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Thread: Hello, and help...

  1. #1

    Default Hello, and help...

    Dear forumers,

    I am an aspiring photography enthusiast. Aspiring because I really know next to nothing about photography. I do own a Konica Minolta DiMAGE Z3. I play with the shutter/aperture mode instead of using auto to shoot randomly. When I find the photographs too dark or too bright, I adjust the settings. Oh, I know the model names of some of the popular DSLRs around today. This is all I know about photography, and that's not an understatement. Most of the times I am still dissatisfied with the photos I take. And I really want to consistently take photographs I like seeing. Like those I see on this site.

    I had been browsing through photography books in bookshops, and been lurking around numerous websites on photography. I also read the thread on "ClubSNAP's Photography 101 for Newbies, by David Wong" and the links in it (Thanks David) However, nothing seems to prepare me for the next step I had always wanted to take - to really learn more about photography instead of just bumping around and experimenting blindly. I did consider taking up courses, but my friend signed up for one with a point and shoot camera like mine, and didn't learn much from it (not that it didn't teach much); I asked him what it teaches, but no substantive reply. In any case, I really can't find time to attend courses.

    I am thinking of purchasing a DSLR. It would be very financially taxing for me to get my dream camera (EOS 350D or Nikon D70). I would want to know how to maximise the use of this camera. However I can't seem to find books or sites that teaches me about stuff like what ETTL does, what Aperture and Shutter speed does, what ISO does, etc. I might see them mentioned in passing, but almost always, the books or sites assumes the reader knows what the terms are, when I have absolutely no background knowledge. Even the beginners' forum here seems to be talking about stuff akin to rocket science. My key hurdle is, whatever medium (net, magazines, books) it is, it seems the readers already have a lot of pre-requisite knowledge is essential. Where do I find this pre-requisite knowledge?

    Am I simply a slow learner? Being in my (very) late twenties, am I too old to start? Should I take the next step to invest in a DSLR? Would I be better off randomly experimenting further with my "auto" cam? If I ever get the DSLR, which will blow my finances, where do I go, to learn more about it, and capitalise on its strenghts?

    Thank you for your time in reading this. I had been lurking around here for long enough, and really want to be part of this community; where passion is in the (cyber) air, and knowledge is selflessly shared; yet I can only look in through the window of the classroom, with great envy, but not know what's being conversed...

  2. #2
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    u should learn to maximize the dimage Z3 before buying a DSLR, else you also end up the same... just join our outings... den most of us will be more than willing to teach you how to use that camera to the max... then when you think you have outgrown this camera, its time to change to a DSLR.... i maxed out my prosumer camera as i find that it can't do wat i wan it to do with the limited settings, not becos i dunno how to use...
    Logging Off. "You have 2,631 messages stored, of a total 400 allowed." don't PM me.

  3. #3
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    Well, most of the answers you're looking for, if you do a search in CS, you'll find them very soon.

    If you want to know more on D70 or D70S you can always visit NUG, we'll be more than happy to help you.

  4. #4
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    DCA has given excellent suggestions. dun go and get a DSLR, thinking dat it will make u a better photographer. the converse is normally true. a DSLR will instantly show how bad a person is at photography, thanks to instant review.

    knowledge comes from experience. experience comes from mistakes. mistakes come from trying. so, easiest and cheapest way is go and shoot some more. digicams makes learning the basics of photography a lot cheaper.

    if u wish to read up, most CSers will highly recommend u read some beginner's guide books. 2 of my favourites are by bryan peterson - "Understanding Exposure" and "Learning to see creatively". go to riceball books, 4th floor, at adelphi to get them. look for Zhong Ling. he's a nice guy to talk to, and he will help you select a few good guidebooks.
    If Life worked on auto mode then manual mode for photography would have never existed. ― Deeksha Mittal

  5. #5

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    The best is seek to learn from Master Yoda ... finds him and he will teach you whatever he knows ... look at his avatar ..

    He claims himself to be a grey Jedi which is not truth ...
    AMPA * WPPI * J team

  6. #6
    Moderator nightwolf75's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KNIGHT ONG
    The best is seek to learn from Master Yoda ... finds him and he will teach you whatever he knows ... look at his avatar ..
    nw -> <- KO

    wat i know, i also learn from everyone else i met in CS during shoots. from u included.
    If Life worked on auto mode then manual mode for photography would have never existed. ― Deeksha Mittal

  7. #7

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    Well, for a start, maybe the camera's user manual may help. I don't know about KM manuals, but for Canon's they usually come with example pictures to demostrate what each technical parameter does to the final photo.

    Age doesn't matter, it's your mindset. For example, ClubSNAP forummer student is pretty much in his middle ages, and yet is still humbly learning. The best way to learn is to still to ask, and with digital, experimenting is pretty cheap.

    Beginning learners start by imitating. See what you like and try to reproduce it. Shoot, shoot and shoot more. How often do you go out and take photos?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by shinken
    Dear forumers,

    I am an aspiring photography enthusiast. Aspiring because I really know next to nothing about photography. I do own a Konica Minolta DiMAGE Z3. I play with the shutter/aperture mode instead of using auto to shoot randomly. When I find the photographs too dark or too bright, I adjust the settings. Oh, I know the model names of some of the popular DSLRs around today. This is all I know about photography, and that's not an understatement. Most of the times I am still dissatisfied with the photos I take. And I really want to consistently take photographs I like seeing. Like those I see on this site.

