Advice for Beginners 2nd Ed.

Started Feb 26, 2002 | Discussions thread
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mcveed Senior Member • Posts: 1,502
Advice for Beginners 2nd Ed.

This is the Second edition of a thread I started two weeks ago. It incorporates some additional suggestions that were made and some thoughts that have occurred to me since then.

In response to the frequent requests for advice and instruction from beginners I have compiled this list of resources. Often beginners do not realize that their simple question requires a bit of education before they can understand the answer. I realize that not everyone wants to become a "photographer" and that some are quite happy to just become competent "camera users". So, take what you want from this resource list, and skip what you don't.

To beginners who are interested in becoming photographers, I recommend a trip to the public library or local book store for a good book on basic photography - one which concentrates on the principles of exposure and focusing but includes artistic issues like composition, framing and aspect. I can recommend "The Basic Book of Photography" by Tom and Michele Grimm" ISBN 0-452-27825-2. I really like their philosophy, summed up in these quotes: "Cameras take pictures, photographers make pictures"; "...while a $850 camera may be better than a $250 camera, it is the person behind the lens that usually makes the difference in results"; "When someone starts bragging that he has a lot of equipment, we interrupt and ask to see some of his pictures instead."

A second book, highly recommended is The National Geographic Field Guide by Burian and Caputo, 1999, ISBN 0-7922-7498-9. This book is both instructional and inspirational. The instruction is superb and the examples are gorgeous. "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Digital Photography" has also been recommended.

I also recommend joining a local camera club. You will learn more from the enthusiastic amateurs in camera clubs than anywhere else. If you live in the Washington D.C. area, I highly recommend the Northern Virginia Photographic Society. This is a huge, very active club with lots of professionals as members. I belonged to it ten years ago, but I'm sure it is still going strong.

BASIC PHOTOGRAPHY:
http://www.shortcourses.com/using/index.htm
http://www.kodak.com/US/en/nav/takingPics.shtml
http://www.camera.canon.my/photography/art/index.htm
http://www.photo.net/tutorial/light (also look around the rest of this site)
http://www.photographytips.com

BASIC DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY:
http://www.kodak.com/US/en/digital/dlc/index/jhtml
http://digital.photography.home.att.net
http://www.dpreview.com/learn
http://www.dpreview.com/glossary
http://www.botzilla.com
http://www.cs.duke.edu/~parr/photography/faq.html
http://www.megapixel.net
http://www.cliffshade.com/dpfwiw
http://www.kleptography.com
http://www.skynet.be/canonians

SPECIFIC SUBJECTS:
Landscape Photography
http://luminous-landscape.com

Photoshop and Photoshop Elements
http://www.arraich.com/intro.htm
http://www.computer-darkroom.com

Histograms
http://www.quiknet.com/~frcn/Histograms.html

Curves
http://www.gurusnetwork.com/tutorials/photoshop/curves1.html

Workflow and RAW
http://www.kleptography.com/notes-workflow.htm
http://home.austin.rr.com/g2darkroom

ADVANCED SITE
http://www.zonezero.com

SCANNERS
http://scantips.com

ON-LINE COURSES
http://www.shortcourses.com
http://www.nyip.com
http://www.photoworkshop.com

Hope you all find these useful
Cheers
--Happy Snapping
Don McVee
http://www.pbase.com/mcveed

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