reply to Tess85, May 3, 2012

The people in this forum http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/forum.asp?forum=1031 would probably help you more. Looks like a nice camera from what I gather.

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rsn48
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Try
In reply to Tess85, May 3, 2012

Hit your local library for books and magazines, don't sweat if the books discuss film SLR's as much of the theory is the same.

Google youtube for tutorials, I'll get you started with one or two:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LlXVzOZtlII&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xG7CmMepYHw

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ABA DABA
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+++ 1onthe above
In reply to rsn48, May 4, 2012
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ABA DABA

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Robbster
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Re: Help me please, im a newbie
In reply to Tess85, May 4, 2012

You said D600 is your new camera, but I don't know of a Canon D600...

Do you mean the Canon SD600

Or the Canon EOS 600D?

I'm guessing the latter, but just want to be sure we're talking about the right camera, else suggestions are not going to do much good

Let us know, and thanks!
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mgd43
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Re: Help me please, im a newbie
In reply to KCook, May 4, 2012

People learn photography different ways. Some take courses online or in school. Others learn on their own with books, websites, camera clubs, and/or DVD's. Some good books include, "Understanding Photography Field Guide" by Bryan Peterson, National Geographic Complete Photography", and "LIFE Guide to Digital Photography" by Joe McNally. Tom Ang also has some good books whose titles I can't remember.

Don't try to learn too much at one time. Take one topic from the book at a time. Do some shooting, and ask us when you have questions. You may want to post some of your photos to get comments.

Most of all remember that it takes time and practice to be good at photography so be patient, and don't forget to have fun.

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MissingLinkie
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Re: Help me please, im a newbie
In reply to mgd43, May 4, 2012

As mentioned above, different ppl learn in different ways.
LearnItYourself is possible but takes lot of time and missing nice moments.

Is there no one around you who can help you 1:1 with your first steps?
That will speed up your learning curve real fast

Goodluck and have a lot of (photo)fun
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ericN2
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Re: Help me please, im a newbie
In reply to Tess85, May 4, 2012

The D600 is a very nice camera ... I only handled it very briefly when I was trying to suggest a suitable one for my Grand-daughter...she eventually went the Canon road ... but in view of your admitted shortcomings right now..the best tip or advice of all I think..is simply...do NOT try to get the better of your camera at this time..it is a VERY capable instrument..put it in P mode with Auto ISO and for the most part.. just shoot whatever pics take your fancy and as often as you can. LEARN how the camera works for you in its own settings...it WILL do you well on most shots if you let it.. DON'T try to experiment and change things at this stage..FIND OUT first what you get...

And above all.. my sincere suggestion..it is truly the most important point I've learned over many years.. learn to compose a good pic. get JUST what you want on the LCD or EVF..THEN take the shot. If the camera is shown MORE than you want in a scene...it does NOT know that.. it will set its exposures etc to what is is shown..and that can easily spoil what should maybe often be a better result..be sure it 'sees' ONLY what you want it to see..THEN you will find it very often comes up with as good a picture as you'd like right now.

DON'T start by shooting RAW or any other type of abnormal pic..use JPG set as largest or 'Fine' or whatever the camera gives you for best JPG... you'd be surprised how often a GOOD setting shot that way will give you very nice pics that right now will encourage you.
There is much to learn...DON'T run before you walk...

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MaxTux
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film vs. digital
In reply to rsn48, May 4, 2012

rsn48 wrote:

..don't sweat if the books discuss film SLR's as much of the theory is the same.

This is correct, but only up to that instant when you press the shutter.

From then on, I've noticed there are more novices in photography that would benefit from a better knowledge of computer fundamentals than those that would benefit from additional photographic knowledge. In particular, whatever can be done by using some "general purpose" computer program or procedure instead of a "digital photography computer application", should be done using the general purpose operating system procedure or program.

