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View Full Version : How did you learn to take pictures??


Lizboo
04-27-2011, 08:16 PM
Hi! I have been taking pictures since I was a young girl (which..ahem, is a while ago). I have had all kinds of cameras, including a SLRs and DLSRs. I have read books, taken courses and practiced, but I still don't feel confident in my abilities some times.

I currently have a Nikon D90 and a couple of point and shoots.

I have read the manual of the D90, but I admit I still am not sure what settings to use when shooting in M mode. I can experiment sometimes, but then may miss a moment when I am making adjustments. Is there a baseline you should start at?

When did it "click" for you? What can I do to learn more?

Thanks for any advice you can give me.

toomanycars
04-27-2011, 08:50 PM
Hi! I have been taking pictures since I was a young girl (which..ahem, is a while ago). I have had all kinds of cameras, including a SLRs and DLSRs. I have read books, taken courses and practiced, but I still don't feel confident in my abilities some times.

I currently have a Nikon D90 and a couple of point and shoots.

I have read the manual of the D90, but I admit I still am not sure what settings to use when shooting in M mode. I can experiment sometimes, but then may miss a moment when I am making adjustments. Is there a baseline you should start at?

When did it "click" for you? What can I do to learn more?

Thanks for any advice you can give me.

Back when I started in photography, we still poured powder into a flash pan. Well maybe not. Just keep trying and don't stress out about your mistakes. Learn to read the light and don't get lost in the camera settings. Set your camera to auto-bracket your exposure. 1's and 0's are cheap, it's not like film and processing use to be.

Gianna'sPapa
04-27-2011, 09:47 PM
Many say, I have never learned!:rotfl2: But after learning the basics of the photographic triangle, I studied the EXIF info of other photographers, many from here, in an effort to figure out "How did they do that?". And then lots of practice, trial and error. The next step, which I am still cranking away on, is PP. I'm not a big fan of HDR. Its just not my style, but I like my colors to pop so that is what I work on. I try to get the best image from the camera and try to do as little PP as possible. Every photographer has their own style and each one is right for them. I try to please me.

photo_chick
04-27-2011, 09:55 PM
I've taken many photography classes, been shooting since I was ten (we'll just say that's not three decades quite yet), and I'm still not where I want to be. I'm still learning every day.

Daisy14'sDH
04-27-2011, 10:06 PM
Been playing with the hobby for over 25 years, never really thought of photography as anything more than "pictures" until I found the Disboards, I took courses in high school as part of a 2 year full time art ptrogram and cosidered it, (at the time), to be the lesser of the various mediums we were taught. I wish I had paid more attention! I now realise that there is so much more to photography than just pointing and pushing a button.

Not everyone can capture images the way some on this board can, but it sure is a lot of fun seeing what they can produce and learning from them, there are so many techniques and opinions that I will never bore of this hobby.

Once again I would like to thank everyone on this board that posts photos, questions, and answers for there insights!

Gianna'sPapa
04-27-2011, 11:24 PM
Been playing with the hobby for over 25 years, never really thought of photography as anything more than "pictures" until I found the Disboards, I took courses in high school as part of a 2 year full time art ptrogram and cosidered it, (at the time), to be the lesser of the various mediums we were taught. I wish I had paid more attention! I now realise that there is so much more to photography than just pointing and pushing a button.

Not everyone can capture images the way some on this board can, but it sure is a lot of fun seeing what they can produce and learning from them, there are so many techniques and opinions that I will never bore of this hobby.

Once again I would like to thank everyone on this board that posts photos, questions, and answers for there insights!

Ditto!!

Terry

ukcatfan
04-28-2011, 07:05 AM
Until I got a digital camera with some manual controls about ten years ago, I was a point and shoot person. I have been using a camera for about thirty years though, so I already had composition practice. I guess it is the numbers person in me (I am an accountant), but the exposure stuff, DOF, etc. all just clicked really quickly with me. Most of photography is math and physics. I don't ever feel like I don't know how to capture what I want. My biggest problem is my family not leaving me in the dust while I try to take the time to get a shot right! :rotfl2: I also just don't have the creativity that some people have. (Mark, GDAD, Groucho to name a few)

Pea-n-Me
04-28-2011, 09:04 AM
"Taking pictures" for me goes way back to when I was a child, too. I always had a camera in my hand. Loved, loved, loved taking pics. (Like most of us here, probably!) Unfortunately what I learned about "how" back then was limited to the stuff that came on the "Tips" section of the Polaroid film packet or something like that. :lmao: Stuff like, "shoot with the sun behind you shining on your subject", "center your subject", "hold your breath and shoot", etc, only the latter of which makes much sense to me today.

