Photography Skills: Which skills to learn? In what order?


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devmohn

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Sep 12, 2005
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#1
Hello there.

It's good to be finally part of these forums. I'd given in a couple of weeks back and bought myself a Nikon D70s Body with a Sigma 18-200 lens.

I've used it on a couple of occasions and throughly enjoyed the experience of using a Digital SLR. However, as of late, I've beginning to question my efforts in Photography. It seems that I'm simply enjoying it more as a point and shoot.

So far, I've gotten these pieces of advice from my friends:

1. get a speedlight
2. get a pro lens, f/2.8
3. learn to use P setting
4. learn to use A setting
5. learn DoF, that's the most important
6. you need a tripod

And a few others of minor consequence. Such as, 'always use a lens hood'.

What I'd like to ask is simple. If you've got no experience whatsoever but enjoy taking photographs, what does one learn in photography while using a SLR?

It's a little vague, I understand. So as the topic says, let me summarise:

1. What basic skills are important in photography?
2. In what order would you learn these skills today, if you were starting from scratch?

Thanks all. I'm sure that I'll get usable, constructive advice from this community. Which reminds me ... I think point 0 above from my friends would be: go to clubsnap and read :thumbsup:
 

user111

Senior Member
Jul 27, 2004
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#2
listen to this

learn the exposure first

what is exposure?

E = A x S

Exposure = Aperture x Shutter speed

after that, all the techno-mumbo jumbo will fall into place
 

user111

Senior Member
Jul 27, 2004
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#3
because you must always remember this:

"...photography is all about light. how you expose (the film) for the light, will determine what kind of image you will get..."

exposure = shutter speed x aperture

this is the fundamental first law in photography. everything else will follow.
 

Mar 27, 2005
1,164
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#4
I'm no expert but in the spirit of sharing...

1. get a speedlight - yes this is important but understand why you need this first.
2. get a pro lens, f/2.8 - not necessary until you are familiar with ambient light (as user111 said, learn exposure first... or else you waste your money)
3. learn to use P setting - this is point&shoot mode... try to avoid this or else you won't learn how to appreciate exposure.
4. learn to use A setting - this is the most useful mode for me. When you are good with this, then you may want to buy a F2.8 lens.. maybe... good for outdoor people photos.
5. learn DoF, that's the most important - using A mode, you will eventually learn DOF.
6. you need a tripod - i very seldom use this... depends on what type of photos you take. Good for landscape/sunset/nightscene photos.
7. Hood... I seldom use hood. Useful when you're shooting outdoors against the bright sun but I keep swapping lens and it gets tedious to have a hood as well.
 

obewan

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Feb 11, 2005
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#5
I'm no expert myself. Just give some of my own opinion. Other photogs may have different
view.

Basic Photography 5 important things to me.

1) Know your camera well. So read the manual and experiment with your camera.
2) Proper hold of your camera.
3) Composition. This is the hardest to learn in my own opinion.
4) Exposure. Getting the correct exposure, by playing with shutter speed, aperture and ISO.
5) Go out and shoot more. Practice make perfect. Don't just look and admire your new camera body and lens.

That's all I know, more 'chim' things, I leave to other experts here... :bsmilie:
 

fude

New Member
Sep 7, 2005
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#7
hi guys,:D
I m new with SLR & DSLR. I have just got myself a 350D.:)
Can I know what is DOF?? Why I can't find that in my camera??:sweat:
Please advise. Thanks :)
 

Astin

Senior Member
Mar 2, 2002
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astin.clubsnap.org
#8
fude said:
hi guys,:D
I m new with SLR & DSLR. I have just got myself a 350D.:)
Can I know what is DOF?? Why I can't find that in my camera??:sweat:
Please advise. Thanks :)
DOF?
In industry it means "Direct order Fulfilment", very important if u are in logistic buz.
In photography it means "Depth of Field", to control the photo how much is clear (in focus) and how much is blur (not in focus).
 