In other words, "production" of photography (at least on the novice level) has changed surprisingly little from the film days, but the "consumption" of photography is an entirely new game.

MaxTux

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MMACory
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Immediately...
In reply to Tess85, May 4, 2012

...get the camera-appropriate DVD from http://www.michaelthementor.com . I was you this time last year and now I'm a blossoming advanced novice.

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happysnapper62
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Re: Try
In reply to rsn48, May 4, 2012

rsn48 wrote:

Hit your local library for books and magazines, don't sweat if the books discuss film SLR's as much of the theory is the same.

Google youtube for tutorials, I'll get you started with one or two:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LlXVzOZtlII&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xG7CmMepYHw

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"Photography is, indeed, an inclusive language."
Ansel Adams

I only started 5 months ago & didn't have a clue what ISO, f/No's were or shutter speed etc..etc. I decided to shoot on Auto mode only for a week or so. I looked at the results too light too dark out of focus & so on then looked up info either online video tutorials, books, & help from the forum. It can be slow at first but persevere & practice, remembering we learn from our {in my case many} mistakes, but fortunately it costs only the price of the SD card. lee uk

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dannybgoode
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Re: Try
In reply to happysnapper62, May 4, 2012

Buy Bryan Peterson's Understanding Exposure. Best book you'll buy on the subject, taught me pretty much everything I know. Michael Freeman's The Photographers Eye is also essential reading but if you're only going to look at one book I'd go for Understanding Exposure.

Practice lots and develop that 'eye'.

Don't be afraid to experiment - digital 'prints' are free after all.

Learn (and I mean really learn) how to use your camera - every single menu option and button.

Acknowledge it will take time to get good. You will take some good shots right from the start but usually more by chance than anything else. To be able to go out into the field with a vision in mind and be able to then use that vision to get the shot you want takes time

Cheers

Danny B
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gwlaw99
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Re: Try
In reply to dannybgoode, May 4, 2012

dannybgoode wrote:

Buy Bryan Peterson's Understanding Exposure. Best book you'll buy on the subject, taught me pretty much everything I know. Michael Freeman's The Photographers Eye is also essential reading but if you're only going to look at one book I'd go for Understanding Exposure.

UE is a great book for introducing you to the concept of exposure and some of the basics of exposure. What it does not give you is an easy method for actually getting good exposure. For that I recommend this very well done video.

http://www.amazon.com/Photoshopcafe-Instructional-Dvd-Exposure-Photography/dp/0981602908/ref=cm_cr-mr-title

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bobn2
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No, Don't do that
In reply to dannybgoode, May 4, 2012

dannybgoode wrote:

Buy Bryan Peterson's Understanding Exposure. Best book you'll buy on the subject, taught me pretty much everything I know.

Really, don't buy that. It is a book rooted in the film age, from someone who hasn't understood how to manage exposure in the digital age. It will fill your mind with mystical nonsense about what exposure is and how to manage it that you will never get rid of, then you won'r be able to grasp the very simple rules of exposure with digital technology. You'll be marooned in a world view where you have to 'nail' the 'correct' exposure where there is no definition of 'correct' except 'what you like'.
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bobn2
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Re: Try
In reply to gwlaw99, May 4, 2012

gwlaw99 wrote:

What it does not give you is an easy method for actually getting good exposure.

LOL. It just befuddles the brain with false ideas about what 'good' exposure is, then leaves you dangling.
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dannybgoode
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Re: No, Don't do that
In reply to bobn2, May 4, 2012

bobn2 wrote:

Really, don't buy that.
Bob

We'll agree to differ and if you can explain how the basics of exposure have changed with digital cameras I'm all ears...

Cheers

Danny B

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Mako2011
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Better resources perhaps
In reply to dannybgoode, May 4, 2012

dannybgoode wrote:

bobn2 wrote:

Really, don't buy that.
Bob

We'll agree to differ and if you can explain how the basics of exposure have changed with digital cameras I'm all ears...