Once I began to study photography for real (on my own, which was something I always wanted to do and SHOULD HAVE done in high school!), I realized there was a lot more to it and that I'd need to relearn just about everything I'd learned before. I chronicled my experiences here in a thread called The Learning Curve if you're interested in reading it. But that was by no means the end. I'm still learning and probably always will be. But at least now I'm finally getting pics I'm pleased with and feel like I have a pretty good understanding of the basics of photography, camera operation and post processing - the three things you need to know to get good at this.

Good luck with your quest. It really is a Labor of Love but so worth it! :goodvibes

SrisonS
04-28-2011, 04:56 PM
Moving to the Disney area a few years ago is what really kicked off the photography hobby for me. I was happy with my point & shoot style of pics; and thinking that a pretty subject made for a pretty picture. Then I came to the Disboards and instantly knew I had more to learn. Just seeing the work of others and wondering why shots of the same subject weren't nearly as good, just spurred me to start thinking of new ways of shooting. For me, nailing a unique composition was my main goal. But learning the other basics soon followed. But the more I shot, the more I would also analyze other people's pictures. And my learning bascially came that way.

But I'm still very much learning. Getting use to using an external flash has been a nice challenge of late. And I'm just getting to be more comfortable in full Manual Mode. The Av (aperture priority) is still my go to area though. But it's great ti feel like I have total control of all my camera's functions.

handicap18
04-28-2011, 05:07 PM
I got my first camera for x-mas when I was 11. Over the last 30 years I've been up and down the photography roller coaster. I took all the photography classes in high school and learned a lot. Over the next 20 or so years after that I pretty much forgot everything I learned. I've been shooting with an SLR for over 20 years, but it wasn't until I found the DIS photo board, that I really started to relearn everything. Before coming here I pretty much used my SLR as a point and shoot. I liked being able to change between the 2 lenses I had, but everything else was pretty much on AUTO.

Like a few others, coming here, seeing all the great creative shots and reading and studying the EXIF from other's pictures as well as my own everything started coming back to me.

So in the end I guess it really comes down to years of taking pictures and just paying attention to others and getting ideas from them.

Lizboo
04-28-2011, 06:12 PM
Thanks for all the replies...sounds like I need to spend some more time on this section of The DIS.:thumbsup2

Noah Mads
04-29-2011, 06:46 AM
I think who wants to be a good photographer, he should must have creativity in mind. He should be confident and should take a picture in a good frame, which can get the maximum concentration of the people. dont see the pictures but should must read the pictures, like picture composition, colour , background, light, everything should be in balance. These few tips to be a good photographer.

TXFL
04-30-2011, 08:41 PM
I went thru 3 Minolta cameras when my kids were growing up, I was always shooting in AUTO mode and my pictures were always missing "something"; 2 years ago I got a DSLR and this time I wanted to take advantaged of all these new features on the new cameras and really wanted to learn about it. A friend of mine recommended this book "Understanding Exposure, 3rd Edition: How to Shoot Great Photographs with Any Camera", I got it and I got hooked on photography again. The book is all about exposure, how to get a proper exposure and the 3 variables that affect it; ISO, Speed, Aperture.
Then I attended one of those Digital Days workshops here in Dallas, there I had a chance to talk to a lot of people like me (newbies) and some very talented photographers; I got a chance to ask a lot of questions and learned a lot of new things. Plus at the end of day 2 they bring out models for a photo shoot in a studio setting.
You already have a nice camera and lens, if you don't want to buy a book or go to a photography workshop start by getting info about ISO, Aperture, and Speed; then practice, practice again, and take notes of what works for you.
happy shooting

mrodgers
04-30-2011, 10:50 PM
I got to chapter 3 of Understanding Exposure. At that point, I went, "Ah!" and switched the camera to manual and haven't left taken it out of manual yet.