Astin

Senior Member
Mar 2, 2002
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#9
And to the original thread starter, learning photography will take a long time, u dont need a speedlight, dont need a pro lens, dont need a tripod at this moment, (u do need a dry cabi to keep the camera)
U need to learn the exposure, (refer user111), u need to learn DOF (depth of field), u need to learn how to focus, these are the basic techniques.
 

catchlights

Moderator
Staff member
Sep 27, 2004
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#10
You have a camera, a lens and a CF card, that good enough for the time being, you can start enjoy photography already.

You need to learn how to control your camera, read the camera manual.

You need to know what is photography, lights, shadow, exposure, shutter, aperture and composition etc, so please go the National Library to borrow some photography books for beginner and start reading now.

You don’t need a pro lens, speed light, and tripod right now, but a dry cabinet would be useful. Buy any gadgets only when you need it, not you want it.
 

fude

New Member
Sep 7, 2005
147
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#11
Astin said:
DOF?
In industry it means "Direct order Fulfilment", very important if u are in logistic buz.
In photography it means "Depth of Field", to control the photo how much is clear (in focus) and how much is blur (not in focus).

Thanks pal. :)
 

Canew

Senior Member
Jul 26, 2005
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#12
fude said:
Can I know what is DOF?? Why I can't find that in my camera??:sweat:
Please advise. Thanks :)
fude,

The Depth of Field (DOF, as explained by Astin) is controlled by the aperture size (Av mode) and not on the camera buttons itself. The smaller the aperture (bigger Av value), the deeper the DOF (more things that are at different distance away from the camera will be in focus).
 

heroneo99

New Member
May 12, 2005
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#13
fude said:
hi guys,:D
I m new with SLR & DSLR. I have just got myself a 350D.:)
Can I know what is DOF?? Why I can't find that in my camera??:sweat:
Please advise. Thanks :)
Hi,

Am new also, but recently got to find out more. so jus sharing:

basically "shallow (less) depth of field" means the picture's subject is sharp and background is out of focus (blurred).

so lesser DOF, the more "blurred" the background gets.

Depth of field can be controlled by :
1. focal length (lens)
2. aperture (bigger the aperture, the more shallow the DOF)
3. focal distance (how close you are to the subject)

there are some info here : http://www.azuswebworks.com/photography/dof.html

You might like to do a search on yahoo on "depth of field" .. lots of info available online :)

Please correct me if i am not right anywhere.. ha. .thanks!
 

fude

New Member
Sep 7, 2005
147
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#14
Canew said:
fude,

The Depth of Field (DOF, as explained by Astin) is controlled by the aperture size (Av mode) and not on the camera buttons itself. The smaller the aperture (bigger Av value), the deeper the DOF (more things that are at different distance away from the camera will be in focus).
Got it pal. thanks for the advise. appreciated. :)
 

ortega

Moderator
Staff member
Nov 2, 2004
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Singapore, Singapore, Singapor
#15
my views differ from the rest

Before starting your journey into photography, RTFM
Learn the different controls on your camera.
How to hold the camera.
go to the library and read

1. Learn composition first, let the camera handle the techie stuff (P mode)
experiment with different focal lenghts

2. once you have mastered composition, give your already good compositions some depth (experiment with A mode) by using different apertures. (DOF)

3. And once you know what the aperture does, you would like to further enhance you very good compositions with motion (experiemnt with S mode) either motion freeze or motion blur.

after that you will have full control of your camera and it will be time to learn light
 

Snowcrash

New Member
Jan 18, 2002
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#16
2 books I always recommend friends to read when it comes to photography:-

1) the art part: "Learning to see creatively" by Bryan Peterson.
This book talks about composition and colours. So go out and have find shooting and let the camera worry about the technical side (like what ortega said, P mode)

2) the technical part get a book by the same author "understanding exposure".
This book will show you the relation between ISO,aperture and shutter speed. The author calls it photographic triangle

Have fun shooting!

By the way, those comments/advice given by your friends... to me they are guidelines but not the MOST important.
 

Witness

Senior Member
Mar 18, 2004
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#17
erhmm... how does start shooting then asking questions on whether u need more equipment...then looking at ya shots... and if there's anything wrong from them.. improve on them thru other's commentsx
 

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