One note:

" ....biggest problem with the book is that Peterson spouts the same “manual mode means total control” garbage that you get from people who don’t understand how to utilize auto modes. In fact, he starts the book off with an example of how manual mode is supposed to be better than Program mode. He has a portrait shot of an old man with backlighting. In the P mode shot the subject is underexposed...supposedly caused by automatic metering messing things up. Of course, the shot taken in M mode is correctly exposed. He then explains that to get the correct exposure, he moved in close to the subject and metered his face.

However, Peterson fails to explain why the same process wouldn’t work with P mode. In fact, it DOES work with P mode! I can move in, point the camera at the subject’s face, and press AE-L to lock exposure...it’s the same exact thing. When I step back and take my shot in P mode, I’ll have correct exposure, just like Peterson did in M mode. So the guy is unfairly trashing auto modes just because he doesn’t understand how to use his camera"

" The author preaches about matrix metering, but emphasizes the fact that he only uses spot-metering. Spot-metering is not explained - it's too complicated and error prone, so use matrix metering. I thought this was what the book was all about"

There simply are better and more relevant books out there IMO.

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bobn2
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Re: No, Don't do that
In reply to dannybgoode, May 4, 2012

dannybgoode wrote:

bobn2 wrote:

Really, don't buy that.
Bob

We'll agree to differ and if you can explain how the basics of exposure have changed with digital cameras I'm all ears...

Well, of course the basics of exposure itself haven't changed, but the goals for exposure management certainly have.

So, exposure dictates the amount of light at the focal plane (for a given size film/sensor), and is controlled by the scene luminance, the f-number and the shutter speed. In digital photography, the rule for selecting an exposure is simple - choose the largest you can since that give least noise and best IQ, subject to your own constraints which are:

  • DOF - if you want large DOF then you will need a small aperture, which will limit your exposure, so choose the largest aperture that gives the DOF that you want (or choose the lens' 'sweet spot' if resolution is important).

  • Motion blur - if you need to freeze motion or camera shake, you need a fast shutter speed but that limits exposure, so choose the slowest shutter speed that will give the motion freezing that you want.

  • The sensor's saturation point, if you get a larger exposure than the sensor will stand, then you'll lose the highlights, so if you are at base ISO and the scene is metering overexposed, the reduce the exposure using the aperture or shutter (usually the shutter, since a bit less motion blur never hurts). If you want to be really precise, use the LCD histogram adjusting to the right until the highlights are just preserved. The tonal range that you want can be obtained in processing, either using the ISO control (or auto ISO) if you want in-camera processing or by adjusting in the raw tool that you use.

So that is the basics of exposure and its management in digital.
Film is different. It has an 'S' shaped sensitometric curve like this:

To get good tonality you need to ensure that the exposure (that's lux-seconds, the unit of exposure, along the top) places the tonality of the scene appropriately on the sensitometric curve to get a visually pleasing result. The non-linearity of the curve means that the tonality of parts of the scene (bright and dark) will be compressed irreversibly, so the placement of the exposure on this curve is very important. Rather than simply aiming for maximum exposure as with digital, you need to expose to hit the right part of the curve. Thus the aim of exposure control is balancing this requirement with the DOF and motion blur requirements, made still more complex that film comes in rolls, which gives another constraint not there with digital

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dannybgoode
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Re: No, Don't do that
In reply to bobn2, May 5, 2012

@ Bob - excellent points you make there particularly regarding sensitivity curves. However, I still think that UE gives the best and most understandable explanation of the basics of exposure regardless of the medium.

For example I have also read Michael Freeman's Perfect Exposure which goes into much more detail on certain aspects of achieving the desired exposure and is specifically targeted at digital users but doesn't give any explanation at all really on the relationship between f stop, shutter speed and ISO.

I would be interested in your recommendations as I am always looking for something to read and there's always something to learn.

Cheers

Danny B

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