    I had been browsing through photography books in bookshops, and been lurking around numerous websites on photography. I also read the thread on "ClubSNAP's Photography 101 for Newbies, by David Wong" and the links in it (Thanks David) However, nothing seems to prepare me for the next step I had always wanted to take - to really learn more about photography instead of just bumping around and experimenting blindly. I did consider taking up courses, but my friend signed up for one with a point and shoot camera like mine, and didn't learn much from it (not that it didn't teach much); I asked him what it teaches, but no substantive reply. In any case, I really can't find time to attend courses.

    I am thinking of purchasing a DSLR. It would be very financially taxing for me to get my dream camera (EOS 350D or Nikon D70). I would want to know how to maximise the use of this camera. However I can't seem to find books or sites that teaches me about stuff like what ETTL does, what Aperture and Shutter speed does, what ISO does, etc. I might see them mentioned in passing, but almost always, the books or sites assumes the reader knows what the terms are, when I have absolutely no background knowledge. Even the beginners' forum here seems to be talking about stuff akin to rocket science. My key hurdle is, whatever medium (net, magazines, books) it is, it seems the readers already have a lot of pre-requisite knowledge is essential. Where do I find this pre-requisite knowledge?

    Am I simply a slow learner? Being in my (very) late twenties, am I too old to start? Should I take the next step to invest in a DSLR? Would I be better off randomly experimenting further with my "auto" cam? If I ever get the DSLR, which will blow my finances, where do I go, to learn more about it, and capitalise on its strenghts?

    Thank you for your time in reading this. I had been lurking around here for long enough, and really want to be part of this community; where passion is in the (cyber) air, and knowledge is selflessly shared; yet I can only look in through the window of the classroom, with great envy, but not know what's being conversed...
    Actually, there are books that teach you the very basics of photography ie what aperture/ shutter speed/ iso etc is. You should look for urm basic photograpy books, not those that teach about lighting or specialise in one area of photography like studio/macro/landscape etc.
    Oh, and also go for those outings (hehe though I don't go my self) I am sure there are a lot of very helpful guys/gals out there. Happy snapping!.
    BTW, the Z3 is a pretty advanced camera with quite a few manual functions that will challenge your photography so learn all you can with this cam before you proceed to the darkside.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by nightwolf75
    nw -> <- KO

    wat i know, i also learn from everyone else i met in CS during shoots. from u included.
    When u guys have outing again? I wanna join and can learn from u all

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Errz
    When u guys have outing again? I wanna join and can learn from u all
    Learn what? Learn how to luff and suan the rest huh?
    Errz de pro, already a wedding pro... still want to learn what?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by shinken
    And I really want to consistently take photographs I like seeing. Like those I see on this site.
    I don't want to add too much to the advice given by others, but point out that you may have wrong expectations.

    The story behind famous photographs is frequently not that they were planned and executed meticulously, but selected from dozens or even hundreds of exposures. Photos that are published in print or online certainly do not represent the "average" of what photographers create.

    Realizing this might save you from some frustration if your "success" rate is considerably less than 100%.

  12. #12

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    yeah ... and if u're hesitant of buying the photography books ... try the national libraries =) .. i've found a couple of photograph books that are pretty good in my sec sch library and the national libraries =) ... or perhaps meet up with one of the better CS-ers? or join a CS-outing or go down for NUG =) ... i'm sure the regular NUGgers will welcome you =)

  13. #13

    Default

    To all the kind replies so far:

    I had been lurking (yep, more a lurker kind of guy) while waiting to make a more generic response.

    Embarassingly, I just found that my camera is a Z1 (the oldest of the spaceship-look range?) But it does have a couple of manual functions that can be manipulated (which, of course, I don't know how to). I had gone down to the library (as advised) to hunt for photography books again. Predictably, I found books on shooting landscapes, books on the importance of lighting etc. Which required the pre-requisite knowledge I was talking about.

    I will most likely try going down to Adelphi the next to get recommendations for books. Thanks nightwolf for pointing me to the right shop.

    It's also comforting to know that even good photographers may not see that high % of success. I do have photos I took that I am quite happy with. However, they are quite random. I don't know how to duplicate the success in another context. As each time I successfully took a likable one, I actually didn't learn much from it, given that it's more of a fluke from experimentation, without any technical knowledge.

    I do understand that it's a photographer who makes the photograhs, not the camera. I used to have a colleague who shoot really pretty photos with his IXUS. Just that I thought I would be better off learning with a DSLR, instead of going through the learning curve again. Based on the advice given, I will work on my Z1 for a while before committing to a DSLR.

  14. #14

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    well ... who cares if its a Z1? no big difference ... still has enough manual functions to learn on ...

    just a querry ... do u know how to use the lightmeter in your camera? ... if you do, ... then i don't see why reading the photography 101 for newbies didn't help ... anyways if u're staying around yiochukang or angmokio area ... i wouldn't mind meeting up with you to share my very limited knowledge =)

  15. #15

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    Hi there Expiredyogurt,

    Yes I do know how to adjust shutter speed, aperture size, ISO settings from my camera as well. However, I am not sure how they influence the outcome of my pictures. Along with the influence of flash, lighting, distance, the outcome of my photos become very random and inconsistent. Thanks for your offer to meet up. Unfortunately, I stay in Pasir Ris...

  16. #16

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    wahh ... pasir ris ... :S ... i'd think ... master how to get the correct exposure before going into how to use the flash well =)

    i'd think ...

    1) read the manual, play around with the cam, re-read the manual ...
    [try and find the lightmeter section .. i'd think it would enlighten you on how shutter speed, aperture size and ISO settings affect the image =)]
    2) re-read the photography 101 on CS ...
    3) go down for NUG or any other informal gathering ... i'm sure they'll be able to help u alot ...

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