Composition wise, I had been using an old P&S digital camera for years and years. I had no idea what to do compositionally on purpose, but just liked to snap pictures. When I bought a camera that had capability of changing settings, I started reading about photography and looking back, realized that most of the "rules" of composition was fairly prevalent in my old photos. In fact, most of my favorite photos are from that point and shoot that I was just snapshooting with.

Lizboo
05-01-2011, 08:10 PM
I went thru 3 Minolta cameras when my kids were growing up, I was always shooting in AUTO mode and my pictures were always missing "something"; 2 years ago I got a DSLR and this time I wanted to take advantaged of all these new features on the new cameras and really wanted to learn about it. A friend of mine recommended this book "Understanding Exposure, 3rd Edition: How to Shoot Great Photographs with Any Camera", I got it and I got hooked on photography again. The book is all about exposure, how to get a proper exposure and the 3 variables that affect it; ISO, Speed, Aperture.
Then I attended one of those Digital Days workshops here in Dallas, there I had a chance to talk to a lot of people like me (newbies) and some very talented photographers; I got a chance to ask a lot of questions and learned a lot of new things. Plus at the end of day 2 they bring out models for a photo shoot in a studio setting.
You already have a nice camera and lens, if you don't want to buy a book or go to a photography workshop start by getting info about ISO, Aperture, and Speed; then practice, practice again, and take notes of what works for you.
happy shooting

AWESOME...off to find the book online I go...
I got to chapter 3 of Understanding Exposure. At that point, I went, "Ah!" and switched the camera to manual and haven't left taken it out of manual yet.

Composition wise, I had been using an old P&S digital camera for years and years. I had no idea what to do compositionally on purpose, but just liked to snap pictures. When I bought a camera that had capability of changing settings, I started reading about photography and looking back, realized that most of the "rules" of composition was fairly prevalent in my old photos. In fact, most of my favorite photos are from that point and shoot that I was just snapshooting with.

That is exactly what I was looking for...that "AHA!" moment...thanks

ynottony99
05-29-2011, 05:11 PM
I just found this thread, and appreciate all of the good advice and insights shared. I am about to leave my Canon Power Shot S2 IS, and get a DSLR. For budget reasons, I am looking at an entry level camera. Does anyone have a recommendation for a DSLR in the $600.00 range?

Gianna'sPapa
05-29-2011, 10:34 PM
I just found this thread, and appreciate all of the good advice and insights shared. I am about to leave my Canon Power Shot S2 IS, and get a DSLR. For budget reasons, I am looking at an entry level camera. Does anyone have a recommendation for a DSLR in the $600.00 range?

In the enty level, with a kit lens, you are probably looking at a Nikon D3100, Pentax Kx or Kr, Canon T1i, Sony has some good entry level cameras, I'm just not sure of the model numbers and Oympus also. While initial outlay is important, it is best to handle as many of the cameras as possible. The ergonomics, button position and menus all are more important than price because if you buy a camera without handling it and are unhappy, you will either not use it or buy another. It is best to do the process of purchasing a DSLR right the first time. Find a real camera store (preferably not a big box), and try them all. Remember the initial outlay for the camera is only the tip of the iceberg because you will need memory cards, extra battery, bag, etc.

All of these cameras will take great images. The make/model isn't as important as you would think. The manufacturers have done a great job of manufacturing cameras that produce excellent images.

PS Canon does have more entry levels, T2i, T3i, but are beyond your "$600 range" budget.

MOmousefan
05-30-2011, 06:48 AM
My Dad was an avid photographer who belonged to a camera club. I would have to pose while he took a roll of film, we still laugh at how my smile would morph to a smirk and finaly a grimace. Back in the 50s he had a Leica and I still have his Canon AE1P and lenses. I joined the junior high school newspaper and learned how to develop film in a darkroom. I bought a Yashica film camera in the Navy in 1970 and still use the 8" tripod to this day. I consider myself a "frustrated" amateur.